With the Philadelphia Eagles first game of preseason in the books, everyone has quickly updated their predicted 53 man roster. I don’t think too much stock should be put into one preseason game but there is no doubt that some players chances of making the roster increased or decreased after last Sunday.
Rather than predict who will make the roster, I thought I’d look at some players currently predicted to make the roster that I don’t think are deserving of a roster spot. To do this, I will use our wonderful editor here at Inside the Iggles, Anthony DiBona, and look at his recent 53 man roster prediction. Anthony’s prediction is pretty spot on in my opinion, I wouldn’t change much at all. However, I’m not predicting what players won’t make the roster below, I’m discussing players that I don’t think should make the roster.
By far the easiest person to put on this list is Tim Tebow who just simply isn’t very good at quarterback. Tebow showed in one preseason game that he still holds the ball far too long and takes bad sacks. Multiple beat reporters have discussed how holding onto the ball for too long is Tebows biggest problem and he showed it against the Colts.
Chip wants his quarterbacks to release the ball quickly and make sensible decisions. Tebow just doesn’t seem like he can do this and he didn’t even look particularly fast as a runner against the Colts. Matt Barkley looked a lot better against the Colts and he has a much better grasp of the offense. Barkley should be the Eagles third quarterback unless he is traded, in which case the Eagles should look to sign another quarterback rather than keep Tebow.
I get why some people expect Eric Tomlinson to make the roster now after a great game against the Colts and Zach Ertz‘ injury. Tomlinson played well against the Colts backups with 5 catches for 61 yards. I’m still not convinced though that he’s already better than others on the roster bubble, why not practice squad Tomlinson instead?
According to Chip Kelly, Zach Ertz will be back by week one so there shouldn’t be a problem there. I would rather keep four running backs than four tight ends. Kenjon Barner showed how explosive he is and we need depth there. DeMarco Murray is rarely practicing fully, Ryan Matthews is very injury prone and I don’t think Chip wants Darren Sproles running the ball much as he should be used more as a receiver.
Chip values versatility on the offensive line extremely highly and I can see why that might give Vandervelde an edge over David Molk. Molk is pretty versatile too though and he looked good against the Colts and is a better player than Vandervelde in my opinion. The Eagles should keep Molk just in case Kelce goes down, Molk played reasonably well when Kelce went down last year and he’s athletic enough for the Eagles zone blocking scheme.
Molk and Vandervelde both played 61 snaps against the Colts according to Pro Football Focus. PFF gave Molk the best offensive grade with +3.0. On the other hand, Vandervelde had the lowest grade with -5.3, not good. If Saturdays game against the Ravens goes the same way, Molk should keep his place.
The Eagles are stacked at linebacker. Brad Jones is the favorite to make the team as the 5th and final inside linebacker as Najee Goode looked terrible against the Colts, missing 3 tackles. I don’t think the final roster spot is between Jones and Goode though, it should be between Emmanuel Acho and Jones. Emmanuel Acho played really well against the Colts, Jones did too but Acho looked faster and more athletic.
Chip may favor Jones because of his versatility but Acho can also fill in at outside linebacker if absolutely necessary. It also looks like Vinny Curry will play some outside linebacker. Acho has improved every season and he played well in limited time last year. I hope Chip continues to develop him and Brad Jones wasn’t exactly very good last season.
I will openly admit my views on Jaylen Watkins are clouded by my draft evaluation of him. I had Watkins as the worst cornerback that I watched in the 2014 draft and gave him a 7th round/UDFA grade. So far, Watkins has not proven me wrong and he looked bad against the Colts. Watkins missed an easy tackle too allowing the Colts to score. There was talk about Watkins moving to safety and after seeing his tackling against the Colts, its no surprise that hasn’t happened.
I’d much rather see Denzel Rice make the roster who has been making plays all training camp according to reporters. Chip Kelly has spoken previously about how the Eagles wanted to draft Rice with one of their late round picks and it’s easy to see why. Rice looked pretty good against the Colts and well respected evaluators have spoken highly of him including Louis Riddick who attended Eagles practice.
There are five players that I believe shouldn’t make the Eagles’ final 53-man roster. Do you agree or disagree? Let me know in the comments below!
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