Guessing the Final Cuts

The 'day of reckoning' is less than 72 hours away.

Rather than the standard 22 players to be cut, the Eagles need only cut 21. Tackle Lane Johnson will be put on the suspension list, which won't count him against the 53-man squad.

That much is known. A handful of Eagles are certain goners come Saturday afternoon. Picking precisely which 21 will be shown the door is far from an exact science.

I can only speculate as much as anyone else, so here goes: my predictions for the 21 Eagles to be excised come Saturday, August 30.

QB G.J. Kinne

His late drive against the Bears showed considerable awareness and poise, but Matt Barkley's surged ahead in their battle for third-string. Unless Kinne puts on the performance of his life against the Jets, don't count on him making the cut.

RB Chris Polk

Surprise! Polk's absence due to a torn hamstring opened the door for Matthew Tucker to shine as a game-breaking power back. Some think Polk will make it as a trusted incumbent, but with Tucker, I'd ride the hot hand. Er, feet.

RB Kenjon Barner

Barner's kick return skills give him a dimension worth holding onto, but it's hard to ignore Henry Josey's quality preseason. You can always add Barner to the practice squad, but Josey's eligible as well. Safe bet that whichever of the two goes ends up taxi'ing with the Birds.

WR Quron Pratt

At least five receivers will be going on Saturday, and Pratt's the low man on the totem pole. He didn't go to Oregon, and he didn't get extended minutes with many WRs injured. Doesn't bode well, does it?

WR Will Murphy

Basically the same as Pratt, except with Oregon ties. Another receiver relegated mostly to fourth quarters this August.

WR Jeff Maehl

Despite his proficiency at blocking on special teams, the depth at receiver is just too much. A couple receivers who I have making the cut are a bit more versatile than Maehl, and can play special teams just as well. That renders Maehl a little more expendable.

WR Damaris Johnson

Kinda sucks, because Johnson was playing with more awareness this summer. Last year, I couldn't wait for him to go. Now, it's with a wry expression I wish em good luck. Got to be decent a tad bit too late.

WR Ifeanyi Momah

This means I have Brad Smith and Arrelious Benn making it. Benn bailed out one of Momah's two glaring errors in the Patriots game, and the lanky Momah just seems to have problems making the most of his statuesque height. That's a no-no in Chip Kelly's vertical offense.

TE Trey Burton

Had a nice pair of catches late in the Steelers game, but that'll do little more than get him a practice squad nod behind the incumbent big three at tight end. Sleeper prediction: Burton replaces Casey in 2015.

OL Josh Andrews

Just need somebody Thursday in case a back-up lineman is lost due to injury. Think of Andrews as a Hollywood stand-in.

OL Kevin Graf

See Josh Andrews.

NT Wade Keliikipi

Could be practice squad material, but he's been invisible this summer. Hard to justify him making the leap, ex-Duck or not.

NT Damion Square

I know that he's versatile enough to play outside, but the Eagles already seem to have their five ends, and there's little reason to carry six. Once Beau Allen became an inside menace with irresistible power, Square's days were numbered.

LB Josh Kaddu

Another squad possibility. Like wide receiver, there's too many higher quality talents ahead.

LB Casey Matthews

End of the line for another heirloom of the awful 2011 Draft. Bryan Braman and Najee Goode will usurp his special teams duties, which was all Matthews was good for, essentially.

LB Emmanuel Acho

Will be displaced by the movement to fit Travis Long onto the roster. Long's an outside-man finding his niche inside, and since they're not working inside-man Acho outside as much, can do the math.

CB Roc Carmichael

A decent outside gunner on special teams, but there's better receivers and corners that can fill that niche.

CB Curtis Marsh

The pillow over Randle P. McMurphy's face wasn't as much of a mercy killing.

S Keelan Johnson

Arrest for an altercation with a police officer started him out behind the eight ball, and general invisibility this summer kept him there.

S Ed Reynolds

The Eagles could carry five safeties (which Jaylen Watkins could convert to), but Reynolds may benefit from a year on the squad. Didn't emerge from the pack, taking a backseat to Nate Allen, Earl Wolff, and Chris Maragos.

K Cody Parkey

Unless something earth-shattering happens Thursday, it's hard to imagine Alex Henery being dethroned based on that game. Certainly, Kelly could find a new kicker after Saturday's cuts, but odds are Parkey's not the one making the shove.

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