Predicting Philadelphia Eagles' 1st Wave of Roster Cuts
This is the most intense time of training camp for the Philadelphia Eagles. With 90 players fighting for 53 spots, there are dozens of football players who will see their dreams squashed within the next few weeks.
But realistically, there aren't 90 players fighting for 53 spots. There are about 35 to 40 players whose spots are all but guaranteed, meaning there are approximately 55 players fighting for 15 spots. Those aren't good odds, especially for undrafted rookie free agents competing against third- or fourth-year veterans.
The following slides will highlight the players most likely to be cut during the first wave of roster cuts, which happens in about three weeks. After these 15 players (likely) are cut, the roster will be down to just 75 players before the team eventually picks its 53.
Sure to Be Cut
G.J. Kinne, QB
For G.J. Kinne to make the 53-man roster, he would need a virtual miracle. Nick Foles earned a Pro Bowl selection last season. Mark Sanchez, despite his struggles as a starter for the Jets, is a solid backup, and Matt Barkley is a step above Kinne with a year of experience under his belt. The Eagles don't need to cut Kinne this early, but there's really no point in keeping him around.
Quron Pratt, WR
Quron Pratt has made some plays during training camp, but the undrafted free agent is a total long shot to make the roster. The Eagles have five or six receivers who could be cut early, but Pratt is the player whose name I have heard the least.
Kevin Graf, OT
An undrafted rookie out of USC, Kevin Graf's chances of making the roster probably increased when Lane Johnson was suspended for the season's first four games, but he's been practically invisible throughout camp.
Alejandro Villanueva, DE
Although his story is fantastic, Alejandro Villanueva has absolutely no chance of making the roster. He's the defensive version of Ifeanyi Momah, a camp favorite with little football experience who's been dominated throughout training camp by real football players.
Josh Kaddu, OLB
A fifth-round pick by the Miami Dolphins in 2012, Josh Kaddu was signed by the Eagles to a futures contract back in January. But he hasn't stood out in camp, and he's buried behind some impressive depth players.
Most Likely Cut
David Fluellen, RB
The best-case scenario for David Fluellen is a spot on the practice squad. Chip Kelly endorsed Matthew Tucker as the team's fourth running back, saying Fluellen and Henry Josey are competing to unseat him.
Karim Barton, G
He's had a remarkable journey to the NFL, but Karim Barton hasn't stood out in camp and can only play guard, as opposed to a player like Andrew Gardner, who can play multiple positions on the offensive line.
Wade Keliikipi, NT
The battle for the backup nose tackle spot is between Beau Allen, the team's seventh-round pick, and Damion Square, an undrafted free agent who played sparingly last season. Wade Keliikipi is just a camp body.
Keelan Johnson, S
Signed off the San Francisco 49ers' practice squad last season, Keelan Johnson is a long shot to make the roster. He's buried on the depth chart behind Malcolm Jenkins, Nate Allen, Earl Wolff, Ed Reynolds and Chris Maragos. His offseason arrest won't help either, and it's the reason I have him getting cut in the first wave of roster cuts.
Daytawion Lowe, S
Like Johnson, Daytawion Lowe is buried on the depth chart, although I'd list him behind Johnson. He's just a camp body and the best-case scenario is a spot on the practice squad, but even that seems unlikely.
On the Bubble
Ifeanyi Momah, WR
He's a mile ahead of where he was last season, but Momah is still a long shot to make the roster. Four wide receivers are locks to make the team (Jeremy Maclin, Riley Cooper, Jordan Matthews and Josh Huff) and veterans Brad Smith, Jeff Maehl, Damaris Johnson and Arrelious Benn are all firmly ahead of Momah on the depth chart.
He's going to need to continue making plays during camp, and he's going to have to show off that impressive size and speed during actual preseason games.
B.J. Cunningham, WR
B.J. Cunningham has had a solid camp, even making the play of the day Sunday on a deep throw from Barkley. But like Momah, there's just too much competition at the wide receiver position. He's been "on again and off again" on the practice squad for the last two seasons, but Cunningham hasn't been able to show that he has NFL-worthy talent yet.
Blake Annen, TE
One of the big questions on the roster is whether the team will keep three or four tight ends. If the Eagles choose to keep a fourth, it'll likely be between Blake Annen, Emil Igwenagu and Trey Burton for the final spot. Annen certainly hasn't helped his case so far in camp.
Davon Morgan, S
As previously noted, the Eagles have a number of safeties competing for a roster spot. Davon Morgan has showed some pass-coverage skills during camp, but his best-case scenario is probably a spot on the practice squad, where he'll have a full year to work on learning the team's defense.
Carey Spear, K
There's really no reason to pretend that Carey Spear has any chance of beating out Alex Henery for the spot of kicker. He's been consistently underperforming throughout camp.