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Philadelphia Eagles 53-man roster prediction: FINAL EDITION 2017

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Which Eagles players will survive 2017 NFL roster cuts? Let's take a look.

NFL: Miami Dolphins at Philadelphia Eagles Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

The Philadelphia Eagles wrapped up their 2017 NFL preseason schedule on Thursday night in a game against 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. 2 at 4:00 PM EST. The Eagles may begin their cuts as soon as tomorrow, well in advance of the deadline. With that said, it's time for one last Eagles 53-man roster projection.

(Previous editions: May 19 | June 19 | July 21 | July 31 | August 7 | August 14 | August 21 | August 28)

Final Eagles 53-man roster prediction

OFFENSE

Quarterback - Carson Wentz, Nick Foles (2) [2]

This is only a tough spot to project because Foles missed over a month of practice time and didn’t play in a single preseason game. Doug Pederson has said he feels confident in Foles as the backup to Wentz, but it’s hard not to be concerned. If Foles’ injury was so minor, he wouldn’t have missed so much time. It’d be a disappointment if the Eagles had to keep Matt McGloin, who hasn’t played well enough to earn a roster spot, just because Foles isn’t healthy. My wishful thinking says the Eagles will only keep two quarterbacks on the roster with a third on the practice squad.

Running back - Wendell Smallwood, Darren Sproles, LeGarrette Blount, Corey Clement, Donnel Pumphrey (5) [7]

I’d be surprised if the Eagles kept this many running backs, but according to Howard Eskin that’s what they’re likely going to do. Something to keep in mind here is the Eagles will have to keep Pumphrey on the main roster in order to stash him on injured reserve. Otherwise, if they try to put him on IR before final cuts, he’s subject to waivers. Another thing to keep in mind is that the original 53-man roster is NOT the final one in the sense that more cuts can always happen once the Eagles see who else becomes available around the league. I could see the Eagles adding another running back if a quality player shakes loose. Byron Marshall looked better than Pumphrey but unfortunately I think he’ll be cut.

Wide receiver - Alshon Jeffery, Torrey Smith, Nelson Agholor, Mack Hollins, Marcus Johnson (5) [12]

I think the Eagles have six or seven receivers worth keeping, so this was a tough position to cut. Bryce Treggs deserves to make the team but there’s speculation he could be traded to a wide receiver-needy team. The Eagles are high on Greg Ward but they might figure he’s not ready enough to contribute so he can be stashed on the practice squad. I wouldn’t be surprised if either Treggs or Ward is kept as the sixth guy. Shelton Gibson seems more like a practice squad player, but maybe he makes it as a surprise.

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

Another tough spot. I was debating between the Eagles keeping six wide receivers or four tight ends. Brown’s intriguing size and potential could convince the Eagles not to expose him to waivers. With Celek likely gone after this year and Burton scheduled to be a free agent, it could be wise to keep Brown around. Otherwise it could just be Ertz under contract after this season.

Offensive line - Jason Peters, Isaac Seumalo, Jason Kelce, Brandon Brooks, Lane Johnson, Halapoulivaati Vaitai, Stefen Wisniewski, Dillon Gordon, Chance Warmack (9) [25]

Big V is the top backup at tackle. Wis is the top backup at center. Warmack might be the top backup at both guard spots, although Wis is probably the better player. Gordon seems like a safe inclusion based on how the Eagles like to get creative with him. Then again, he really struggled in the fourth preseason game. The Eagles kept 11 offensive lineman last year so you can’t rule out that they’ll go heavy at this spot. Keep an eyes on the likes of Darrell Greene, Taylor Hart, and Josh Andrews.

DEFENSE

Defensive tackle - Fletcher Cox, Tim Jernigan, Beau Allen, Destiny Vaeao, Elijah Qualls (5) [30]

Allen returned to the field sooner than expected, which is a nice surprise. Vaeao was clearly the Eagles’ third DT while Allen was hurt. Qualls should be able to beat out Justin Hamilton, who has also stood out, considering the former is younger. The Eagles’ sixth-round rookie has played well in the preseason games. Maybe the Eagles can trade Hamilton.

Defensive end - Brandon Graham, Vinny Curry, Derek Barnett, Chris Long, Steven Means (5) [35]

This position is locked in. The battle between Means and Alex McCalister was settled when Philadelphia gave a contract extension to Means on Wednesday evening. I guess it’s possible the Eagles carry six here, but that seems unlikely.

Linebacker - Jordan Hicks, Nigel Bradham, Mychal Kendricks, Joe Walker, Kamu Grugier-Hill (5) [40]

The depth at this position is a big question mark. I don’t have Nate Gerry here because he’s been out ever since suffering an injury in the Eagles-Dolphins game. Philadelphia could try to stash him on injured reserve. Najee Goode isn’t included here because the Eagles can cut him and always bring him back after Week 1 so that his contract won’t be guaranteed. In the meantime, the Eagles will likely scour the waiver wire for potential depth players at this position.

Cornerback - Ronald Darby, Jalen Mills, Patrick Robinson, Rasul Douglas, Jaylen Watkins, Dexter McDougle (6) [46]

Robinson is the team’s slot corner with Ron Brooks gone. Douglas isn’t ready to start right away but he could see him playing time in a rotational role. Watkins makes the team due to his versatility to play at both safety and corner. McDougle makes the team because he gives the Eagles depth in the slot. It’d also be surprising to see Philadelphia cut him so shortly after making an effort to trade for him.

Safety - Malcolm Jenkins, Rodney McLeod, Corey Graham, Chris Maragos (4) [50]

Graham is the No. 3 safety behind the two starters. He’ll get some regular playing time on the back end if/when the Eagles move Jenkins into the slot for certain matchups. Maragos is the special teams captain.

SPECIAL TEAMS

Kicker - Caleb Sturgis (1) [51]

Power Sturge has rebounded after a brief scare.

Punter - Donnie Jones (1) [52]

There’s been some speculation that undrafted rookie Cameron Johnston could beat out Jones since Jon Dorenbos lost his job. That doesn’t apply here. Jones has outperformed Johnston.

Long snapper - Rick Lovato (1) [53]

For the first time since he took over as the long snapper in 2006, the Eagles will enter the season without Jon Dorenbos on the roster. Lovato beat him out fair and square.

INJURED PLAYERS

The Eagles have a decision to make on Sidney Jones. They’ll likely place him on the NFI or PUP list, which means he’ll miss at least the first six weeks of the regular season. He won’t count towards the 53-man roster limit while he’s on the list.

PRACTICE SQUAD (10)

QB Dane Evans, WR Greg Ward, WR Shelton Gibson, OL Darrell Greene, OL Tyler Orlosky, DE Alex McCalister, LB Don Cherry, CB C.J. Smith, CB Aaron Grymes, S Tre Sullivan

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Posted by Bleeding Green Nation: For Philadelphia Eagles Fans on Thursday, August 31, 2017