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Eagles 53-man roster projection after two weeks of training camp and one preseason game

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Who will make the final cut?

Pittsburgh Steelers v Philadelphia Eagles Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images

We’ve learned quite a bit about Philadelphia Eagles’ roster outlook through two weeks of training camp and one preseason game. so far. 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. Keep in mind I do one of these predictions every week and I reserve the right to change my opinion at any time in order to make myself look smarter than I really am.

OFFENSE

QB: Carson Wentz, Nick Foles, Nate Sudfeld (3) [3]

The feeling here is that Wentz is going to be ready for Week 1 despite not doing 11-on-11 in practice for over a week. Foles has missed some time but he said his neck soreness isn’t serious. Sudfeld has flashed potential but he’s been inconsistent. Barring injury, Sudfeld is set to be inactive on game day for the entire season. Joe Callahan might end up on a practice squad somewhere.

RB: Jay Ajayi, Darren Sproles, Corey Clement, Josh Adams (4) [7]

Ajayi was fighting through contact against the Steelers as if he was playing in the Super Bowl. The Jay Train is motivated to have a big season as he’s heading into a contract year. Sproles is still very much the player you’d expect him to be based on what we’ve seen in practice. Clement’s improvement during the 2017 season was remarkable. He looks like he’s even better this year. He’s going to get playing time in this offense. The fourth running back spot is still up for grabs. I was previously giving Donnel Pumphrey the edge but his stock is dropping as he misses time due to injury. Same goes for Matt Jones. Wendell Smallwood hasn’t been impressive and he fumbled against Pittsburgh. Smallwood HAS been getting public praise from coaches for his work as a coverage guy on special teams, which might be something. It’s clear that Adams has limitations when it comes to change of direction but he showed some positive flashes as well.

WR: Alshon Jeffery, Nelson Agholor, Mike Wallace, Mack Hollins, Shelton Gibson (5) [12]

Jeffery hasn’t participated in practice yet. He can be activated at any time. Agholor has had a fantastic camp. It wouldn’t surprise me if he has an even better season than last year. Wallace has missed some time with tendinitis recently but he should be a Week 1 starter on the outside. Hollins is locked in as a fourth receiver and a special teams guy. Gibson is a lock to make this team. He showed why the Eagles drafted him by roasting a Steelers cornerback on Thursday night. I think the Eagles could easily keep a sixth receiver but no one has really stepped up recently. Markus Wheaton missed the first preseason game due to injury. Bryce Treggs has been banged up as well. Greg Ward Jr., Rashard Davis, Tim Wilson, and Kamar Aiken combined for one reception for seven yards against the Steelers. Aiken might have a slight edge due to the combination of his special teams ability, his size, his NFL experience, and his Joe Douglas connection.

TE: Zach Ertz, Dallas Goedert, Richard Rodgers (3) [15]

Cut and dry. Ertz is the starter. Goedert has been showing great potential all offseason. Mostly important, he looked good in game action. He’s going to get playing time. Rodgers might actually be the best blocking tight end of this group? You could do worse at third tight end. I don’t think the Eagles keep a fourth on the roster. They’ll stash one on the practice squad instead, whether that’s Billy Brown or Josh Perkins.

OL: Jason Peters, Stefen Wisniewski, Jason Kelce, Brandon Brooks, Lane Johnson, Halapoulivaati Vaitai, Isaac Seumalo, Matt Pryor, Jordan Mailata (9) [24]

The starting offensive line is in place. Peters looks great despite coming off an ACL tear. Big V is showing improvement from last year; he figures to be a nice swing tackle to have around. Seumalo is still struggling with his snaps, which makes it hard to trust him at center in a game. I still think he’s worth keeping over Chance Warmack due to his “versatility.” Plus Warmack is more expensive and signed for one fewer year. BGN’s Benjamin Solak noted that Eagles offensive line coach Jeff Stoutland called Seumalo the “most improved lineman in camp.” Interesting. Pryor is a lock to make the team with the summer that he’s had; his presence also makes Warmack expendable. I’ve previously written that it doesn’t make much sense to keep Mailata since he’s not going to be able to play this year anyway. I still feel that way, but maybe I’m underrating the chance that someone would claim him. The Australian rookie didn’t look like a total disaster in his first NFL game. The Eagles might just try to stash him on the 53. They don’t have to count on playing him since Seumalo or Pryor can play tackle if necessary.

