Eagles rookie Derek Barnett could start right away at defensive end

With free agency and the draft in the rearview mirror and organized team activities and minicamps in full swing, here’s a starting lineup projection for the Philadelphia Eagles:


QB: Carson Wentz: The front office feels like it has a franchise quarterback in the second-year pro out of North Dakota State.

RB: Darren Sproles. This could change. The current grouping of Sproles, Wendell Smallwood and rookie Donnel Pumphrey feels incomplete and could be added to or tweaked by the start of the season.

WR: Alshon Jeffery: The big offseason acquisition, Jeffery gives Wentz a legitimate No. 1 option when healthy.

LT: Jason Peters: The Eagles are hoping to squeeze at least one more good year out of the potential Hall-of-Famer, who is now 35.

LG: Isaac Seumalo: There will be competition for this gig, with veterans Allen Barbre and Stefen Wisniewski pushing for it, but the Eagles are high on Seumalo and want to get him more involved.

C: Jason Kelce: Despite plenty of trade chatter, Kelce remains on the team. Assuming it stays that way, he should begin the year as the starter.

RG: Brandon Brooks: A 2016 free-agent pickup, Brooks battled some anxiety issues but had a strong showing overall last year.

RT: Lane Johnson: The Eagles went 5-1 with Johnson in the lineup last year and 2-8 during his 10-game suspension.

TE: Zach Ertz: Wentz began clicking with Ertz down the stretch last season.

WR: Jordan Matthews: The slot receiver position still belongs to Matthews, who is entering the last year of his rookie deal.

WR: Torrey Smith: The veteran speed receiver is looking to get back to the production levels of his Baltimore days after a couple of rough seasons in San Francisco.


DE: Brandon Graham: He had a team-high 30 hurries and 14 tackles for loss to go with 5.5 sacks last year.

DT: Fletcher Cox: The two-time Pro Bowler paced the team with 6.5 sacks in 2016.

DT: Tim Jernigan: Acquired in a trade with the Ravens, Jernigan will fill the hole left by Bennie Logan, who signed with the Chiefs.

DE: Derek Barnett: The first-round pick out of Tennessee will have to fend off Vinny Curry and Chris Long for the starting job. We'll say he does.

LB: Nigel Bradham: He still has a couple of legal issues pending, but he was effective in Jim Schwartz’s scheme last year.

MLB: Jordan Hicks: This could be the season when the young difference-maker out of Texas starts getting some national recognition.

LB: Mychal Kendricks: The trade chatter around Kendricks this offseason had substance. It’s a situation still worth monitoring.

CB: Jalen Mills: The second-year pro has a good shot at securing a significant role, particularly given the shaky state of the corner position.

FS: Malcolm Jenkins: He has emerged as a team leader and has been one of the better safeties in the league since signing with the Eagles in 2014.

SS: Rodney McLeod: There were some bright moments and also some lapses in McLeod’s first year with the Eagles.

CB: Ron Brooks: He’s coming off a ruptured quad tendon. Assuming he’s able to make it back, he can hold down the fort while Sidney Jones heals and fellow rookie Rasul Douglas gets his bearings.


K: Caleb Sturgis: Made a career-high 85 percent of his kicks last year.

P: Donnie Jones: A reliable, consistent punter. No need to change.

KR: Wendell Smallwood: Returned a kick 86 yards for a touchdown as a rookie and averaged 29 yards per return overall.

PR: Darren Sproles: One of the best to ever do it, Sproles will put up a few more highlights before retiring at year’s end.