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May 23, 2017

Listing the Eagles' starting jobs that are up for grabs

Eagles NFL

The Philadelphia Eagles' offseason program will continue on Tuesday, with the team in its entirety taking the field for the first time. It will be our first glimpse at how the coaching staff sees the depth chart.

Heading into OTAs, we count four (maybe five) starting jobs that are up for grabs:

Left guard (and maybe center)

We know that Jason Peters will play LT, Lane Johnson will play RT, and Brandon Brooks will play RG. Beyond that, the Eagles' offensive line starters are in doubt.

The interior is loaded up with NFL-quality players, but it feels a little unsettled, not yet knowing the fate of Jason Kelce. If Kelce should be traded, then the Eagles will have to figure out which combination at LG and C gives them the best possible starting five.

If Kelce remains on the roster in 2017, he'll start at center, and the only spot in question will be at left guard. The two primary candidates to win that job would be second-year pro Isaac Seumalo and veteran Allen Barbre. Stefen Wisniewski would also be in that mix.

Defensive end

Brandon Graham will start at defensive end on one side. On the other side, the Eagles would love to see rookie Derek Barnett leave no doubt that he should be on the field as a rookie. Barring Barnett's quick development, the Eagles have steady veteran Chris Long, and a player in Vinny Curry who has his back against the wall.

Third linebacker

The third linebacker spot is less of a "starting" role league-wide these days, but it is a position that is in question. Right now, that spot belongs to Mychal Kendricks, however, we still anticipate that Kendricks will be moved at some point this offseason. The leading candidates to fill Kendricks' role are Kamu Grugier-Hill, rookie Nathan Gerry, and Najee Goode, in whatever order you prefer.

Cornerback

Who knows how cornerback will shake out, but the ideal scenario for the Eagles will be if Rasul Douglas shows them enough that they can start him on the outside. In that event, Douglas and Jalen Mills would be on the outside, with newly acquired Patrick Robinson moving inside to the slot, a spot where he was effective in 2015 with the Chargers.

The only player who feels certain to have a prominent role is Mills. Otherwise, these spots are wide open.


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