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Eagles 53-man roster projection after 10 days of training camp practice

Who’s going to make the final cut?

Philadelphia Eagles Training Camp Photo by Chris Szagola-Pool/Getty Images

Now that I’ve seen 10 days of Philadelphia Eagles training camp practice, it’s the perfect time for an updated 53-man roster prediction. Cut down day (Saturday, September 5) is less than one week away. Read on to see how I see the team shaping up. [Click here for a link to last week’s version.]

OFFENSE

QUARTERBACK: Carson Wentz, Nate Sudfeld, Jalen Hurts (3) [3]

Wentz is a lock to make the team. Sudfeld is holding firm as the No. 2 for now but it’s only a matter of time until he’s usurped by Hurts. I have the Eagles bringing back Kyle Lauletta on the practice squad because 1) Quarterback Factory and 2) it can’t hurt to have an extra passer in the building during a pandemic.

RUNNING BACK: Miles Sanders, Boston Scott, Corey Clement, Elijah Holyfield (4) [7]

Sanders, Scott, and Clement are locks. Will the Eagles keep a fourth running back? Possible but can’t say it’s a guarantee. If they do, Holyfield seems to be in good position to be that guy. He’s had a good camp. Michael Warren hasn’t done a ton to stand out so I have the Eagles keeping Adrian Killins — whom Doug Pederson referred to as “AK” (#NicknameAnalytics) — on the practice squad. The Eagles could look to keep just three backs on the roster use the new 55-man roster rule to call up a practice squad back when necessary.

WIDE RECEIVER: DeSean Jackson, Jalen Reagor, J.J. Arcega-Whiteside, Greg Ward, John Hightower, Quez Watkins, Deontay Burnett (7) [14]

Seven wide receivers?! Yep, they’re all deserving of making the team. Jackson looks as good as ever. Reagor is going to contribute from the jump. JJAW looks improved heading into Year 2 and could split time at X with Reagor. Some have suggested Ward isn’t a lock to make the team but I can’t agree; he’s taken almost all of the first team slot reps. Hightower seems to have a well-rounded game and is making highlight catches in practice; perhaps he could have a bigger role than expected. Watkins has flashed with his deep speed and could be the kick returner. Burnett regularly stands out in practice; there’s no doubt in my mind that he’s earned a spot on the Eagles’ roster. Marcus Green and Travis Fulgham have both made plays in camp so I have them on the practice squad.

TIGHT END: Zach Ertz, Dallas Goedert (2) [16]

The 2019 Eagles led the NFL in 12 personnel and only had two tight ends on the roster for eight games so this situation shouldn’t be unthinkable. Noah Togiai is the favorite for the third tight end spot with Josh Perkins going down but I don’t think he’s one of the Eagles’ 53 best players. He’s been fine; nothing great or anything. I have the Eagles keeping Togiai and Caleb Wilson on the practice squad. I’m thinking the Eagles could look to take advantage of the new 55-man roster rule and promote one of those two guys when necessary. The team should be scouring the waiver wire to see if a decent third tight end type becomes available.

OFFENSIVE LINE: Jason Peters, Isaac Seumalo, Jason Kelce, Matt Pryor, Lane Johnson, Jordan Mailata, Nate Herbig, Jack Driscoll, Prince Tega Wanogho (9) [25]

Peters is back at left tackle with Andre Dillard reportedly out for the season. Pryor is set to take over at right guard. The tackle depth behind Peters is pretty thin because it’s hard to feel confident in Mailata, who has gotten beaten badly too often in camp. The coaches clearly have Herbie as the top interior offensive line backup. Driscoll could be the top backup behind Johnson at this point unless they really want to swing Mailata to the right side. PTW has a chance to emerge as a backup left tackle but it’s unclear if the rookie is really ready to play extensively. Sua Opeta is a good bet to make the practice squad if he doesn’t get claimed. Luke Juriga might be able to sneak on to the roster considering he received the largest undrafted rookie free agent guarantee.

DEFENSE

DEFENSIVE END: Brandon Graham, Derek Barnett, Josh Sweat, Vinny Curry, Joe Ostman, Casey Toohill (6) [31]

Barnett still hasn’t returned to practice; the Eagles need him to get healthy soon. Sweat’s having a good camp. Jim Schwartz recently praised the energy that Curry brings to the team. Ostman was likely going to make the team before getting hurt last year and he’s looked good in camp this year. The coaches are having Ostman line up in that stand up Joker role and he can also contribute on special teams. Toohill has exceeded expectations and the Eagles might not want to risk him getting poached. Shareef Miller is on the bubble here; I have him on the practice squad. Genard Avery has done nothing to make the team based on merit. Maybe another team talks themselves into him and claims him on waivers. Otherwise, he could return on the Eagles’ practice squad, though they already have an extra defensive end practice body with Matt Leo sticking around on exemption.

