Depth Talk

Posted: May 3rd, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 83 Comments »

Yesterday Jimmy Bama put up a good post on the Eagles depth. He took a look at how things have changed since late in the 2012 season. He also ran through the various position groups and how things stack up.

Projecting depth at this time of the year is always tricky. At this time last year, Danny Watkins was a starting OG and a player we had high hopes for. Julian Vandervelde was a player we expected to be a solid backup. And no one had heard of Nate Menkin (except for Ma and Pa Menkin, of course).  Things are even trickier this year because of the coaching change. The new coaches and new systems will have a positive effect on some players and an adverse effect on others.

I want to wait until after the first mini-camp to do a first depth chart. It will help to find out where some guys are lining up.

Here is the roster breakdown I’m expecting for the final 53:

QB – 3

RB – 4

WR – 5

TE – 2

H-back – 2

OL – 9

DL – 7

OLB – 4

ILB – 4

S – 5

CB – 5

STs – 3

Nothing is set in stone. As Chip Kelly likes to say, it is up to the players to set the depth chart. That will also be true with the roster. Kelly will keep the best 53 players. There are minimums at some positions, but you can go light or heavy at many spots, depending on what the coaching staff wants and which players play well.

* * * * *

A lot of people are making a big deal out of the fact the Eagles have 5 QBs. I don’t really see the big deal. GJ Kinne is a camp body. He’s really not in the equation. Is it theoretically possible he could turn out to be the next Kurt Warner? Sure, but that is less likely than Jessica Biel and Kate Beckinsale fighting to the death over me (despite those two, the new Total Recall is not good, by the way). You really have 4 QBs fighting for 3 roster spots. This is exactly what the Eagles had last year (Vick, Foles, Kafka, Edwards).

* * * * *

WR is the group that might be the most competitive. The team will keep 5 or 6. You have DeSean, Maclin, Avant, Riley Cooper, Damaris Johnson, Arrelious Benn, Ifeanyi Momah, Marvin McNutt, and BJ Cunningham battling it out. Momah is the guy that I’m most fascinated by. Avant is the one I’m most curious about. Does he still fit in?

* * * * *

LB is still a mystery. At OLB, the big 3 are good (Barwin, Graham, Cole). After that, who knows.  Phillip Hunt and Everette Brown are not natural fits for the 3-4. The Eagles brought in Trevor Scott for a visit yesterday. Chris McCoy is a potential backup, but is more of a longshot.

There are plenty of bodies at ILB. Now it is a matter of seeing who can play well and earn a backup spot. If the guys don’t impress early on, the Eagles could bring in a free agent.

* * * * *

DL is somewhat of a mystery. We project Cox, Thornton, and Sopoaga as the starters. Bennie Logan will have a spot. For now, we’ll leave Vinny Curry as a DE. That’s 5 guys. The other 2 spots would be between Antonio Dixon, Paul Kruger, Ronnie Cameron, Clifton Geathers, David King, and Damion Square.

* * * * *

Safety and CB are going to be very competitive areas. Kurt Coleman started 27 games over the last 2 years and is now the #4 Safety, at best. Chung, Allen, and Phillips are ahead of him. Earl Wolff is there to compete with him. And the tough part here is that Colt Anderson is really the #5 Safety. He’ll be active and play because of STs so there are really only 4 open spots. Coleman might be on the outside looking in.

We know the top 3 CBs, but after that, things are wide open. Could this be the year that Trevard Lindley actually makes the team and sticks? Curtis Marsh is no longer keeping a spot because he was a 3rd round pick. He must earn that spot. Brandon Hughes was a favorite of the previous staff, but the new coaches might prefer Lindley’s size. Eddie Whitley is a S/CB tweener and that versatility could help him. I think Jordan Poyer has an excellent chance to make the team, if he does his part on the field.

* * * * *

Mike Vick and Shady McCoy raced. Vick won. To some, this was a big deal. Shady has never been fast. When Vick was in his prime, he was one of the fastest players in the history of the NFL. Vick has slowed down over the years, but he still should be faster than Shady. If Vick outruns DeSean, then we’ve got a story. Or if Nick Foles beats Shady in a race…STORY!!!

