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Philadelphia Eagles 53-man roster prediction: FINAL EDITION 2016

Which Eagles players will survive 2016 NFL roster cuts? Let's take a look.

Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

The Philadelphia Eagles wrapped up their 2016 NFL preseason schedule on Thursday night with a win over the New York Jets. The preseason is finally over. Now it's time for NFL teams to trim their rosters down to the 53-player limit before the deadline this Saturday, Sept. 3 at 4:00 PM EST. The Eagles may begin their cuts well in advance of the deadline. With that said, it's time for one last Eagles 53-man roster projection.

(Past editions: May 13 | June 13 | July 22 | August 2 | August 9 | August 13 | August 21 | August 29)

Final Eagles 53-man roster prediction


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

Not unlike last year, Bradford is coming off a strong preseason. Sammy Sleeves might not be Philadelphia's long-term answer at quarterback but he's the starter for now. Daniel was up and down in the preseason, but he's still the No. 2 guy. Wentz missed a lot of valuable time after suffering a rib injury in the first preseason game. Wentz should be healthy by Week 1 but he'll likely be inactive on game day to start the season.

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

Earlier this offseason, Doug Pederson said the Eagles plan to use a running-back-by-committee. With that said, Mathews is clearly the first back up in the rotation. That is, until if/when he gets hurt. The 33-year-old Sproles is expected to be used more in the passing game. He'll get some carries as well. Barner had a strong summer. The former Oregon rusher belongs ahead of Smallwood in the pecking order since the rookie has missed a lot of time due to injury. Barner also has value on special teams as a returner.

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

Matthews missed the entire preseason but he'll be back for Week 1. Agholor struggled this offseason but the 2015 first round pick still projects to be a starter. Green-Beckham, at the very least, give the Eagles a new red zone weapon. To be determined if he can help the Eagles in other ways. Huff has some play-making ability, but he's also very inconsistent. Drops have been an issue for him all spring and summer. Turner has earned praise from the coaching staff for playing well. He's done just about everything he could have to make the team.

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

The Eagles are going to run a lot of three tight end sets this year. Ertz, Celek, and Burton are locked in. Burton could (and should) have a bigger role in the offense than he did over the past two seasons. Pederson plans on keep four tight ends so Pantale is basically the fourth guy here by default. He hasn't done anything to deserve making the team but I'm keeping him on here for now because I think the Eagles will cut him if/when they find a veteran tight end/fullback type available via waivers. So he's a temporary placeholder.

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

Johnson is likely going to be suspended at some point, but since this is an initial 53-man roster projection and Johnson still isn't suspended yet, I'll count him towards the 53. If Johnson is able to play,  the starting line will look like this: Peters-Barbre-Kelce-Brooks-Johnson. If/when Johnson gets suspended for 10 games, the line will be: Peters-Seumalo-Kelce-Brooks-Barbre. Tobin is the top backup at both tackle spots. Wiz is the top backup on the interior. The Eagles spent a fifth on Vaitai so they'll keep him on the roster but he likely won't see the field much if at all.


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

Cox and Logan combine to form one of the best 4-3 defensive tackle duos in the NFL. Allen and Hart have made great progress transitioning from the 3-4 to the 4-3. Both players have had strong summers and should make the final cut. The Eagles could opt to keep five defensive tackles. Destiny Vaeao could be the fifth guy, if that's the case. Aziz Shittu also played well this summer. Shittu could be a practice squad guy.

Defensive end - Brandon Graham, Connor Barwin, Vinny Curry, Steven Means, Marcus Smith, Bryan Braman (6) [36]

Graham looks really good playing in the 4-3 again. There figures to be a strong three-man rotation with him, Barwin, and Curry. Means had a great summer. He was consistently getting in the quarterback's face and he made plays against the run as well. Smith didn't look as good as Means but the 2014 first round pick played well enough to stick around. Braman obviously isn't a true defensive end. He's a special teams guy.

Linebacker - Jordan Hicks, Nigel Bradham, Mychal Kendricks, Najee Goode, Stephen Tulloch (5) [41]

Hicks is a promising young talent on the inside. Bradham projects to be the starting SAM. Kendricks has been in a weird situation. Despite being the starting WILL linebacker, he played late in Philadelphia's third preseason game and early in the fourth one. The coaching staff could be trying to send him a message. Goode is likely the top backup at both outside positions. Tulloch is the backup middle linebacker. The Eagles might want to add another backup linebacker who can also contribute on special teams.

Cornerback - Leodis McKelvin, Nolan Carroll, Ron Brooks, Jalen Mills, Eric Rowe (5) [46]

McKelvin and Carroll appear to be the starters on the outside. Brooks is the starter in the slot. Mills' early training camp hype has died down but he should still make the team. Rowe spent the entire summer in the doghouse. The second-year corner was up and down at best. C.J. Smith is right on the bubble here. He was a tough cut for me.

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

Jenkins and McLeod are obviously the starters. Watkins played himself into the third safety spot this summer. Watkins looked good in coverage and he really improved as a tackler. Maragos is the leader of the special teams unit. I think the Eagles would have interest in putting Ed Reynolds on their practice squad but I see him getting picked up by another team if cut.


Kicker - Caleb Sturgis (1) [51]

Sturgis was clearly better than Cody Parkey all offseason long.

Punter - Donnie Jones (1) [52]

Still going strong at 36 years old.

Long snapper - Jon Dorenbos (1) [53]

The magic man won the long snapper battle. Now can he win America's Got Talent?


Practice Squad (10)

RB Byron Marshall, WR Cayleb Jones, WR/QB David Watford, OL/TE Dillon Gordon, OG Darrell Greene, CB C.J. Smith, DT Aziz Shittu, LB Myke Tavarres, LB Quentin Gause, S Blake Countess

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