Matt Tobin, the 6-6, 310 lb. “tackle” and undrafted free agent out of Iowa signed last year by the Eagles, has been quietly having a good camp. I’m not surprised that he shows up in the “2’s” grouping on the just-released Eagles depth chart. I am surprised he shows up as the backup left guard behind Evan Mathis. If we take that grouping seriously, Tobin has upped his game to the point of providing versatility all across the offensive line. That sounds like a good thing.
You have to be careful about reading too much into the groupings on the new depth chart. It’s not an “official” release from the coaches, but rather an unofficial scorecard released by the Eagles’ PR Department as an aid to follow the personnel action from Friday night’s game coming up in Chicago.
Here are the images of the Eagles’ “unofficial” depth chart; I hope they come out clear enough for you to read:
What jumps out immediately is the log-jam at wide receiver. Is that Ifeanyi Momah ranked ahead of B.J. Cunningham and Will Murphy?
A lot of linebackers backed up on that chart, too… special teams aptitude may be the tipping point there.
James Casey listed as “even” with Trey Burton as 3rd TE — wondering if that’s a motivational device for Casey ($4 million salary this year), or does Burton really have a shot to beat Casey out?
I will stop here for a few hours and encourage the Bored to analyze the many personnel trends that are buried within this unofficial set of rankings. Then I will try to highlight what you folks see in the tea leaves as the roster battle is now somewhat defined.
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Okay, I’m back— sorry my photo images of the PE.com depth chart came out so small. But if you will allow me, I will just highlight for you in larger print the position groups that have some surprises in them:
WR: Brad Smith, Jordan Matthews, Damaris Johnson— Smith is considered ahead of Jordan Matthews in the hunt for the starting slot receiver position.
LG: Evan Mathis, Matt Tobin, Michael Bamiro— we already discussed Tobin’s positional progress at left guard, but didn’t mention it could be at the expense of Bamiro’s losing out.
WR: Jeremy Maclin, Arrelious Benn, Josh Huff, Will Murphy, Kadron Boone— This is the split-wide-out receiver position. Are you surprised to see Benn ranked above Huff on the depth chart?
WR: Riley Cooper, Jeff Maehl, Ifeanyi Momah, B.J. Cunningham, Quron Pratt— That’s the wide-out group on the other side of the field. Maehl and Momah in the running for a job based on this chart…
LT: Jason Peters, Andrew Gardner, Kevin Graf— Gardner at #2 behind Jason Peters is something I didn’t expect— I thought Tobin would be there.
ILB: DeMeco Ryans, Emmanuel Acho/Casey Matthews, Jake Knott— Casey Matthews tied with Acho for #2 behind ‘Meco ? I can’t remember a “tie” like that before…
DE: Fletcher Cox, Brandon Bair, Joe Kruger, Frances Mays—I’m a little surprised to see Joe Kruger down at 3 behind Bair at 2…a possible motivational device…
ILB: Mychal Kendricks, Najee Goode, Jason Phillips — Good for Goode….
CB: Bradley Fletcher, Nolan Carroll II, Jaylen Watkins/Curtis Marsh— there’s that “tie” thingy again with the rookie Watkins and the veteran Marsh “tied” at 3…maybe that’s out of respect for Curtis Marsh, who has been trying hard to impress and has never given up his quest to make this team again.
CB: Cary Williams, Brandon Boykin, Roc Carmichael— and there’s that pesky Roc Carmichael again. He’s hanging around…
S: Nate Allen, Earl Wolff, Davon Morgan, Keelan Johnson — well, there it is, Nate Allen is #1 in his safety group. That’s a vote of respect for Allen, and a clear challenge to the rest of the group to step it up…
S: Malcolm Jenkins, Chris Maragos, Ed Reynolds, Daytawion Lowe — the other interchangeable safety group (what used to be called “free safety”)is honoring the veteran presences of Jenkins and Maragos, and clearly sending a challenge to rookie Ed Reynolds to learn from them.
KOR: Nolan Carroll II, Josh Huff, Darren Sproles, Damaris Johnson — this is a surprise to me that Nolan Carroll is so high on the depth chart for kickoff return. It also seemingly spells doom for Damaris Johnson…
PR: Darren Sproles, Damaris Johnson, Jeff Maehl, Jordan Matthews— But then you see they have put Damaris Johnson at #2 in punt returner depth…now I’m confused… What is this mixed-message stuff being sent to Damaris?
There may be some mind games going on within the ranking orders in the depth chart. If the chart as released by the Eagles PR Dept. has any input connection from Chip Kelly, then a little mind game or two within its rankings would be expected.