Last week I made a spread sheet of players in camp, at least those worth noting, with an off-the-top-of-the-head projection of who makes the final 53 and who doesn't. Each day, I crawl AP to see the camp updates, in particular to see who the talk is about. When players draw criticism, I downgrade their chances. Likewise, if they draw praise, I increase their chances. For guys who aren't getting much mention, I rely more on how we acquired them, what we already know of them(if anything), and what they're making. So that's all long form for me just using some common sense to star with and then reading the tea leaves. Below is my week 1 chart, which you will need some instruction on reading. I order players based on what I see as their likelihood of making the team. The colors indicate general categorization, since, for a lot of the guys at the very top and very bottom, you could flip a coin. Green indicates I have them making the final 53. Dark indicates they are a slam dunk for the final roster, where light green indicate I think they're probable, but not assured. Yellow indicates I think they have a shot and knocking off one of the light green guys above them. Again, this is based off of reporting from camp. Comments from coaches are weighed more. There are no formulae as in many of my previous posts; it's just subjective. I'll do this each week of pre season, unless you all hate this and think I'm wrong about everything :\
QB: No surprises here. I think we'd all be pretty shocked if our QB stable doesn't shake out this way.
RB: I think we have room for Draughn and Grey. Either one might be an easy cut though, if they want more bodies in another position group.
TE/FB: Interesting place to be loaded at. It surprised me going though, but I was able to keep 5 guys here in all, without shorting anywhere else. The TE talent is beautiful. If there is an issue at all it could turn out to be cap dollars, since they all make solid money. Personally, If I had to dump a TE, it would be Fasano. Kelce, and in particular Moeaki, are pretty ridiculous athletes for the position. Sherman is a lock for FB I think. Wilson is here because he just fit numbers-wise. He's a FB, but built much more like a TE actually. We could see him as a true H-Back, with Moeaki getting time there as well. KC looks poised to run a lot of heavy sets this year, so there just might be work for 5 guys here(aaaand now I'm hungry).
WR: I don't even know. Bowe is a lock. McCluster is an early favorite of the staff, so he's in. Beyond that though, it's a melee. Hemmingway has peen performing well, so I have him slipping in for now. Wylie is just the type of player Reid likes, and he's adjudicated himself okay in camp. Copper misses out here, but he's far from out of contention. Every coaching staff that's come through here has happened upon his value and retained him. Reid may do the same, or have another ST ace in mind. The real war here is Baldwin vs Avery, but both appear to be losing. I could see both making it, or one or both getting cut. This is a place we might look to pick up someone else's surprise camp cut. Ugh.
OL: Good crop here. Reid has commented a few times how much he likes Stephenson, so he's pretty secure I'd say, and a good bet to take over for Fisher once he takes over for Albert. Allen and Schwarts are competing to start, but good enough to keep, given their talent and versatility. I have Kush in because we drafted him, and there isn't a good alternate at C right now. He's in last place though among all of my starters though. This another place where we might bring in more help in for form of a G/C Type.
DL: I'm pretty confident in this projection. Bailey can play true end and presents value in mixed looks and nickel downs. Dixon is a sturdy veteran reliever.
LB: Top 3 are set, no question. At ILB2(WILL in my nomenclature) we have Jordan vs N. Johnson, which I don't think will result in a clear "winner." They will have their utility from down to down and set to set. Jordan would be the clear backup to DJ should he miss time. On the outside I think it's Catapano vs Zombo and Jones vs Lane. Sutton appears to like having an OLB he can slip inside for 46 looks. They've done this with Catapano and Zombo, so they're battling for that role of rush ILB, while Lane and Jones are purely edge men. Zombo has shown the least rush ability, so I've got him missing the roster.
DB: Another fairly open competition. Flowers and Berry are secure. Smith has, I think, overtaken Robinson for the other starting CB spot. I really like Kendrick Lewis at FS, though AP has been dogging hip for a while. Tackling you can teach, but that ball radar he has in innate. Demps has had a good camp while he's been there, and Abdullah, is a guy with starting ability if you need it. We spent a draft pick on Commings, so I think the staff would like to see what he's got before cutting him. Jalil brown has a serious shot as versatile DB an special teams ace. I don't think he's out of the running at all. As for Robinson, I don't have him as a sure bet. He got expendable when Smith was signed, and doesn't really have a nickel skill set, IMHO. As a luxury, I could see him being a surprise release.
Junior Hemmingway. He's improved his game, and Ive heard only positive on him from camp. When you have a guy showing progress and ability, you should be tempted to keep him over a guy who has shown little other than that he was over-drafted.
Tyler Bray: I wasn't a fan of getting him, but so far, good enough. It sounds as though he's getting in the end zone more than the other QBs. Also, we know Reid likes an investment QB. He's already putting Stanzi away, and if his performance relative to Daniel holds, he might be turned to quickly if Daniel were to struggle in relief for a hypothetically injured Smith.
Tyler Shoemaker: I keep hearing about his hands. I think he's a good PS candidate.
Dexter McCluster: Reid loves him. He's going to be a feature piece of his offense, lined up any way one can imagine. He's also having the best camp performance of any WR.
Tony Moeaki: He was injured at a bad time, because he had Kelce gunning for his job. So far he's caught everything while displaying great athleticism. Mo is making Reids choice very difficult, maybe difficult enough he won't make one at all.
Jon Baldwin: I've been boosting him for the longest, but it appears he's a drop machine and a slow learner. He's not playing at his size either. I'm trying to hold out hope he's a better game time than practice guy. Pre-season is make of break for him.
Donnie Avery: First he was injured. Now he has wrested WR2 duties from Baldwin, but only on relative performance. He has a reputation as a drop artist, which he's only confirmed thus far.
Dunta Robinson: He's apparently been overtaken for the CB job. I thought he had a chance as a Woodson type safety convert, but that doesn't seem to be materializing. A low effort camp isn't helping him either. Ultimately I expect him on the roster, but Reid isn't going to accept mailing it in.
Ricky Stanzi: Remember the middle of last season, when you were the great, unknown hope? I forgot too.
Cyrus Grey: Where U at?