- Phil Sheridan, ESPN Staff Writer
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With training camp now under way, here's a look at how the Eagles' final 53-man roster could pan out:
A year ago, Foles competed for the starting job with Michael Vick. Now the competition is between Sanchez and Barkley for the No. 2 spot. Sanchez has had the edge on Barkley throughout OTAs and the early part of training camp. His surgically repaired shoulder appears to be holding up just fine.
RUNNING BACKS (4)
It won’t be surprising if the Eagles go with only three backs here, as Chip Kelly has been talking Sproles up as a running back since signing him. Tucker has the lead early in camp, since he was here last year. But Henry Josey and David Fluellen have the preseason to draw some attention from Kelly.
WIDE RECEIVERS (5)
This is a confusing position because of all the offseason churn. DeSean Jackson and Jason Avant are gone. Cooper is more established. Maclin is returning from injury. Matthews could develop into the best of the bunch. Ifeanyi Momah and Jeff Maehl are in the mix, too.
TIGHT ENDS (3)
Ertz should continue his ascent to the No. 1 slot here, but Celek’s completeness as a blocker and receiver make him tough to write off. It wouldn’t be shocking if somebody (Emil Igwenagu?) persuaded Kelly to move on from Casey, who probably wonders why he signed in Philadelphia last year.
OFFENSIVE LINE (10)
Lane Johnson will be on the Eagles' roster this year, just not for the first four weeks due to his PED suspension. Pencil in Gardner, a free agent formerly with the Texans, instead. Gardner opened camp as the second-team left tackle.
DEFENSIVE LINE (6)
This is actually a tough group to project. Square has looked more like a regular since camp began. The coaches seemed high on Hart, who played for Kelly and line coach Jerry Azzinaro at Oregon. Allen is a draft pick who has gotten some first-team snaps. Joe Kruger could be the odd man out.
The big issue here is how long it takes first-round pick Smith to progress to a point where he could start ahead of Cole. It might take the whole season. And then there is the idea of giving Ryans some downtime, which could get Goode on the field quite a bit. Phillips and Braman are mostly special-teams guys.
That seems like a lot of safeties, but Maragos was signed for special teams, and the coaches like Reynolds enough to carry the fifth-round pick as he develops. Johnson has looked sharp since returning from his arrest-related time off at the start of camp.
In Year 2 of a total redo at this position, the Eagles will let merit sort things out with this group. Williams and Fletcher were adequate last year but now have Carroll pushing them both. Boykin established himself as a solid nickel corner. The coaches are high on Watkins, a rookie from Florida. Roc Carmichael could force his way onto the roster, as well.
These three mainstays all figure to be back. Henery is working on kickoffs, which would help the coverage unit immensely. Jones had a solid season punting the ball and Dorenbos remains automatic at long-snapping.
With training camp now under way, here's a look at how the Eagles' final 53-man roster could pan out:QUARTERBACKS (3) Nick Foles Mark Sanchez Matt Barkley A year ago, Foles competed for the starting job with Michael Vick.