* * * * *

Just a reminder…make sure to check out EaglesBlog from time to time. I’m still posting regular links and updates over there.

* * * * *

Sheil Kapadia has a couple of good items on Matt Barkley and Bennie Logan.

_


  • GermanEagle

    Don’t try too hard to make the Vick story a non-story. I rather have a QB outrun any RB on a team. That said. I am glad to have Vick on the Eagles.

    • TommyLawlor

      It’s a funny anecdote, but too many people were surprised by it. Shady has never been a speedster. He’s a 4.50 guy. That’s okay, but nothing special.

      • GermanEagle

        Fair enough hairy muff. I was aware of Shady’s (lack of) straight line speed. However I find it still encouraging to have a QB outrun a future borderline HoF RB on our team. ;)

        • A_T_G

          I just want one that can throw him the ball on time and in stride.

      • Anders

        Some people cough Jimmy Cough have insinuated that Vick was slower than a DE who runs a 4.75

        • xeynon

          That’s ridiculous, but there is a difference between playing speed and track speed, and there’s no question Vick has lost some of the former. He got run down from behind by defensive linemen several times last year. That never used to happen to him.

          • Anders

            I only remember the Kroy Biermann example and wouldnt a 4.75 DE also run slower than that in game? There is so many reasons why a player might not run as fast as in a 40 yard dash. Have a he lost a step? yes, but based on pure speed he is still faster than 4.5 unless you think McCoy have also lost a step already

          • GEAgle

            Last year, during the second half of the season I thought Vick’s playing speed was significantly slower..but it could have just been the result of a banged up body. Took a ton of hits the first half of the year

      • Ark87

        I wish they would measure top speed in the combine. Shady would be a on pace to be a first-ballot HOF if he could cash in all those break away runs with touchdowns. I feel like I have tons of memories of him getting run down inside the 10 after a 40-50 yard scamper.

        • Anders

          Never players who run at the combine also got tracked their 10 and 20 yard splits

          • Ark87

            I suspect Shady had a very impressive 10 yard.

          • deg0ey

            Not an unreasonable guess. Per nfldraftscout (not perfect) Shady ran a 4.50 with a 1.52 10-yard split and a 2.59 20-yard split.

            Compare that with Adrian Peterson who had a 4.40 with a 1.53 10-yard split and a 2.58 20-yard split.

            Or to phrase that another way, they’re pretty much even over the first 15-20 yards and then AP starts to pull away.

  • ACViking

    T-Law:

    When you lay out the players this way, I’m reminded that Chipper and Roseman still have a lot of work to do to improve the roster’s overall talent and its depth. Especially, depth for the (still secret) systems Chipper will use.

    In a word . . . San Francisco we’re not.

    Write it down now: Ifeanyi Momah – Pro Bowl. Seriously, he may be the most intriguing prospect on the roster, as you said.

    Oh, to have a WR like Harold Carmichael again . . . .

    • T_S_O_P

      In reference to my last comment re 3 TEs, if Momah makes the roster he could alleviate issues of carrying only 4 TE/H-Bs

      • http://www.insidetheiggles.com/ CalSFro

        I was gonna respond to you above and say this same thing.

        I think Momah, Benn and even Avant to a certain extent could do a little moving back and forth between WR and TE. Avant last year would sometimes line up in an H-back type position and block down or bleed out into the flat.

    • Iskar36

      I’ll be honest, I think I am ready to pencil in Ifeanyi Momah as favorite for the Nate Ilaoa award. He has intriguing measurables and I know I will be curious to see how he progresses, but I’d like to see him make the team before I am considering him even a significant contributor on offense, let alone Pro Bowl.

      • xeynon

        If a guy who’s 6’7″ and runs a 4.45 isn’t in the NFL already, chances are despite his measurables he’s not a very good football player. I will consider it a pleasant surprise if Momah is anything more than a camp body.

