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Philadelphia Eagles 53-man roster prediction after two weeks of training camp

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Who’s gonna make the final cut?

NFL: Philadelphia Eagles-Training Camp Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

It’s been two weeks since the Philadelphia Eagles began their 2017 training camp practice schedule. Since then, we've learned quite a few things about the outlook of this year's squad. Now it's time to take that knowledge and make an updated 53-man roster prediction. Let's see how much things have changed since last week’s projection.

OFFENSE

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

Wentz has had an excellent summer. His strong practice on Sunday is just a reminder of that fact. Foles has missed a decent chunk of practice time this offseason. His roster spot isn’t in jeopardy, but it’s not a great look. Matt McGloin may benefit from Foles missing a lot of reps. He’ll have an opportunity to try to convince the Eagles to keep him with some strong preseason performances. I still think keeping two quarterbacks on the roster and one on the practice squad is the better option, though.

Running back - LeGarrette Blount, Darren Sproles, Donnel Pumphrey, Wendell Smallwood (4) [6]

I’d say this position is pretty much locked in. Corey Clement may be pushing for a roster spot in theory, but ultimately I don’t think the Eagles will be able to fit him in. Blount is the starter. Sproles is Sproles. The Eagles seem to have plans for Pumphrey who has missed some time due to a hamstring issue. Smallwood ran well when Blount missed practice. When asked to describe what he likes about Smallwood, Eagles offensive coordinator responded:

“His instincts. His aggressiveness. How smart he is. I think he's got very good physical skills. He's fast. He's quick. He's a thrashing runner. He's fearless.”

Wide receiver - Alshon Jeffery, Torrey Smith, Nelson Agholor, Marcus Johnson, Mack Hollins, Greg Ward Jr. (6) [12]

I think the Eagles will keep six wide receivers on the final roster. It’s just a matter of which six. Jeffery, Smith, Agholor, Hollins are stone-cold locks to make the team. Marcus Johnson could also very well be in that territory. The Eagles have given him first team reps in Jeffery’s absence. In addition to making plays on offense, Johnson has also practiced well in special teams drills. So that’s five wide receiver spots locked in.

Jordan Matthews is also a lock barring a trade. In this situation, however, I’m projecting the team does indeed deal him. Daniel Jeremiah might know something when he says Agholor (and not Matthews) will be the team’s slot receiver. ESPN’s Tim McManus hinting at a Matthews trade is also noteworthy.

I don’t think trading JMatt is entirely realistic because I don’t expect the Eagles to be able to get a worthwhile return for a player on the last year of their contract. Though he hasn’t missed a training camp practice, Matthews hasn’t necessarily looked 100% this offseason. Lingering injury issues could also limit his value.

Assuming Matthews is traded, the Eagles could look to keep impressive undrafted rookie free agent Ward. He’s seen time in the slot.

Tight end - Zach Ertz, Brent Celek, Trey Burton (3) [15]

Not much to say about this position because it’s pretty obvious who’s making the team. This could very well be Celek’s last year with the Eagles. Burton, meanwhile, will be a free agent after this season. The Eagles might look to keep four tight ends with either Billy Brown or Anthony Denham making the roster. I’m leaving them off for now but they’re on the bubble.

Offensive line - Jason Peters, Isaac Seumalo, Jason Kelce, Brandon Brooks, Lane Johnson, Stefen Wisniewski, Halapoulivaati Vaitai, Chance Warmack, Dillon Gordon, Tyler Orlosky (10) [25]

The starters are locked in. Wisniewski is the top backup at center and guard. Big V is the top backup at both tackle spots. I like what I’ve seen out of Warmack this summer. The preseason games will obviously be a bigger test for him. Gordon is virtually a lock to make this team. Not only are the Eagles grooming him at left tackle; he also lines up at goal line fullback or as a sixth offensive lineman in certain sets. Gordon also gives the Eagles more tight end depth in a pinch. It could be hard to sneak Orlosky to the practice squad. The Eagles could look to stash the undrafted rookie center given Kelce’s cloudy future beyond this year.

DEFENSE

DE: Brandon Graham, Vinny Curry, Derek Barnett, Chris Long, Steven Means (5) [30]

Graham and Curry should get the majority of the snaps at defensive end with both Barnett and Long rotating in. Means gets the edge over Alex McCalister because the latter hasn’t done much to stand out.

DT: Fletcher Cox, Tim Jernigan, Destiny Vaeao, Elijah Qualls (4) [34]

I feel pretty good about projecting the first three names here. The fourth name ... not so much. Qualls has missed a good deal of practice time this offseason. The rookie has struggled and might end up being more of a scout team guy at this point. Maybe the Eagles opt to keep Gabe Wright over him. Or maybe Beau Allen is healthy enough to be activated by Week 1. In any case, Qualls really needs a good presason.

LB: Jordan Hicks, Nigel Bradham, Najee Goode, Kamu Grugier-Hill, Joe Walker, Nate Gerry (6) [40]

I have the Eagles going heavy at linebacker in part due to Bradham’s potential impending suspension. Goode has spent time as the top backup at both MIKE and WILL. Grugier-Hill’s had a nice summer for himself. I haven’t noticed Walker a ton lately. Gerry seemed to hold up in the run game when the Eagles put the pads on last week. I think the overall depth at this position is a little better than most seem to think. As for why Mychal Kendricks isn’t listed here, I’m projecting a trade. Keep an eye on the NFC West and NFC North.

CB: Jalen Mills, C.J. Smith, Ron Brooks, Rasul Douglas, Aaron Grymes (5) [45]

Patrick Robinson has been burned so much that I can’t keep him on the roster. Mills has been the Eagles’ best corner, which isn’t saying a ton. Smith hasn’t been spectacular but he hasn’t been awful either. He could actually be the starter opposite of Mills. Brooks is the slot guy. Douglas should get some playing time as a rookie even if he’s not starting. Grymes gives the Eagles more depth in the slot.

S: Malcolm Jenkins, Rodney McLeod, Terrence Brooks, Corey Graham, Chris Maragos (5) [50]

Jenkins and McLeod are the starters. Brooks should be the third safety given how well he’s played this summer. He might share some playing time with the recently signed Graham, however. Graham can line up all over the secondary: cornerback, nickel, safety, etc. The Eagles have said Graham will start out at safety so I’m putting him here for now. Maragos is the Eagles’ special teams captain so he’s not going anywhere.

SPECIAL TEAMS

K: Caleb Sturgis (1) [51]

Sturgis struggled to make two pressure situation kicks from 55 yards out in practice. He’s good but not ELITE.

P: Donnie Jones (1) [52]

Donnie’s not going anywhere.

LS: Jon Dorenbos (1) [53]

Think about how boring it’ll be when the next long snapper isn’t as talented of a magician as Dorenbos. Hopefully the 37-year-old is here to stay for a few more seasons after this one.

INJURED PLAYERS

Sidney Jones and Beau Allen opened training camp on the active/non-football injury list. This means they can be activated at any time. If they’re not, they can eventually be placed on the regular season NFI list, which means they’ll have to miss at least the first six weeks of the season. They won’t count towards the roster limit during this time.

PRACTICE SQUAD (10)

QB Dane Evans, RB Corey Clement, WR Shelton Gibson, TE Billy Brown, OG Darrell Greene, DE Alex McCalister, DT Winston Craig, LB Don Cherry, CB Jomal Wiltz, CB Mitchell White