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Eagles 53-man roster prediction after two preseason games [UPDATE]

Who will make the final cut?

NFL: New York Jets at Philadelphia Eagles Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

The Philadelphia Eagles have been through fifteen training camp practices and two preseason games so far this summer. We’ve learned a lot about this year’s team in that span. Now it’s time to put that knowledge to use in the form of an updated 53-man roster projection. Let’s see how much things have changed since last week’s version. Keep in mind I do one of these predictions every week leading up to final roster cuts. [Click here for a link to last week’s post.]

Allow me to say that this activity wasn’t easy. The Eagles are going to have to cut some decent players later this summer. There really is a lot of talent on their roster.


Quarterback: Carson Wentz, Josh McCown, Nate Sudfeld (3) [3]

UPDATE! I’m changing this section to reflect the Josh McCown signing. It seems like the 40-year-old veteran is now poised to be Philadelphia’s primary backup behind Wentz. The Eagles were reportedly interested in signing McCown before both Sudfeld/Cody Kessler got hurt ... AND the Eagles reportedly gave McCown a contract worth up to $5.4 million in incentives with $2 million fully guaranteed. It’s clear the Eagles — who view themselves as a strong Super Bowl contender — wanted more experience behind Wentz. The McCown signing moves Sudfeld back to the No. 3 quarterback spot. Sudfeld won’t be healthy enough to suit up until around Week 3 as he recovers from his wrist injury. Clayton Thorson gets cut here because I can’t see the Eagles keeping four quarterbacks with all the other talent on their roster retaining. Thorson could get through to the practice squad.

Running back: Miles Sanders, Jordan Howard, Darren Sproles, Corey Clement (4) [7]

The Eagles have to keep at least four running backs given Sproles’ health concerns; he’s 36 and he’s played in just nine games over the past two seasons. Clement still feels like the favorite despite the fact he hasn’t been cleared for preseason action yet. I can’t see the Eagles keeping Josh Adams, Boston Scott, or Donnel Pumphrey over Clement. One or two of those guys will make the practice squad, though.

Wide receiver: Alshon Jeffery, DeSean Jackson, Nelson Agholor, JJ Arcega-Whiteside, Mack Hollins (5) [12]

The top four guys are locks. Who’s the fifth guy going to be? Do the Eagles keep six receivers? The main competitors appear to be Hollins, Greg Ward, and Marken Michel. Ward and Michel have had bright offensive flashes but Hollins played well on special teams against the Jaguars. I’ll give the nod to Hollins for now. The Eagles could probably get Ward and/or Michel on the practice squad.

Tight end: Zach Ertz, Dallas Goedert, Joshua Perkins (3) [15]

The Eagles could go with four tight ends but I just couldn’t make the room for it. I think Richard Rodgers is going to make the team but his lingering foot injury gives me some pause. I have the Eagles keeping Perkins since he’s demonstrated blocking ability and the coaching staff seems to like him. “Perk” — as Doug Pederson calls him — has been getting first team reps with Goedert out for the rest of preseason.

Offensive line: Jason Peters, Isaac Seumalo, Jason Kelce, Brandon Brooks, Lane Johnson, Halapoulivaati Vaitai, Andre Dillard, Jordan Mailata, Matt Pryor (9) [24]

The five starters are in place. Vaitai’s making the team unless he gets traded. Dillard’s a lock. Beyond that is where things are unclear. I think Mailata has shown enough progress for the Eagles to continue to work with him as a developmental project. Pryor’s struggled with penalties and incosistency in the preseason so the team might just cut bait with their 2018 sixth-round pick. I get the impression the coaching staff wants to keep him around, though. I have the Eagles cutting Stefen Wisniewski because he’s been struggling, especially with snapping the ball. The Eagles can prevent guaranteeing Wisniewski’s entire 2019 salary by cutting him and then later bringing him back after Week 1, if necessary. Sua Opeta and Nate Herbig could sneak onto the roster. If not, at least one of them should be on the practice squad. Brett Toth could also end up on the practice squad if the Army clears him to sign with the Eagles.


Defensive end: Brandon Graham, Derek Barnett, Vinny Curry, Daeshon Hall, Josh Sweat, Shareef Miller (6) [30]

Perhaps the concerns about the Eagles’ defensive end depth were overblown. Hall has been an absolute beast in the preseason. He currently deserves to be the team’s fourth defensive end. Sweat hasn’t played quite as well as Hall but he’s clearly earned his spot on the roster. Miller has made some plays in the preseason and it’s not like the Eagles are cutting their 2019 fourth-round pick. So I guess that means keeping six.

Defensive tackle: Fletcher Cox, Malik Jackson, Timmy Jernigan, Hassan Ridgeway, Treyvon Hester (5) [35]

Cox still isn’t practicing as he recovers from his foot injury. With that in mind, I have the Eagles going heavy here with five defensive tackles. Ridgeway should be able to make the team when he’s able to return from his concussion. Hester could be the guy who gets lopped off here. Hopefully not.

Linebacker: Nigel Bradham, Zach Brown, Nathan Gerry, L.J. Fort, Kamu Grugier-Hill (5) [40]

When healthy, Bradham figures to be the Eagles’ middle linebacker. He could have other guys rotating in next to him. Brown has looked good in the preseason games; he’s especially stout as a run defender. He’s certainly more inspiring than Gerry. Grugier-Hill might not be back until late September-ish so it’d be nice if the Eagles don’t get more banged up at this spot. T.J. Edwards seems bound to make the practice squad if not the 53. Paul Worrilow is also going to try to make his push for a roster spot.

Cornerback: Ronald Darby, Avonte Maddox, Rasul Douglas, Sidney Jones, Orlando Scandrick, Cre’Von LeBlanc (6) [46]

The Eagles will be starting Darby when he’s healthy. Maddox is too good to not be playing. Douglas has had a good offseason. Jones had a strong start to camp but he’s cooled off recently. The Eagles still have some things to figure out at this spot in terms of playing time. Scandrick gives the Eagles depth in the slot. LeBlanc might have to go on injured reserve after making the 53-man roster because he might not be ready until November. The hope is he’ll be healthier sooner than that.

Safety: Malcolm Jenkins, Rodney McLeod, Andrew Sendejo, Johnathan Cyprien (4) [50]

Sendejo is locked in as the third safety behind Jenkins and McLeod. Who’s the fourth safety? It probably would’ve been Blake Countess if he didn’t get hurt. Cyppy Cup seems like the front-runner for that job now. Deiondre’ Hall and Tre Sullivan are also theoretically in the mix but I don’t think they’ll beat out Cyp. Besides, Sullivan can be stored on the practice squad.


Kicker: Jake Elliott (1) [51]

Elliot is the Eagles’ kicker.

Punter: Cameron Johnston (1) [52]

Johnston is the Eagles’ punter.

Long snapper: Rick Lovato (1) [53]

Lovato is the Eagles’ long snapper.


Jalen Mills

The Eagles can take Mills off the active/PUP list at any point before roster cuts take place but I’m guessing he begins the year on reserve/PUP. In that case, Mills would be required to miss at least the first six weeks of the regular season before being eligible to return to the 53-man roster no sooner than Week 7.


QB Clayton Thorson, RB Boston Scott, WR Marken Michel, TE Alex Ellis, OG Sua Opeta, OG Nate Herbig, DT Bruce Hector, LB T.J. Edwards, CB Jeremiah McKinnon, S Tre Sullivan

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