        • Iskar36

          To be fair to Momah, he had a weird path to the NFL. He tried to get another year of eligibility in college but was denied by the NCAA. He never really went through the NFL draft process. Still, I agree with you for the most part. He isn’t a guy that teams seemed to be desperate to sign, and while I believe the Eagles gave him a bit extra incentive in his contract, he still seems like a long shot to make the team.

          • GEAgle

            Im Most excited about Arrelius. I think he can become a serious steal if he can stay healthy. I will be shocked if he doesnt make a roster. Benn has the potential to make Maclin expendable

          • ACViking

            Absolutely love the (inexpensive) move to get Benn.

            Agree that he’s a very interesting player to watch.

          • Steven Dileo

            I like your enthusiasm, but you should temper your expectations

        • Neil

          Momah was an unproved, raw player coming out college who had only really played one game totally concentrating on being a WR. And in that game he tore his ACL. Between the lack of experience and the injury concerns, it’s not surprising he wasn’t picked up. THEN he ran 4.45 on his completely rehabbed leg and looked good running routes and catching, and I think multiple teams were interested. I wouldn’t be surprised at all if he made the team and very surprised if he didn’t at least make the practice squad because the eagles have already guaranteed a practicesquad salary.

          • xeynon

            I’m not saying the guy has no shot. Just that it’s unlikely a player with his profile and college production ever amounts to anything in the NFL, notwithstanding his physical gifts. I am certainly fine with the team signing him and giving him a shot in TC; I just don’t think it’s smart to expect anything from him.

        • Steven Dileo

          Yeah, James Hardy was 6’6,ran a 4.4, and had a pretty decent vertical leap. You’d think a guy with his physical tools would at least be able to make the bottom end of a 53 man roster. He’s been out of a job for 3 years.

          • xeynon

            Matt Jones, Clarence Moore, etc. There are lots o guys who fit this profile who never amount to anything as NFL receivers.

  • GermanEagle

    OT: let’s pretend the Eagles under CK will stink up the joint and finish at 1-15. Who would you rather take with the 1st pick OVR in next year’s draft: Clowney or Bridgewater?!

    • T_S_O_P

      If we are 1-15 because the defence stunk up the joint, then Clowney, if the O stunk up the joint, then Bridgewater.

    • holeplug

      QB >>>>>>>>>>>> DE

    • xeynon

      Clowney. Bridgewater is a decent QB prospect. Clowney is the best DE prospect in a decade if not more. You don’t pass on a guy like that.

      • GEAgle

        whenever Clowney is mentioned, I get all tingly inside

      • Anders

        Clowney is the best DE prospect since Mario Williams. Lets not get overhand with how good Clowney is.

        If you have the chance to get a franchise QB you get him and Bridgewater look like a future one

        • xeynon

          Most of the scouts I have read think Clowney is better than Williams. Granted there is a huge amount of hype surrounding him and we have to see how he plays as a sophomore now that the bull’s eye is on him, but if he really is a Michael Strahan or Reggie White type end I think you take him over a guy who could be a franchise quarterback but is not in the Luck/Peyton Manning class as a QB prospect. Bridgewater could as easily turn out to be David Carr or Alex Smith as Matt Ryan.

          • Anders

            And cant Clowney just as likely turn out to be a total bum?

          • xeynon

            Of course. He could be Courtney Brown. I’m just saying if there is one prospect whose projected upside is “HoF defensive end”, and another whose projected upside is “top 10 QB”, I’ll take the defensive end.

        • James Adair

          I like to think of Clowney as a 6’6″ 240 lb. Brian Dawkins.

    • http://twitter.com/alex_karklins Alex Karklins

      Clowney, then Mariota in the second. Boom.

    • Steven Dileo

      If you gave me a choice between DeMarcus Ware or Colin Kapaernick, I would go with Colin Kapaernick. The QB position is that important. I’d take Bridgewater.

