Getting down to 53 players from 75 ain't easy. In most respects, I'm sure, Andy Reid and Howie Roseman have to already done. They're keeping one fullback, Stanley Havili. They know maybe 50 of the 53 spots, and those other three are fascinating.
Here are some guesses as to what the Eagles will do today ...
- I think all four halfbacks make it, along with Havili at fullback. Bryce Brown and Chris Polk have shown they can run at this level and they've shown that they can play special teams.
- I say the Eagles keep five cornerbacks. There are reports that the Eagles have plans to release Joselio Hanson, which would likely mean Brandon Hughes stays. Clearly, the Eagles want size at cornerback, and if it's true that Hanson is gone, then rookie Brandon Boykin has done enough to convince Todd Bowles that he can handle the nickel slot spot.
- The picture at quarterback is clear: Trent Edwards has played great football. He has done enough to win a job here. If the Eagles keep Edwards, everyone will understand. If they go with Mike Kafka, they're saying that they think Kafka can develop into a better player. He isn't there yet, not after playing just one preseason game.
- Other than Dennis Kelly, Dallas Reynolds and Demetress Bell, I'm not sure what the Eagles are thinking as far as depth along the offensive line. Bell's struggles are really strange. He's athletic, he's working hard ... why is he seemingly unable to execute what Howard Mudd wants? Bell is a work in progress, for sure.
- At linebacker, no clue. Is it Casey Matthews or Keenan Clayton? Is Brian Rolle safe? Has a kid like Ryan Rau hustled his way into the picture, even on the practice squad?
- It wouldn't surprise me if either Brett Brackett or Chase Ford lands on the team's practice squad. Both are catch-and-run tight ends, and Ford especially looks like a tremendous athlete.
- Jaiquawn Jarrett played well on Thursday night and I say he has done enough to earn a job. He was so much more confident and relaxed and aggressive against the Jets. He hit. He covered. He looked good. Right now, he is the only reserve safety that I think will make the team.
- My five receivers are DeSean Jackson, Jeremy Maclin, Jason Avant, Riley Cooper and Damaris Johnson. I don't see a sixth receiver, certainly not if the Eagles keep four halfbacks. Chad Hall? He does everything right and still has practice-squad eligibility should it come to that. Mardy Gilyard? Just too hard to crack into this group. And before you discount Cooper, remember how good he is on special teams and how outstanding he played prior to his broken collarbone. Cooper is a good football player.
- I will tell you that I have no idea how many defensive linemen the Eagles are going to keep. I don't have a feel. Could the Eagles trade one of them? Sure. Anything goes today and through the weekend.
- It is going to be really interesting to see what happens at punter. Chas Henry did not a a great game on Thursday night and Reid did not giving him a rousing endorsement after the win over the Jets. Is Mat McBriar still in the picture?
- Let's talk about trade scenarios. What can the Eagles deal? They have a ton of defensive linemen, a precious commodity in the NFL. They have extra draft picks in 2013. The Eagles have room under the salary cap and while they will carry over some of that into 2013, they can still use some of it now. I do think the Eagles will make a trade. That statement comes with no inside knowledge, but it's just a sense of how Reid and Roseman work and what their history suggests.
- Remember this: The Eagles emerged from the preseason with no major injuries. Of course, losing Jason Peters is huge, and there is still hope that he can play this year. Slim hope, perhaps, but still hope. Same with Mike Patterson, at defensive tackle. Cooper may not play next Sunday in Cleveland, but maybe the next week against Baltimore. The Eagles are in pretty good shape, though, from a big-play standpoint.