DEFENSE

DE: Brandon Graham, Michael Bennett, Derek Barnett, Chris Long, Steven Means, Josh Sweat (6) [30]

Hopefully Graham will be activated before Week 1. It’ll be interesting to see exactly how the Eagles use Bennett. He’s seen a good amount of time with the second team. He was playing with that group into the second quarter against the Steelers. Much to Solak’s delight, Barnett’s kind of had a quiet summer. I feel like I haven’t seen a ton out of him, good or bad. Means doesn’t deserve to be cut. He needs to be either kept or traded. 2018 will likely be a learning year for Sweat.

DT: Fletcher Cox, Destiny Vaeao, Haloti Ngata, Bruce Hector (4) [34]

Cox is already stating his case for Defensive Player of the Year in the preseason. He looks super motivated out there. Good to see. The rest of the defensive tackle situation is not nearly as encouraging. Vaeao seems like Just A Guy at best to me. Ngata is exactly what the Eagles expect him to be: a stop-gap veteran defensive tackle. Aziz Shittu flashed a little on Thursday but I saw his get thrown around a little bit as well. I’m intrigued by Hector, who had a strip-sack late in the game.

LB: Jordan Hicks, Kamu Grugier-Hill, Corey Nelson, Nathan Gerry, Joe Walker, LaRoy Reynolds (6) [40]

I don’t have Nigel Bradham listed here because he’s suspended for Week 1. He’ll be back in Week 2. Hicks is the only lock to be starting in Week 1. We’ll have to see who lines up next to him. I feel like Kamu has had a strong summer, but the Eagles have been putting Gerry at first team WILL. Reynolds can contribute on special teams and he looks roster worthy. Walker could be axed when Bradham returns.

CB: Ronald Darby, Jalen Mills, Sidney Jones, Rasul Douglas, De’Vante Bausby, Avonte Maddox (6) [46]

Darby and Mills are your outside starters with Jones likely starting in the slot. One would figure Douglas would be the first corner off the bench on the outside. Bausby’s had a nice offseason and deserves to make the team. He could also be the backup at nickel corner. I don’t think Maddox is ready to have a big role as a rookie.

S: Malcolm Jenkins, Rodney McLeod, Corey Graham, Tre Sullivan (4) [50]

The Eagles will return their top three safeties from last year. Sullivan has been good in practice but he struggled with some missed tackles in the first preseason game. His roster spot could be in jeopardy if he continues to struggle like that and someone like Stephen Roberts and/or Jeremy Reaves steps up.

SPECIAL TEAMS

K: Jake Elliott (1) [51]

Locked in.

P: Cameron Johnston (1) [52]

I wouldn’t call Johnston a lock due to his inconsistency but he certainly didn’t hurt his case by booting a 81-yard punt.

LS: Rick Lovato (1) [53]

Lick Rovato.

SUSPENSION

Nigel Bradham is suspended for Week 1 so he won’t count against the 53-man roster until leading up to Week 2.

INJURED PLAYERS

It seems very likely that Timmy Jernigan will begin the season on the non-football injury (NFI) list. That means he’ll miss six games, at least.

The Eagles could keep Chris Maragos on the physically unable to perform (PUP) list to start the year. That would mean he’ll miss at least six games as well.

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PRACTICE SQUAD (10):

RB Donnel Pumphrey, WR Greg Ward Jr., WR Bryce Treggs, TE Billy Brown, OG Darrell Greene, OT Toby Weathersby, DE Joe Ostman, DT Aziz Shittu, CB D.J. Killings, S Jeremy Reaves