      I don’t know how good either player is. The only way I would take a defensive player over a QB is if that player is the next Reggie White or Lawrence Taylor

      • GEAgle

        you should temper your expectations for BridgewATER

    • GvilleEagleFan

      My first exposure to Bridgewater was watching him destroy my beloved Gators in a bowl game they clearly thought was scheduled for some other time. Has he been dominant against other top competition? Not to be a UF apologist, but the Gators clearly didn’t come to play in that game (tons of penalties, 1st play was a pick-six, lots of youth starting on defense). My feeling is that we could get a king’s ransom for a 4-3 team (not in our division) that would want to trade up for Clowney and we could move down for our QB.

    • James Adair

      Clowney, and it isn’t close.

  • T_S_O_P

    If Kelly is running more 3 TE sets than usual because of the versatility of Casey and Ertz, is 4 enough?

    • http://twitter.com/DJPalefaceSD DJ Paleface

      Probably, because some can play or be listed as FB or H back as Tommy’s list says.

  • http://twitter.com/BBobservers Reagles

    Exactly on Vick/Shady. If Shady were faster, he’d be right there with AD challenging for 2000 yds. We’ll have to accept him as just a top 5 RB in the league.

    P.S. Joe Kruger, not Paul. Don’t think Paul has to worry about challenging for a roster spot for a few years.

    • GEAgle

      would be very surpried if Kruger didnt make our roster

      • Steven Dileo

        He’s a 7th round pick. Guys drafted in the 5th-7th rounds typically have a slim chance of making the roster.

        • GEAgle

          really? I had no idea…Im not talking about a 5th or 7th round pick, im talking specifically about Joe Kruger, someone I happen to believe in like a 4th round pick…but you have every right to be skeptical. to each his own

  • D-von

    I got a couple of questions about the roster breakdown. Do you see the Eagles moving Momah to TE to compete with Harbor? He has the size and agility. Is the Long Snapper a necessity for ST? Could the eagles take a backup C/G to be the LS? Could Chip roll with 2 QBs on the roster instead of 3?

    • Iskar36

      A guy who can play both LS and a position on offense or defense would be preferable, but there is really no one on the roster right now that has experience long snapping to my knowledge. You don’t want a guy who isn’t a good, reliable LS to take that job since any mistake in that process is likely to lead to a turnover. Since Dorenbos has been very reliable in the past, I think his spot is pretty safe since we didn’t bring in any competition.

      • D-von

        I agree. Plus the LS might have to tackle on Punt returns, so a 300 lbs body is not preferable

      • jshort

        There has to be an emergency LS. Anyone know who that is or was? JD was hobbling around one game last year, if my memory serves me right, They should bring in some competition, Apollo the magician from Mind games would be my personal choice.

        • xeynon

          If I’m not mistaken Celek is the emergency long snapper.

          • Iskar36

            Maybe we should have resigned Akers. He could have been the long snapper and the backup fg kicker. i’m just not sure I have how he would do both on the same play figured out just yet:

            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-oIzsvNuxPk

          • http://www.facebook.com/justin.sengstock.7 Justin Sengstock

            Akers is a frickin’ Jedi.

    • http://twitter.com/DJPalefaceSD DJ Paleface

      I don’t remember seeing a roster with 2 QB’s. You have a starter, a number 2, then the emergency guy. Pretty sure if #3 steps on the field then #1 can not come back for the rest of that game.

      This is why Vick went right to #2 when he got here so that he could come in on the wildcat, but #1 and #2 was really Kolb and Kafka (if I remember that all correctly).

      • DaO_Z

        That was the old rule, when the 3rd qb didn’t coun’t against the gameday roster. Now they increased the game day roster, and the 3rd qb takes a spot just like anyone else.

      • Steag209

        The giants do it every year

      • D-von

        Didn’t Dallas only have 2 Qbs last year? I could be wrong

        • http://twitter.com/DJPalefaceSD DJ Paleface

          Possible, but extremely irresponsible. A QB’s drive/game/season/career can end in an instant.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Brian-Pillion/1007742 Brian Pillion

    I also wonder about the safety of Dorenbos’ roster spot. I’m pretty sure we checked out several players with long snapping experience in the offseason (I believe I read somewhere that Casey has some), and with Chip’s overall focus on versatility, keeping three specialists seems less written in stone. On a similar note, as much as I love Colt (and I attend his alma mater), is there any chance that our across the board focus on special teams talent will put him on the bubble?

