A couple of new developments in the last week have shaken up the Philadelphia Eagles’ roster some and some positions that seemed pretty cut and dried are now up in the air.
The position getting the most attention, as always, is quarterback, where rookie Nick Foles has been sensational in two preseason games. Granted, they’re just exhibitions and much of the time Foles was playing with and against deep reserves. But he showed command in the huddle, poise in the pocket and a strong arm that can zip passes into tight places and those are all things that coaches love.
Each week during the preseason, RapidReports will take a position-by-position look at the players we think are likely to make the final cut to 53 on Aug. 31.
Stock rising: QB Nick Foles will get better test Friday night vs. Browns’ starters, but now he’s being considered for No. 2 spot. DT Cedric Thornton -- he has two sacks in two exhibitions and has looked strong throughout camp. Still a long shot, but might be on opening day roster if Mike Patterson isn’t ready after offseason brain surgery. RB Chris Polk – the rookie free agent ran hard vs. Pats and has done a good job on blitz pickup, the hardest adjustment for any rookie.
Stock falling: S Jaiquawn Jarrett still looks lost and he hardly played against the Patriots because of reported sore hamstring; QB Mike Kafka – While he sits and mends, Foles might be stealing his job. LB Casey Matthews also has seen his stock fall because you can’t make the club in the tub and a high ankle sprain could derail his bid for roster spot.
QB -- In: (3) Michael Vick, Mike Kafka, Nick Foles. Out: Trent Edwards. Analysis: Stay tuned -- if Foles keeps playing the way he has in first two preseason games, coach Andy Reid may decide he’s good enough to be No. 2 instead of Kafka. And Edwards has looked like a steady veteran in exhibitions, so Kafka could be odd man out.
RB -- In: (3) LeSean McCoy, Dion Lewis, Bryce Brown. Out: Chris Polk. Analysis: Polk has impressed the coaches with his toughness and they may decide to keep him on the 53-man roster, since he would probably be signed off the practice squad by another team. Hard to see Eagles keeping four RBs and suddenly Dion Lewis isn’t the lock he was just a week or two ago.
FB -- In (1): Stanley Havili. Out: Emil Igwenagu. Analysis: The FB doesn’t get used a lot in the offense except as a blocker for LeSean McCoy and occasional receiver. Havili served time on the practice squad last season and earned the No.1 job. And since the Eagles will carry only one FB on the active roster, there’s a good chance Igwenagu could end on the practice squad, too, in case Havili gets injured.
WR -- In (6): Jeremy Maclin, DeSean Jackson, Jason Avant, Riley Cooper, Damaris Johnson, Marvin McNutt: Out: Chad Hall, McKay Jacobson, Mardy Gilyard, Brian Hernandez, Jamel Hamler, Tiger Jones, Elvis Akpa. Analysis: Damaris Johnson wasn’t drafted, but he makes the team because of his return ability. But several talented young WRs will get caught up in a numbers game. At the least, players like Gilyard, Hamler and Akpa could end up on somebody’s practice squad. And one of them could make roster because Riley Cooper has been sidelined almost all of camp with a broken collarbone and that could end up costing him a job.
TE -- In (3): Brent Celek, Clay Harbor, Brett Brackett. Out: Chase Ford, Emil Igwenagu. Analysis: Harbor continues to shine in camp and the preseason games and he will be given a bigger role in the offense this year. Brackett has played well as a blocker and a receiver and he can also play special teams and if the Eagles keep three TEs he will be one of them.
OL -- In (9): Todd Herremans, Evan Mathis, Jason Kelce, Danny Watkins, King Dunlap, Demetress Bell, Julian Vandervelde, Dennis Kelly, Dallas Reynolds. Out: Mike Gibson, D.J. Jones, Steve Vallos, Alfred McCullough, Brandon Washington, Thomas Welch. Analysis: Dunlap is still starting over Bell at LT and it’s possible someone like Gibson could come on strong in the final weeks of camp, but for the most part, what you see now is what you’ll get on opening day. Kelly has played well for a rookie and has a job wrapped up and Reynolds gets the final spot because he can back up both G and C.
DL -- In (9): Trent Cole, Jason Babin, Cullen Jenkins, Fletcher Cox, Derek Landri, Antonio Dixon, Brandon Graham, Vinny Curry, Phillip Hunt. Out: Darryl Tapp, Frank Trotter, Monte Taylor, Cedric Thornton, Ollie Ogbu, Xavier Brown. Analysis: This is the deepest and most talented area on the team and some good players aren’t going to make it, including Tapp. It appears Patterson won’t be ready for opener and will start season on PUP list, which should open the door for Hunt, who has played as well or better than any d-lineman in camp.
LB -- In (6) DeMeco Ryans, Brian Rolle, Mychal Kendricks, Jamar Chaney, Akeem Jordan, Casey Matthews. Out: Keenan Clayton, Ryan Rau, Adrian Moten, Monte Simmons. Analysis: The starting lineup seems set with Ryans, Rolle and Kendricks, and Chaney’s versatility makes him the first man off the bench. Matthews didn’t have a great rookie season last year, but he’s also played all three LB positions and that could him a roster spot, although he needs to return to practice soon from high ankle sprain or coaches could run out of patience.
DB -- In (10): Nnamdi Asomugha, Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, Nate Allen, Kurt Coleman, Joselio Hanson, Curtis Marsh, Brandon Boykin, Oshiomogho Atogwe, Colt Anderson, Jaiquawn Jarrett. Out: Trevard Lindley, Cliff Harris, Brandon Hughes, Kevin Thomas, Phillip Thomas, Wade Bonner, Tom Nelson. Analysis: The wild card here is Colt Colt Anderson, who still hasn’t practiced in camp after last year’s knee injury. But he’s close to returning and he makes an impact on special teams just about every game and that will earn him another season’s worth of paychecks.
ST -- In (3): Alex Henery, Mat McBriar, Jon Dorenbos. Out: Chas Henry. Analysis: The only competition is at punter and the Eagles seem to like McBriar’s experience more than Henry’s potential. However, that could change over the course of the preseason.
For more up-to-the-minute news and analysis on the Philadelphia Eagles from blogger Kevin Noonan, follow @CBSSportsNFLPHI.