clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Philadelphia Eagles 53-man roster prediction: NFL Preseason Week 4 Edition

New, comments

Who will make The Final Cut?

Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

The Philadelphia Eagles finished their third preseason game on Saturday evening with a win over the Indianapolis Colts. One day after the game, the Eagles made 10 roster moves to cut down to 73 players. Philadelphia must cut down to the 53-man limit by 4:00 PM ET on Saturday, Sept. 3. Here's our best prediction of what the Eagles' final roster will look like.

OFFENSE

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

Sammy Sleeves looked good in the Eagles' third preseason game, just like he did last year. He's had a nice summer. His starting job has never been in jeopardy. Daniel has shown some improvement after getting off to a really bad start in Philadelphia's first preseason game. He's in line to the backup. It's unfortunate for the Eagles that they didn't get to see Wentz play more often. The rookie quarterback hasn't been able to play since suffering a rib injury over two weeks ago. It remains to be seen if he'll play in the final preseason game. If not, who knows when we'll see him suit up again. Wentz is likely to be a healthy scratch on game day to start out this season.

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

Mathews has ran pretty well. It's just a matter of him staying healthy, which isn't something to count on. The Eagles have wisely used Sproles sparingly this summer. Doug Pederson said he wants to get the 33-year-old veteran more involved in the passing game. Barner has been a pleasant surprise for the Eagles. The former Ducks player rushed for 115 yards and one touchdown on 18 carries (6.4 average). He's also had some quality returns on special teams. Barner figures to be ahead of Smallwood on the depth chart since the rookie has missed a lot of time this summer due to injury.

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

Matthews guaranteed he's going to be back by Week 1. The Eagles will hope he's right. Agholor has been a big disappointment this offseason. He hasn't shown any signs of improving from last year. Green-Beckham is still learning the Eagles' offense, so his contributions might be limited on early in the season. One thing's for sure: he can help Philadelphia in the red zone. His leaping touchdown catch against the Colts was a great play. Huff earned his roster spot by showing signs of life against Indianapolis. He's still far from being mistake-proof, but at least he flashes big play ability at times. Philadelphia's coaching staff has often praised Turner for his consistency. The UDFA rookie might be able to sneak on the final roster. If not, the Eagles could look to claim a pass catcher on the waiver wire or even trade for one.

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

The Eagles have had a lot of success with three tight end sets this summer. You can bet they'll be utilizing those in the regular season as well. Burton's increased role in the offense is especially welcome. He has good hands and he's versatile enough to line out wide at times. Pantale hasn't done a whole lot to impress but the Eagles seem to like him as a depth guy who can line up at fullback and contribute on special teams. Earlier in training camp, Pederson made it clear he wants to keep four tight ends.

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

Considering they're dealing with a lot of change up front, the Eagles' first team offense line has played well this summer. We'll see if that last into the regular season. This projection assumes Johnson will eventually be suspended. The only surprise name here is Josh Andrews. The Eagles might opt to keep Dillon Gordon instead. For now I'll give Andrews the edge since he has more NFL experience. Vaitai could easily spend the whole season as a healthy scratch.

DEFENSE

Defensive tackle - Fletcher Cox, Bennie Logan, Beau Allen, Taylor Hart (4) [29]

Cox and Logan are two special starters. The depth at this position is looking a lot better than it did heading into training camp. Allen and Hart have both played well during the preseason. Hart is reportedly on the trade block, but the Eagles shouldn't want to get rid of him just for the sake of it. Mike Martin was somewhat surprisingly cut after looking like the No. 3 DT earlier in camp. He missed too much time with a knee injury, though. Undrafted rookies Destiny Vaeao and Aziz Shittu could be pushing for a fifth spot here. For now, I have them making the practice squad.

Defensive end - Brandon Graham, Connor Barwin, Vinny Curry, Steven Means, Marcus Smith, Bryan Braman (6) [35]

Graham has looked like a beast in the 4-3. He could have a big year. Barwin and Curry haven't looked bad either. Honestly, the whole defensive end rotation has been impressive. Means looked like a nice rotational pass rusher off the bench. Smith is showing some signs of life and might get one last shot. Braman gets to stay because he can contribute on special teams.

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

All five of these players are locks to make the team. It's just a matter of how the playing time is split up. It'll be interesting to see how the Eagles get Tulloch involved. Pederson said he wants the veteran to be able to contribute on at least one special teams unit. The Eagles could easily look to add a sixth inside linebacker here for special teams purposes.

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

McKelvin and Carroll are the starters with Brooks playing in the slot. Mills has been quiet since having a strong start to camp. Rowe has been up and down but should make the team. Smith has stood out, especially relative to being a UDFA from Division I FCS North Dakota State. The Eagles gave Smith some first team reps against the Colts. He's earned praise from Malcolm Jenkins. Philadelphia seems to like him. Aaron Grymes misses the cut here due to his shoulder injury.

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

The starters are obvious. Jim Schwartz recently said he's "proud" of the progress Watkins has made in his transition from cornerback to safety. Watkins' tackling has greatly improved. He's looking like a quality No. 3 safety. Maragos is a special teams ace.

SPECIAL TEAMS

Kicker - Caleb Sturgis (1) [51]

Sturgis has clearly been better than Cody Parkey all offseason. It hasn't been close.

Punter - Donnie Jones (1) [52]

Still going strong at 36 years old.

Long snapper - Jon Dorenbos (1) [53]

The Eagles cut John DePalma so Dorenbos is safe.

...

Practice Squad (10)

RB Byron Marshall, WR Cayleb Jones, WR/QB David Watford, OL/TE Dillon Gordon, OG Darrell Greene, DT Destiny Vaeao, DT Aziz Shittu, LB Myke Tavarres, CB Aaron Grymes, S Ed Reynolds