  • Ark87

    When you lay out that list of WR’s, I can definitely see why you worry about Avant. Previously I figured he is valuable enough in STs, willing enough to block as a WR, and atleast our 5th best WR, so unless he is too expensive, no way we cut him. But when you look at that list, you can definitely see a philosophical shift in WR personnel.

  • James

    I like the possibility of Momah moving to H-back role to challenge Harbor. It makes the most sense especially with the WR’s: Maclin, Jackson, Avant, Benn, and Cooper as the 5 and a potential 6th wildcard in McNutt(good blocking skills).

    • Neil

      I think Momah is too tall and unskilled as a blocker, especially as a lead blocker from the backfield, to realistically play h-back.

  • GEAgle

    Baldi is talking about all the freakish things we will do with Lane. He says to expect to see Lane and Peters lined up side by side in unblanaced formations at times, seeing those two lined up outside the numbers at time..Baldi talked about watching the Fiesta Bowl, and seeing some crazy play he had never seen before in his life…so he texted Howie to ask him about the play…Howie responded….”ITS COMING”….anyone shed any light into these crazy formations?

    • xeynon

      I can see them doing that. Those two are two super athletic blockers and could do a lot of damage leading the way on a screen pass or sweep play.

      • GEAgle

        sooo many possibilities with athletes like that…..so happy thaqt we didnt end up with Fisher or Joekel

  • GEAgle

    I really like our CB depth believe it or not. People are so quick to point out all the yards Cary Williams gave up, but that kid is not very experienced. He was basically learning on the fly. Isnt even close to a finished product yet..We could see him improve significantly over the next two years…Fletcher is under rated in terms of cover ability, but Knee’s are a concern. If He injures a knee again, its probably Over(same with Phillips)…Can Poyer fill in at outside corner If Fltch’s knee’s dont hold up?..Wonder if we will ever find out what Marsh is?
    ….
    I really like the potential of our 2015 defensive Line(and its future depth if players reach most of their ceilings)..but I worry about it in 2013. People talk about Sopo’s underwhelming 2012 production, but when I recently watched the 49ers playoff run, he made atleast 1 big play in each game, that I didnt think he still had in him. So, he could be capable for us on 1st and 2nd down..I have a difficult time trying to figure out how good Thorton can be. Vinny is an enigma, and Krugs needs time..Benny is an X factor…Im sure he is penciled in to backup Sopo, but I wouldnt be surprised to see him play along side Sopo and Fletch as a rookie..
    ….
    How good our Safeties will be is a huge Question mark, but atleast we have alot of game experience at that posiotion

  • ACViking

    Re: WR Ifeanyi Momah in the Pro Bowl.

    I was kidding!!!

    If he makes the roster that’d be great. Gives Chipper another *big* RZ target.

    As for his path to the NFL, the kid blew-out his knee his Sr. year (2012) — and so late in the season that he wasn’t well enough to participate in last year’s Combine or Pro Day.

    Long shot. No doubt.

    But someone with those measureables . . . It’s the smart move to sign him.

  • EaglesJRL

    Can’t they possibly keep an extra safety and designate Colt as one of the 3 STers as that is far and away his primary responsibility?

    • DaO_Z

      If you’re counting him as one of the three ST’s; is he kicking, punting, or long snapping?

      • EaglesJRL

        Forgot about the long snapper I thought he was designated as a backup TE or H-Back

  • ACViking

    Re: Momah as a TE or H-back . . . History Repeating Itself?

    Maybe Chipper’s plan with Momah is make him a TE — at least for passing downs, unless he’s a freakish blocker — or at least a Marques Colston slot-type receiver (Coltson was college TE at Hostra). Momah seems like the kid could carry 250-255 lbs and not lost more than a step or so, which isn’t bad given his reported 4.45 speed.

