53 Man Roster: Final Predictions

It's anyone's guess, but here's one look at how the 53-man roster figures to shake out following this weekend, with so many jobs at stake, and only a few spots really up for grabs.

QUARTERBACKS

Nick Foles (S), Mark Sanchez, Matt Barkley

Barkley's above-average performance solidifies the third-banana role for him, despite G.J. Kinne's crafty scramble-show in the fourth quarter. Someone will get Kinne by the end of the weekend. St. Louis maybe? The Giants may need a quarterback....

RUNNING BACKS

LeSean McCoy (S), Darren Sproles, Matthew Tucker, Henry Josey

Without knowing the severity of the injuries to Tucker and Josey, I think their performances ace out the absent Chris Polk, and an inconsistent Kenjon Barner. This will be one of Chip Kelly's tougher decisions, but Tucker and Josey are too talented to part with.

WIDE RECEIVERS

Jeremy Maclin (S), Riley Cooper (S), Jordan Matthews (S), Josh Huff, Brad Smith, Jeff Maehl

One of my few changes following Thursday's game is to give Maehl the nod over Arrelious Benn. Looking at it from Kelly's eyes, Maehl not only can play special teams as well as Benn, but the Oregon connection is too strong. Damaris Johnson was also considered after he shored up his game these last few weeks, but Maehl likely has the drop.

TIGHT ENDS

Brent Celek (S), Zach Ertz, James Casey

I briefly considered that Trey Burton could beat out Casey for the third spot, or that the Eagles could carry four tight ends. Burton's sticky hands won't sit on the practice squad long; somebody out there will want him. If he somehow aces Casey out, I won't be terribly surprised, but my leaning is toward the Big Three going unchanged in 2014.

OFFENSIVE LINEMEN

Jason Peters (S), Evan Mathis (S), Jason Kelce (S), Todd Herremans (S), Lane Johnson (S/SUSP), Allen Barbre, Matt Tobin, David Molk, Dennis Kelly, Andrew Gardner

The first and second lines remain in tact, with Johnson's suspension not counting against the 53-man squad. When he returns, someone like Gardner or Kelly will be more expendable. This is also taking into consideration that Tobin (ankle) won't be out long-term.

SPECIALISTS

Cody Parkey (K), Donnie Jones (P), Jon Dorenbos (LS)

Farewell and adieu to you, Alex Henery, for we've received orders to hold onto the man with the powerful leg....

DEFENSIVE ENDS

Cedric Thornton (S), Fletcher Cox (S), Vinny Curry, Brandon Bair, Taylor Hart

Hart and Bair notch up the front-up edge-setting as well as the starters, and Curry's pass-rush will find better use in Bill Davis' new dime-scheme. This is quite the underrated group.

NOSE TACKLES

Bennie Logan (S), Beau Allen

Maybe Allen starts? Logan played in Thursday's game for a reason. Damion Square's a tough cut, but you can only keep 53.

OUTSIDE LINEBACKERS

Connor Barwin (S), Trent Cole (S), Marcus Smith, Brandon Graham, Bryan Braman

Braman earned his job with that animalistic performance. If you're going to create a pass-rush, send the Tasmanian Devil after the QB.

INSIDE LINEBACKERS

DeMeco Ryans (S), Mychal Kendricks (S), Najee Goode, Travis Long

Long's too versatile to lose. You can say the same for Square above, but his competition was Logan and Allen. Long had to beat Casey Matthews and Emmanuel Acho. There's a drop-off there.

CORNERBACKS

Cary Williams (S), Bradley Fletcher (S), Brandon Boykin, Nolan Carroll, Jaylen Watkins

Watkins separated himself from Curtis Marsh and Roc Carmichael with solid tackling and keen awareness for a rookie. He's more of a natural safety, I believe, but as a fifth corner, he's fine.

SAFETIES

Malcolm Jenkins (S), Nate Allen (S), Earl Wolff, Chris Maragos

Ed Reynolds may have just played himself off the roster Thursday. Wolff and Maragos were the men to beat, and the gap between them and the Stanford grad is wide enough to stampede through. I didn't see either of them tipping a sure pick into a TD.

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