Eagles Roster Analysis: Strongest and Weakest Position Groups


Credit: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

On Saturday, the Philadelphia Eagles cut their roster down to 52 players. The Eagles then added quarterback Stephen Morris yesterday to get the roster up to the final 53. Now the Eagles 53 man roster is complete, we can look at what position groups are the strongest and weakest. When looking at each position group, I will take into account starters and how good the depth is.

Strongest Position Groups 

1) Running BackDeMarco Murray, Ryan Mathews, Darren Sproles, Kenjon Barner

This one is easy.

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The Eagles clearly have the best group of running backs in the NFL. DeMarco Murray was the offensive player of the year last season and has shown he still has some juice left in preseason. I don’t think Mathews will split carries with Murray like some do but he should still get 10 or so carries a game. Sproles is going to be a stud this season, I think he’ll be used a lot as a receiver in the slot as well as catch a lot of balls out the backfield. I’m happy Barner made the roster as he’s explosive on special teams and provides good depth.

2) Defensive LineFletcher Cox, Cedric Thornton, Bennie Logan, Vinny Curry, Brandon Bair, Taylor Hart, Beau Allen

The Eagles are stacked on the defensive line. The 3 starters, Cox, Thornton and Logan are extremely good and only getting better. Curry is a fantastic pass rusher and Beau Allen is a good back at nose tackle. Hart has shown great improvement from last preseason and deserves his spot on the roster. Hart looked lost at times last year in preseason but looked like a different player this year. He might not play much but if he’s required too I have confidence in him and Bair to step in.

3) Inside LinebackerMychal Kendricks, Kiko Alonso, DeMeco Ryans, Jordan Hicks, Brad Jones

The Eagles have two of the best inside linebackers in the NFL in Kendricks and Kiko. Both are fast, athletic, versatile and good in coverage which is hard to find. Ryans probably won’t play a great deal this year but he is still good against the run and provides leadership that every team needs. Hicks has struggled at times in preseason but he’s looked fluid in coverage and good on special teams. Jones provides versatility as he can also play outside linebacker if required, he had a good preseason and deserved to beat out Najee Goode.

Weakest Position Groups 

1) CornerbackByron Maxwell, Nolan Carroll, Eric Rowe, E.J Biggers, Denzel Rice

The Eagles starting cornerbacks are significantly better than last years. It’s not even close, Carroll looks a much better player this year than he did last year and Maxwell should be very good and will clearly be better than Cary Williams. However, after trading Brandon Boykin and losing JaCorey Shepherd to injury, the depth is weak. Eric Rowe has really struggled and right now doesn’t look fluid enough to be a good cornerback, Carroll has easily outplayed him.

I’m not writing off Rowe obviously, rookie cornerbacks always struggle and it’s a position that takes time to learn. However, I do wonder if Chip Kelly is starting to regret not trying Rowe at safety which is where I preferred him when I looked at him before the draft. Rowe isn’t suited to playing in the slot either, meaning the Eagles don’t really have a nickel cornerback. They’ll probably stay in base and limit Rowe’s snap count this season. E.J Biggers didn’t look very good in preseason but Rice has shown flashes and I’m glad he made the team.

2) Offensive LineJason Peters, Lane Johnson, Allen Barbre, Andrew Gardner, Jason Kelce, Matt Tobin, Dennis Kelly, David Molk, Josh Andrews

I have no concerns with the Eagles starting offensive line at all, it looks very strong. Gardner has struggled previously but had a good preseason. The depth is questionable though, especially at tackle. Jason Peters is getting older and played every game last year, that probably won’t happen again. I’m worried about Tobin or Kelly if they have to start at tackle. Tobin looked good in preseason but Kelly and Molk didn’t play great. They probably only got a spot because Julian Vandervelde and John Moffit were awful. Hopefully the starters stay healthy this year unlike last yaer.

3) SafetyMalcolm Jenkins, Walter Thurmond, Chris Maragos, Jerome Couplin

Every team’s depth at safety is awful which is why this isn’t first on the list. Realistically though, if Jenkins or Thurmond get hurt for a long period of time, the Eagles are in big trouble at the position. I’m assuming that Thurmond plays well as based off preseason and training camp reports he looks good at safety but he’s a sure thing to be great. I love Maragos as a special teamer but he isn’t a good safety. I was really surprised that Couplin made the roster but I’m glad he did because he had a great preseason and he offers much more upside than any of the others who were on the roster bubble.

Next: Breaking Down The Final Roster

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