Philadelphia Eagles: Looking at Boom-or-Bust Players for 2012

Brad Gagnon@Brad_Gagnon NFL National ColumnistAugust 28, 2012

FOXBORO, MA - AUGUST 20:   Michael Vick #7 of the Philadelphia Eagles takes a knee after he was hit on a play in the first quarter against the New England Patriots during a preseason game at Gillette Stadium on August  20, 2012 in Foxboro, Massachusetts. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)
Jim Rogash/Getty Images

For any team to be successful in any given year, they need boom-or-bust players to boom rather than bust. We've combed through the Philadelphia Eagles' roster in an attempt to identify the key players who are sitting on that bubble heading into the 2012 regular season.


Michael Vick

Isn't Vick, like, the ultimate boom-or-bust player each and every year in this league? Is he going to stay healthy or is he going to miss six games due to six different injuries? Is he going to throw stupid picks or is he going to air out beauties to DeSean Jackson?

We just don't know what to expect from Vick on a yearly—or even weekly—basis. He'll be a boom-or-bust champion for the remainder of his career.

Boom or bust? I hate to say it, but I think he's closer to bust than boom. Again, Vick's pretty unpredictable, but he's not off to a good start. He'll inevitably miss some time, but how much?


Danny Watkins

The 2011 first-round pick had an up-and-down rookie year, but it was more up than down at the tail end of the season. That bodes well for Watkins to keep improving in his first full season as a starter, and it's good to see that he's been performing well in camp and the preseason. Still, at this juncture of his career, he could go either way.

Boom or bust? Boom. He won't become an All-Pro guard over night, but Watkins has the talent and the support to emerge in a big way in 2012.


Jason Kelce

He's actually in a fairly similar boat to Watkins, but Kelce wasn't quite as smooth as a rookie. The 2011 sixth-round pick struggled as a run blocker in his first season, but now he has a proper offseason under his belt and has taken on added responsibilities as a guy making calls at the line. 

Still, Pro Football Focus rated him 33rd out of 35 qualifying centers last season, so the 24-year-old has a long way to go.

Boom or bust? Kelce might struggle more than some would like this year, so I guess I'm leaning toward bust. That said, this isn't a permanent label. Year three could be bigger for him.


Brandon Graham

The third-year defensive end will quite literally be forever labelled as a bust if he can't step up and become an important cog in the rotation this year. But if Graham reaches his full potential in his third season, he'll be a starter Week 1 next September. 

Boom or bust? Boom. Not a big boom, but a boom. He's fully healthy now and has too much talent to be held back. I think Jim Washburn and Juan Castillo know that.


DeMeco Ryans

Ryans comes to Philly with inflated expectations. He's always been steady and fairly reliable, but the team's new middle linebacker was never a playmaker, and he's struggled to make a major impact thus far. 

Boom or bust? We've already seen him maximizing his potential, but can he regain that form? It's been a couple of years for Ryan, and he hasn't been the same since tearing his ACL in Houston. I'm leaning toward boom.


Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie

A practice and camp superstar and a tease early in his career, DRC has yet to live up to expectations in Philly. He might be having his best summer yet, which is saying a lot, but there are still questions surrounding his ability to lock down on wide receivers as well as his toughness (or lack thereof). 

This is a contract year for Rodgers-Cromartie. It's now or never.

Boom or bust? Boom. The dude will still make mistakes here and there, but I also expect him to make quite a few big plays in his first year as a starter on the outside.


Nate Allen

In 2011, Allen had a better year than he was given credit for. And the trajectory of his career thus far indicates that the third season could be a breakout year for the former second-round pick. Unless he proves to be a major liability in coverage, he isn't likely to bust, but no one can tell if he has a boom in him.

Boom or bust? I'm leaning toward boom, but there's a chance he plateaus.


Kurt Coleman

That's right. Seventy-five percent of the Eagles' starting secondary is on the boom-or-bust bubble. Coleman was probably going to start the year on a short leash after struggling to contribute effectively in 2011, but he enters his third season as an unquestioned starter because Jaiquawn Jarrett and OJ Atogwe have failed to deliver.

Boom or bust? I just don't know if Coleman's that good. He has a nose for the ball and some playmaking ability, but I think he'll probably bust as one of the weakest links in the starting lineup.


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