    Momah’s signing has prompted some Harold Carmichael comparisons (HC should — given the era in which he played — be a HOFer). What a weapon HC was down in the RZ.

    Back in the 1971 draft, HC was an Eagles’ 7th Rd pick from Southern U (he’d be late 6th now with the addition of expansion teams TB and Seattle in ’76).

    When Carmichael joined the Eagles, the O-Coordinator was a HOF WR named Tom Fears — who’d been fired in the middle of the ’70 season form his job as the Saints’ inaugural head coach.

    Fears moved Carmichael inside to TE as a rookie, effectively replacing 1970 1st Round Pick Steve Zabel, an All American TE from U-Okla — who’d been moved to OLB after just 1 season as a TE.

    [Zabel was the 6th overall pick in the '70 draft. The Steelers chose Terry Bradshaw first overall. In taking Zabel 6th, the Eagles passed on future All Pros like DT Mike Reid from Penn State (Bengals), DE Cedrick Hardeman from North TX State (49ers) where he played along side future HOF DT Joe Greene, WR Kenny Burrough of TX Southern (Saints). And -- maybe the first and among the best true deep-threat TEs in NFL history -- Raymond Chester of Morgan State (Raiders).]

    The Eagles starting TE in ’71 was a journeyman named Gary Ballman (who’d also spent some time as a WR).

    Carmichael’d had a great training camp splitting time at TE and WR. There was actually talk of Carmichael replacing diminutive WR Harold Jackson — who was coming off an All Pro season . . . which tells you all you need to know about Eagles’ management back then!

    In the 10th game of the ’71 season, against the Redskins’ “Over the Hill Gang”, Carmichael tore up his knee. He came back in ’72 as strictly a WR, where he backed up All Pro WR H-Jax and the declining Ben Hawkins . . . the guy who never buckled his chin strap.

    Wouldn’t it be great to have a 6’7″ 245lb WR in the slot who presented a legitimate target . . . much like the Saints’ 6’4″ 225 lb Colston, but bigger.

    Long shot for sure.

    But you never know.

    That little Eagles WR Harold Jackson — from Jackson State acquired in a trade from the Rams for RB Izzy Lang — ended up spending 15 years in the NFL.

    • Anders

      Great info as always. I think Momah got a legit shot to make the team

    • GEAgle

      yeah man, the oldschool intel you provide is always awesome. good stuff

  • Mitchell

    We can assume that Bennie Logan will be better than dixon yes? So is Logan our nose for the future after the “Soap” leaves?

    • xeynon

      He’ll have to put on 15-20 pounds but may be able to do it (Sopoaga did – he was the same size as Logan is now when he entered the league).

    • Neil

      That seems to be the likeliest possibility. Logn mentioned that the staff wants him to get up to around 320 at some point, which is a good weight for a shade nose.

      • GEAgle

        I think he will certainly take over at NT when Sopo moves on.but I wouldnt be surprised If Logan leaps over Curry,Thorton at some point during the year…by midseason we could see a 3man line of Cox, Sopo and Logan on 1st and 2nd down…but I do think he was drafted to be our future Shade NT….I think he has been under rated by Philadelphia

        • Mitchell

          Does he have the potential to be a force like Wilfork? I know it’s fun to project but Logan cox and curry on the line? That frees up s lot of space for lbs

          • Neil

            Bennie Logan wasn’t drafted to be a force. He was drafted to be a solid player in the middle of the defense and a team leader. He would have been picked in the first round if we should expect more than that. He’s also more the type of player who shoots gaps with his quickness rather than controls OL with his strength.

          • GEAgle

            You are selling his potential short!!! He was one of the strongest Dlineman at the combine, long arms, short burst quickness…Doubt he will be Wilfork…but Im not about to start putting limitations on a kid with that kind of work ethic

  • phillychuck

    What happened to Jimmy’s post?

  • Mark Frey

    Link is no good, Tommy.

  • Thomas Fox

    G.J. Kinney turning into the next Kurt Warner. I think he REALLY has a legitimate shot at it. The “You can find the Wonder Bread on isle 5 ma’am” version of Warner anyway ……. :))