By Ray Boyd
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — You cannot put a lot of stock into the first depth chart of the year, especially considering the fact that the Eagles have yet to play their first preseason game. They take the field this Friday in Chicago to open up the preseason.
The first depth chart was released by the team today. Here are some early observations from the chart:
- Mark Sanchez is currently listed as the second string quarterback on the depth chart. Sanchez has impressed in camp and he appears to have the early edge on second year quarterback Matt Barkley. (LISTEN: Mark Sanchez on WIP Afternoons)
- Allen Barbre is slotted in at right tackle. With Lane Johnson suspended for the first four regular season games of the year, Barbre has emerged as the guy to take his place. Barbre has experience as both a guard and a tackle, but the team will place him at right tackle as opposed to shifting Todd Herremans back to the outside while Johnson is on the sidelines. Barbre will play an important role for the first four games of the season as he attempts to keep rushers out of Nick Foles’ face.
- Brent Celek is still listed as the top tight end. There has not been any major indictments against Celek, but the consensus is that Zach Ertz is poised to break out this season and be a major target for Foles. In Chip Kelly’s system, the depth chart may not mean less for any other position as it does for tight end. Celek and Ertz both took the field a lot last season, but it would not be a major surprise if Ertz emerges as the primary tight end option this season.
- Brad Smith is listed as the third wide receiver. Jeremy Maclin and Riley Cooper have the top two spots, but there is a bit of a surprise at three. Rookie second round pick Jordan Matthews is expected to be the primary slot option this season, but he is currently listed as the second option at the third receiver spot. (LISTEN: Jordan Matthews on with Angelo Cataldi and The Morning Team)
- The defensive line is set with Bennie Logan, Fletcher Cox and Cedric Thornton. The Eagles young defensive line is set and ready to go. There are no surprises with this unit. They came on during the second half of last season and their youth is a true reason for fans to be excited. Logan has reportedly beefed up this season to hold down the nose tackle position.
- First round pick Marcus Smith is listed as a second stringer behind Connor Barwin. The Eagles brought Smith in to beef up the pass rush and Smith will have a chance to do that listed as an outside linebacker. Smith is coming along slow, but there have been flashed of his potential in camp that have Billy Davis excited. Brandon Graham is listed as the second string on the other side backing up Trent Cole.
- Nate Allen is a starting safety. Malcolm Jenkins has received praise from his coaches and his leadership role in New Orleans made him a lock to start in Philadelphia. The battle for the second safety spot has been between Allen and Wolfe. Allen is playing on a one year deal that he signed this off-season while Wolff is looking to bounce back from a season that was cut short by injuries. With Allen looking to solidify his future long-term, there could be nothing better than getting out to an early lead in this camp battle.
- Darren Sproles is listed as the top punt returner. Sproles was signed as a jack of all trades weapon for Kelly and in addition to contributing on offense, Sproles will also have the chance to contribute on special teams.
- While Sproles handles the punt return duties, Nolan Carroll is slotted in as the main kick returner. Carroll has been impressing the Eagles as a cornerback and the team is expected to play more dime sets to get him on the field. Listed behind Carroll is Josh Huff, the Eagles rookie wide receiver out of Oregon.
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