DEFENSIVE TACKLE: Fletcher Cox, Javon Hargrave, Malik Jackson, Hassan Ridgeway (4) [35]

Cox is looking healthy and good, which is good. It’s unclear exactly when Hargrave will return but reports indicate it could be in time for Week 1. If Hargrave can’t play, it’s good to know that Jackson is also looking good. Ridgeway is a lock to make the team given his strong summer. The Eagles could look to keep Anthony Rush or Raequan Williams but I think they’re practice squad bets.

LINEBACKER: Nathan Gerry, T.J. Edwards, Duke Riley, Shaun Bradley, Davion Taylor (5) [40]

Barring injury, Gerry will lead all Eagles linebacker in snaps this year. Edwards and Riley are duking it out (no pun intended) for that second linebacker job. It’s possible they might split playing time there in something of a linebacker platoon. Bradley seems more ready to play on defense than Taylor given his game experience and ability to get the defense lined up. Taylor figures to be relegated to special teams duty as a rookie, assuming he’s not a healthy scratch. Alex Singleton is on the bubble but I have him on the practice squad.

CORNERBACK: Darius Slay, Avonte Maddox, Nickell Robey-Coleman, Cre’Von LeBlanc, Rasul Douglas (5) [40]

Might be the most trickiest position to predict. Slay, Maddox, and NRC are locked in as the starters. Strap is also going to make this team; he provides nickel depth and can help on special teams. Douglas is a flawed player but he gives the Eagles depth on the outside. Sidney Jones just hasn’t earned a roster spot after missing eight straight days of team drills. The problem with keeping him as a backup is that he doesn’t help out on special teams. Craig James could sneak on to the roster. If he doesn’t, he’s a top candidate to get called up from the practice squad.

SAFETY: Rodney McLeod, Jalen Mills, Will Parks, K’Von Wallace, Grayland Arnold (5) [50]

McLeod and Mills are the full-time starters and Parks is bound to get plenty of playing time as the third safety. Wallace could see a limited role as a rookie. Arnold deserves to make the team; the undrafted rookie free agent has stood out with a few nice plays. The Eagles might opt to keep Rudy Ford here considering how he’s lining up on some of the first team special teams unit. Ford was such a disaster on special teams last season, though. His four special teams penalties ranked tied for fourth most in the league. Pro Football Focus graded Ford 188th out of 190 special teams players.

SPECIAL TEAMS

KICKER: Jake Elliott (1) [51]

Haven’t noticed many misses in camp.

PUNTER: Cameron Johnston (1) [52]

The pressure is on to have a good year as he seeks a long-term contract extension.

LONG SNAPPER: Rick Lovato (1) [53]

Steady.


INJURY

INJURED RESERVE (IR): Josh Perkins, Andre Dillard

By placing Perkins on IR before roster cuts, he’s ineligible to return this season. The Eagles will have to carry Dillard on their original 53 if they want to have a chance at activating him late in the year but he’ll end up on IR at some point.

PHYSICALLY UNABLE TO PERFORM (PUP): Alshon Jeffery, Brandon Brooks

There’s been no update on Jeffery’s timetable, which leads me to believe he’ll begin the season on PUP and miss at least the first six weeks. The Eagles could place him on injured reserve and activate him after only three games if they believe he can come back sooner. But if the Eagles’ offense is clicking without Jeffery and the young receivers are looking good, what’s the rush to rush him back?


OPT OUT

Marquise Goodwin

The veteran wide receiver opted out of the 2020 NFL season due to COVID-19 concerns. He issued a statement to explain his decision.


But wait, isn’t there a 55-man roster this year?

Yes and no. There’s still a main 53. More details:

Two practice-squad players per week may be elevated to the team’s roster, meaning game-week roster sizes could effectively increase from 53 to 55. And a player elevated from the practice squad to the 55-man roster could be sent back to the practice squad two times without having to clear waivers. [...] The game-day active roster will increase from 46 to 48 players (although one of the extra players must be an offensive lineman, which will give teams more flexibility to have three extra linemen).


PRACTICE SQUAD

Practice squad capacity is now 16 players instead of 10. Teams can now keep up to six players with no limits on NFL experience. Teams can also block four practice squad players from being poached on a weekly basis.

16-player practice squad: QB Kyle Lauletta, RB Adrian Killins, WR Marcus Green, WR Travis Fulgham, TE Noah Togiai, TE Caleb Wilson, OG Sua Opeta, C Luke Juriga, DE Shareef Miller, DT Anthony Rush, DT Raequan Williams, LB Alex Singleton, CB Craig James, CB Michael Jacquet, S Elijah Riley, S Rudy Ford

Exemption: DE Matt Leo