Who will make the cut? Let's take a look.
The Philadelphia Eagles wrapped up their 2014 NFL preseason schedule on Thursday night with a 37-7 win [recap] over the New York Jets. Now that preseason is FINALLY over and NFL teams are required to trim their rosters down to the 53-man limit by Saturday, August 30th at 4:00 PM EST, it's time for one last Eagles roster projection. Let's get right to it.
BLG's 53-man roster
Nick Foles is the starter. Mark Sanchez is a top quality backup, which is not something I would have expected myself to be saying at this point. Matt Barkley looks improved from last year but still doesn't look anything more than a third string quarterback.
The Eagles running back position is REALLY hard to figure out right now. LeSean McCoy and Darren Sproles are both locks. Beyond that, it's totally unclear. Polk has missed most of the summer with a hamstring injury and apparently suffered a slight setback which prevented him from playing against the Jets. Matthew Tucker has had a nice summer but he's also dealt with some injuries, including a left shoulder injury suffered against the Jets. Kenjon Barner also left the Jets game with an injury to his ankle. Henry Josey has had a very impressive summer statistically but I get the feeling he won't make the team. As Chip Kelly always says, the final roster spots come down to special teams. Can Josey play special teams? I don't know. I know that Kelly thinks Barner can, whether that's actually true or not. I have no clear idea what's going to happen here. I just know that I think Polk stays, somehow.
Brent Celek is still a productive starter that will split time with emerging second year tight end Zach Ertz. James Casey won't be cut despite being owed a big salary. He's a good contributor on special teams and a fine third tight end.
Jeremy Maclin and Riley Cooper missed some time in the summer but they're both fine by now. Jordan Matthews projects to play often as the team's slot receiver. Josh Huff is dealing with a shoulder injury and it's not clear when he'll be ready to return. Brad Smith is a versatile veteran who can contribute on special teams. The sixth and final wide receiver spot, if it even exists, is tricky. The top two candidates are Jeff Maehl and Arrelious Benn at this point. While Benn struggled early in camp, Maehl struggled to stay healthy. I think both are pretty good special teams players. I'll give the nod to Maehl here because OREGON BIAS.
Jason Peters, Evan Mathis, Jason Kelce, Todd Herremans, and Allen Barbre are the opening day starters. Andrew Gardner and Dennis Kelly are either battling for one spot or both players will make it. Matt Tobin is a lock. David Molk looks like more than a capable backup certain. On the whole, I've been really impressed with how the Eagles backup offensive line has played. That area shouldn't be as big of a concern as it was heading into the summer.
Lane Johnson will return from suspension after the first four weeks. His return might cause the Eagles to cut one of Gardner or Kelly if the team keeps both.
Fletcher Cox, Bennie Logan, and Cedric Thornton are the starters. Vinny Curry and Brandon Bair should get some decent playing time as rotational players, especially Curry because he's a pass-rushing force. Taylor Hart might be inactive on game days. Beau Allen has proved worthy of a roster spot as a backup nose tackle to Logan.
DeMeco Ryans is aging and won't playing as many snaps as he did in 2013, which is good news. Mychal Kendricks has had a great summer. Najee Goode is firmly entrenched as the team's third inside linebacker. Goode contributes on special teams and could even figure in as a future starter. Travis Long is more of an outside linebacker but he's being cross-trained to play on the inside.
Trent Cole and Connor Barwin are the starters, but Brandon Graham might be pushing Cole for playing time given how talented of a pass rusher he is. Marcus Smith II has flashed potential at times but he needs time to develop. He can contribute on special teams for now. Bryan Braman offers outside linebacker depth and can play special teams.
Cary Williams and Bradley Fletcher are the full time starters on the outside for now, but Nolan Carroll II will be pushing Fletcher should he falter. Carroll II figures to also contribute on special teams and as the team's dime cornerback. Brandon Boykin is a stellar slot cornerback. Jaylen Watkins has been up and down as a rookie. With struggles evident, it'll take some time for the versatile Watkins to be ready for action.
Malcolm Jenkins and Nate Allen should form a surprisingly decent secondary. Earl Wolff will rotate in as the team's third safety. Chris Maragos is more of a special teams ace.
ST: (3) 
K: Cody Parkey - Catch the fever!
P: Donnie Jones
LS: Jon Dorenbos
Toughest cuts: RB Henry Josey, WR Arrelious Benn, WR Damaris Johnson, OT Andrew Gardner, ILB Casey Matthews, TE Trey Burton
Phantom IR: S Ed Reynolds II
Practice Squad (10): QB G.J. Kinne, TE Trey Burton, WR Ifeanyi Momah, WR Quron Pratt, RB Henry Josey, S Keelan Johnson, OT Kevin Graf, NT Damion Square, OLB Josh Kaddu, ILB Emmanuel Acho
Now it's YOUR turn. Predict the Eagles final 53 man roster below in the comments.
More from sbnation.com:
- How to watch Eagles vs. Jets
- Sports Illustrated Cover features Nick Foles and Tony Romo
- Five Uniforms Alex Henery Would Look Better In Than An Eagles Uniform
- Chip Kelly's cut process
- Eagles vs. Jets score updates
- Joe Banner, former Eagles president, calls Chip Kelly a Top 5 head coach
- Chip Rules Everything Around Me
- Buy the Eagles Almanac now!