The Eagles added 10 new player this off season and really did a good job filling holes in their roster through free agency, especially on defense. Now that the Eagles are likely done making moves through free agency, it’s time to review the signings, and the trade, the Eagles made this off season and what each players projected role will be for the Eagles next season.
Kenny Phillips, Safety: Kenny Phillips was once one of the top safeties in the league, but now he is a question mark coming off of a knee injury that sidelined him for most of last season. Heading into mini-camps and OTAs, Phillips, if he remains healthy, is the front runner to be one of the Eagles starting safeties next season. Even though he is coming off of an injury, Phillips is the most proven safety on the Eagles roster and he should be one of the starting safeties for the Eagles come week 1.
Patrick Chung, Safety: Chung had a great 2010 campaign, but missed parts of 2011 due to injury and end last season on bad terms with the Patriots last season. Chung has shown he has the ability to be an impactful starter, but he needs to come out and prove to Chip Kelly and Billy Davis that he can still be a solid starter. Like Phillips, Chung is the other front runner for one of the Eagles starting safety jobs heading into Week 1, but he will have to prove to the coaching staff that he deserves it.
Bradley Fletcher, Cornerback: Fletcher, a lot like Chung, had a solid 2010, but got injured in 2011 and lost his starting job to the very talented Janoris Jenkins. Fletcher is one of the better tackling safeties at the cornerback position and as the roster is currently constituted, he is the favorite to be the Eagles number 2 starter heading into week 1, but if the Eagles do decide to select Dee Milliner with the 4th overall pick, Fletcher would probably become a sub-package corner.
Cary Williams, Cornerback: Cary Williams was the number one corner for the Super Bowl Champion Ravens last season and he played a big role in their success in the post season. Williams is a feisty, physical corner who should bring stability to the Eagles secondary. Barring the Eagles trading for Revis in the coming weeks, Williams will most likely be the Eagles number 1 corner Week 1.
Isaac Sopoaga, Nose Tackle: Sopoaga has been the center piece of the 49ers 3-4 defense for many years now and the Eagles are looking for him to do the same in Philly. Sopoaga isn’t a real threat as a pass rusher, but he does posses the ability to crash the pocket and be a force in the run game. Sopoaga will be the Eagles day 1 starting NT and may be asked to mentor a nose tackle that the Eagles draft, if they decide to do so.
Connor Barwin, Outside Linebacker: Barwin had a monster season in 2011, recording 11.5 sacks, but had a mediocre 2012 campaign, as he only recorded 3 sacks. The reason for this is because Barwin was asked to drop into coverage a lot more last season, which was different from his role in 2010, where he was primarily a pass rusher rushing from the open side. Barwin brings a lot of versatility to the Eagles new 3-4 defense and will most likely be there week 1 starter.
James Casey, Tight End: Casey is a very versatile tight end who has the ability to play fullback as well. Casey has good athleticism and speed and will be a very utilized weapon this season. Casey can be an effective pass blocker as well as catch balls, which is why Chip Kelly wanted him apart of his team. Casey may be number 2 on the Eagles depth chart, but Casey will be on the field a lot next season.
Jason Phillips, Linebacker: Phillips does not have much of reputation around the league, but he will enter camp competing for a back role as either a ILB or OLB, but his main contribution will be on special teams. Don’t expect much of an impact from Phillips this season, but he will receive the chance to play a bit.
Donnie Jones, Punter: There is not much to say. Jones has been a Pro Bowler before and will be the Eagles punter come week 1.
Arrelious Benn, Wide Reciever: Ben doesn’t have much of a history in the NFL because of a history with injury. Benn will have a chance to be a the third receiver, but he would have to beat out Jason Avant, but he has a good chance to be a solid situation receiver.