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Philadelphia Eagles 53-man roster projection: NFL Preseason Week 3 Edition

Here's our best guess.

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

The Philadelphia Eagles finished their second preseason game on Thursday evening with a win over the Pittsburgh Steelers. Now that I've seen over three weeks of practice and two preseason games, it's time for an updated 53-man roster prediction.


Quarterback - Sam Bradford, Chase Daniel, Carson Wentz (3) [3]

Sam Bradford has looked like Sam Bradford this summer, which is to say he's been "fine." Not great, not terrible. Lots of checkdowns. He's right on pace to enter the season as the starter under center. Daniel rebounded from a very bad outing in the first preseason game. It's not like Daniel looked great against the Steelers but he at least showed some competency. Wentz has been out ever since getting hit in the fourth quarter against the Buccaneers. It's a shame the Eagles rookie is missing valuable practice and game reps. The Eagles hope he'll be able to return for the preseason finale.

Running back - Ryan Mathews, Darren Sproles, Kenjon Barner, Wendell Smallwood (4) [7]

Mathews looks healthy and good. The Eagles haven't used Sproles much during preseason action, which is the right call. Barner is doing his best to justify the praise he's received this offseason from Philadelphia's coaching staff. He's rushed for 76 yards and one touchdown on 13 carries, which is good for a 5.8 average. He's earned his spot on the final roster, especially with Smallwood missing the first two preseason games due to injury. Smallwood is hoping to make his preseason debut this week against the Colts. The rookie has a lot of catching up to do.

Wide receiver - Jordan Matthews, Nelson Agholor, Dorial Green-Beckham, Chris Givens, Paul Turner (5) [12]

Matthews told reporters he's definitely going to play in Week 1. Agholor finally showed some signs of life by making a really good leaping catch on a Bradford pass that sailed high. He also looked super motivated as a blocker. Maybe the DGB trade lit a fire under him. Speaking of Green-Beckham, it'll be interesting to see how he adjusts to the Eagles offense. At the very least, he should be able to help out the Eagles in the red zone. He would have likely had a jump ball touchdown in the Steelers game if Daniel hadn't thrown low to him. Givens hasn't done a lot this summer but he does offer a valuable skill set: deep speed. Turner deserves to make the Eagles' final roster because he's been reliable and consistent. He'll just need to prove he can also contribute on special teams. Rueben Randle is on the bubble and could play his way back into good graces if he shows better effort. For now, I'm leaving him off.

Tight end - Zach Ertz, Brent Celek, Trey Burton, Chris Pantale (4) [16]

Ertz, Celek, and Burton are obviously locks. Doug Pederson has made it sound like the Eagles want to keep a fourth tight end who can also function as a fullback. Chris Pantale seems to have the lead on that role for now, but undrafted rookie free agent Dillon Gordon is also in the mix.

Offensive line - Jason Peters, Isaac Seumalo, Jason Kelce, Brandon Brooks, Allen Barbre, {Lane Johnson}, Stefen Wisniewski, Matt Tobin, Andrew Gardner, Halapoulivaati Vaitai (9) [25]

Johnson won't count towards the Eagles' 53-man limit once his expected 10-game suspension officially begins. In his absence, Barbre is the starting right tackle and Seumalo is likely the starting left guard. This new look Eagles offensive line didn't look like a disaster in Pittsburgh, which is a start. Wisniewski is likely the top backup at guard/center while Tobin is the swing tackle. Gardner has a better chance to make the final roster now with Dennis Kelly gone. The fact that Gardner recently took a pay cut also helps make it easier for the team to keep him. Big V needs some seasoning before he's ready to see the field. He's a deep reserve for now.


Defensive tackle - Fletcher Cox, Bennie Logan, Mike Martin, Beau Allen, Destiny Vaeao (5) [30]

To no surprise, Cox and Logan have looked great this summer. It'll be interesting to see who wins the depth spots at defensive tackle. Martin looked like he was clearly the No. 3 guy but he's missed two preseason games due to injury. Allen has made a nice transition from 3-4 nose tackle to 4-3 defensive tackle. Destiny Vaeao and Aziz Shittu have also shined. Taylor Hart hasn't been terrible. The Eagles have options to pick from here, which is never a bad thing.

Defensive end - Brandon Graham, Connor Barwin, Vinny Curry, Steven Means, Bryan Braman (5) [35]

Graham looks really good playing in the 4-3. Barwin and Curry have also been productive as well. Means has to be a lock to make the team at this point. He's been able to generate pressure on a consistent basis. Having him as the fourth man in a defensive end rotation is a boost for the Eagles defense. Braman earns a spot due to his special teams prowess. I'm leaving Marcus Smith off despite the fact he showed some signs of life in the second preseason game. Maybe Howie Roseman can work his magic and trade Smith for a depth player at another position, such as linebacker. Speaking of ...

Linebacker - Jordan Hicks, Nigel Bradham, Mychal Kendricks, Najee Goode, Stephen Tulloch (5) [40]

Kendricks has returned to practice after missing the first two preseason games. The starters are clearly set in stone with Goode as the top backup. After that, the Eagles are dangerously thin. Joe Walker was looking like a good second team middle linebacker before suffering a season-ending ACL injury. Pederson acknowledged the Eagles are looking for veteran help on the inside. The Eagles reportedly showed interest in Stephen Tulloch earlier this summer. With Walker out, maybe the two sides will get a deal done.

Cornerback - Leodis McKelvin, Nolan Carroll, Ron Brooks, Jalen Mills, Eric Rowe, C.J. Smith (6) [46]

Carroll has had a great summer. He's clearly played his way into a starting job on the outside. McKelvin is the other starter while Brooks figures to play in the slot. Rowe hasn't played his way into the starting conversation. He's also behind Mills on the depth chart, according to Pederson. The Eagles are likely going to have to keep six corners. Aaron Grymes and C.J. Smith have been playing well. I'd like to give Grymes the edge based on his performance against the Steelers but he also suffered a shoulder injury that will likely cause him to miss at least the rest of the preseason. Smith gets the edge for now because he's healthy and younger. It's a close call, though.

Safety - Malcolm Jenkins, Rodney McLeod, Jaylen Watkins, Chris Maragos (4) [50]

Watkins has really played his way into the No. 3 safety job. Not only does he look good in coverage, but he's improved as a tackler as well. Maragos makes the team due to his special teams ability. I like what I've seen out of Blake Countess in practice this offseason but he hasn't really showed up in a good way during the games. Now he's dealing with a concussion, which doesn't help his case.


Kicker - Caleb Sturgis (1) [51]

Sturgis has clearly outkicked Cody Parkey this offseason. The only problem is that he's dealing with a concussion now after getting hit in the head by a punt.

Punter - Donnie Jones (1) [52]

Hit Sturgis in the head with one of his punts, which isn't good.

Long snapper - Jon Dorenbos (1) [53]

Safe to say he likely won't be unseated by rookie John DePalma.


Practice Squad (10)

RB Byron Marshall, WR Marcus Johnson, WR Cayleb Jones, TE/OL Dillon Gordon, OL Darrell Greene, DE Alex McCalister, DT Aziz Shittu, LB Myke Tavarres, CB Aaron Grymes, S Ed Reynolds