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Eagles 53-man roster prediction: Cheat sheet edition

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Figuring out the final cuts.

Indianapolis Colts v Philadelphia Eagles Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images

Okay, so, I lied when I referred to my latest Philadelphia Eagles 53-man roster projection as the “final edition.” I’m now doing one last version — a cheat sheet version — now that I have the benefit of seeing the Eagles officially cut their roster down to 65 players ahead of Saturday’s 4:00 PM Eastern deadline. Let’s try to figure out the remaining 12 moves the Eagles will make.

OFFENSE

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

There’s been some speculation the Eagles could trade Sudfeld but I don’t see it. He could still potentially be Wentz’s backup in 2020 with McCown retiring after this season. The Eagles will probably put Clayton Thorson on the practice squad but if it were up to me I’d rather use the spot on a more intriguing quarterback prospect. Bring me Alex McGough, Eagles!

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

There is no need for the Eagles to keep a fifth running back. There’s some buzz the Eagles could trade Wendell Smallwood or Josh Adams but I’m certainly not counting on that to happen. Everyone should know the Eagles are just going to cut them anyway.

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

I really think the Eagles are keeping Hollins. I tend to think they won’t be keeping Greg Ward despite the fact he’s had a nice summer. I believe they can get Ward to the practice squad just like they’ve done the past two years.

TIGHT END: Zach Ertz, Dallas Goedert, Joshua Perkins (3) [15]

I thought the Eagles might keep Richard Rodgers on the original 53-man roster so they could put him on injured reserve and potentially bring him back later in the season. That won’t be happening now since they put him on injured reserve before the cut down to 53; Rodgers’ season is over. And so that leaves the No. 3 tight end job open. Perkins is the winner by default. He has experience in the Eagles’ system and he was taking some first team reps with Goedert missing practices and preseason games. Still, the Eagles should be looking to see if they can upgrade on Perkins via waivers or a trade. Alex Ellis had some nice flashes but I don’t think the coaching staff will keep him over Perkins. Ellis could end up on the practice squad.

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

It’s still tricky trying to figure out what’s going to happen with Mailata since I don’t know the severity of his back injury. The Eagles could try to stash him on injured reserve for the season ... but he wouldn’t be able to take practice reps all year. I’ll guess they keep him. I also feel pretty solid about Pryor making this team. The big question here is: do the Eagles keep Stefen Wisniewski or Nate Herbig ... or neither? If I’m the Eagles, I’m looking to see if I can get anything in return for Wis because trading him would clear $1.83 million in cap space and he can only play guard anyway. Alternatively, they could cut Wis and try to bring him back after Week 1 so his 2019 salary isn’t guaranteed. It seems like the Eagles fancy themselves some Herbig. I didn’t realize until Reuben Frank pointed it out that Herbig is really young; the undrafted rookie only turned 21 back in July. Herbig was actually still in high school when Doug Pederson got hired as the Eagles’ head coach. I think Jeff Stoutland wants to develop Herbig and I think the Eagles could get him to the practice squad since teams won’t see him as an instant contributor.

DEFENSE

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

It’d really be ideal for the Eagles to store Miller on injured reserve for the 2019 season but I guess we can’t count on that happening. And so the Eagles are keeping six defensive ends. No Jadeveon Clowney.

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

Hester is the 53rd guy on my roster here. The Eagles could leave him off and keep Ward or Herbig. I personally think Hester deserves to make the team. And I think keeping him makes sense since Cox still hasn’t practiced yet and Jernigan nearly suffered a career-ending injury last year. Hester might have some value in a trade. Maybe the Eagles can trade him for, say, an upgrade at the No. 3 tight end spot and cut Perkins.

LINEBACKER: Nigel Bradham, Kamu Grugier-Hill, Zach Brown, Nathan Gerry, L.J. Fort, T.J. Edwards (6) [41]

I’ve seen people clamoring for the Eagles to cut Gerry. That’s not happening. The Eagles’ coaching staff likes Gerry. He’s taken a lot of first team reps throughout the course of the offseason. And the Eagles held him out of Thursday night’s Jets game. He’s safe. It looked like a sixth linebacker spot was down to Alex Singleton versus T.J. Edwards and Singleton got cut so Edwards is the winner. It’s still possible the Eagles cut Edwards but I think they’ll try to hold on to him, especially given the injuries to Bradham and Grugier-Hill.

CORNERBACK: Ronald Darby, Avonte Maddox, Sidney Jones, Rasul Douglas, Cre’Von LeBlanc (5) [46]

I thought the Eagles might keep Orlando Scandrick on the original 53-man roster since Maddox, Jones, and Douglas would be the only three healthy corners on the roster if Darby can’t play Week 1. I’m guessing Scandrick’s (temporary?) dismissal bodes well for Darby’s chances of suiting up against Washington. LeBlanc seems primed to go on injured reserve after making the 53-man roster, which will make him eligible to be activated after Week 8.

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

Are the Eagles going to keep Rudy Ford? That seems to be the only mystery here. I don’t see the need to when they can probably just put him on the practice squad.

SPECIAL TEAMS

KICKER: Jake Elliott (1) [51]

PUNTER: Cameron Johnston (1) [52]

LONG SNAPPER: Rick Lovato (1) [53]

PHYSICALLY UNABLE TO PERFORM (PUP)

Jalen Mills

Mills to the PUP list is one of the 12 moves the Eagles will make prior to Saturday’s deadline. Note that he can’t be activated until Week 7 at the earliest.

PRACTICE SQUAD

QB Alex McGough (wishful thinking - it’ll be Clayton Thorson for real), RB Boston Scott, WR Greg Ward, TE Alex Ellis, OT Brett Toth, C Nate Herbig, DT Kevin Wilkins, LB Alex Singleton, CB Ajene Harris, S Rudy Ford