clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Eagles 53-man roster prediction following the second preseason game

Updated projection.

New England Patriots v Philadelphia Eagles Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images

Now that we’re through three weeks of Eagles training camp and Philadelphia’s second preseason game, it’s the perfect time for an updated 53-man roster projection. Read on to see how the team is shaping up. [Click here for a link to our previous version.]


OFFENSE

QB: Jalen Hurts, Joe Flacco (2) [2]

Hurts was having his best stretch of the summer before suffering a stomach infection. Will he pick back up where he left off? Hopefully he remains available for the entirety of the 2021 because having to watch Flacco play won’t be fun.

RB: Miles Sanders, Boston Scott, Kenny Gainwell, Jason Huntley (4) [6]

Sanders looks good as ever as a runner. It’s just a matter of how much he can be relied on in the passing game. Scott appears to be the No. 2 guy for now. He could eventually be overtaken by Gainwell, who has shined more in the preseason games than he has in practices. Huntley has been hurt but the speedster is worth keeping around; he’s the best kick return option on the team. Jordan Howard is notably absent from this list because it just doesn’t make sense to keep him on the original 53. Who is really coming after him if the Eagles cut him? No other team jumped to sign him to their roster when he was available for nearly five months (November 2020 until April 2021). The Eagles should be able to bring him back after Week 1 to avoid guaranteeing his salary as a vested veteran.

WR: DeVonta Smith, Quez Watkins, Jalen Reagor, Travis Fulgham, Greg Ward, JJ Arcega-Whiteside (6) [12]

Smith is going to be the Eagles’ volume target and he’s going to dominate. Count on it. Watkins is the team’s most inspiring big play threat but he’s not limited to that specialty. Reagor has been impressive in 1-on-1s but has yet to make a consistent impact in full team settings, be it in practice or preseason games. The Eagles’ top three is locked in. As for what’s behind them, that’s not as settled. Fulgham might not even be a lock for the roster anymore considering how he’s been playing late in preseason games. As a prototypical X receiver, the Eagles could look to keep him around for depth. Ward gives the Eagles depth in the slot and at punt returner. He’s a cromulent No. 4 or No. 5 option. I don’t see the need for the Eagles to keep six receivers but the feeling here is that they won’t want to give up on JJAW. Even though they should at this point.

TE: Dallas Goedert, Richard Rodgers, Tyree Jackson (3) [15]

This is a tricky spot to figure out. Zach Ertz is still here but all indications are a trade is still on the table. I’m thinking the Eagles might just try to wait to deal him ahead of the deadline, though, especially if they’re not in a good spot to contend at that point. And if they are in the mix for the playoffs, they could just opt to keep him. For now, we’ll assume a deal gets done sooner than later, leaving Goedert as TE1. It’s important to see how he handles that role before signing him to an extension. As a vested veteran, Dick Rod is a candidate to be cut and brought back after Week 1. But the Eagles might just need to keep him, especially if Ertz is traded before Week 1. Jackson is reportedly out 8-to-10 weeks with a back injury but the Eagles could opt to keep him on the original 53 to then put him on injured reserve with a chance to be activated in October. The Eagles could look to add another tight end via waivers. Or they might add Jack Stoll back to the 53 if he passes through waivers unclaimed.

OL: Jordan Mailata, Isaac Seumalo, Jason Kelce, Brandon Brooks, Lane Johnson, Andre Dillard, Nate Herbig, Jack Driscoll, Sua Opeta, Brett Toth (10) [25]

The starting offensive line is set. The question is what happens behind the top five. Dillard has done nothing to deserve a roster spot but it sounds like the Eagles are going to keep him anyway. Dumb. They should really just get whatever they can for him at this point; Dillard is a sunk cost. He’s not a valuable backup considering he’s 1) bad 2) injury-prone and 3) not versatile. Herbig might be the top backup option on the interior (until Landon Dickerson is healthy, at least) but he hasn’t really had a great summer. Driscoll projects to be the top backup behind Johnson and he’s also been getting some guard training. Opeta gives the Eagles even more guard depth; perhaps too much. Toth is arguably a better player than Dillard and the Eagles seem to like his potential. Le’Raven Clark is on the bubble here.


DEFENSE

DE: Brandon Graham, Derek Barnett, Josh Sweat, Ryan Kerrigan (4) [29]

Graham, Barnett, Sweat, and Kerrigan are all locks. It’s a good quartet. Do the Eagles keep Tarron Jackson beyond this four? Possibly but it’s not a guarantee. He hasn’t been so good that they must keep him. And Milton Williams playing at defensive end gives the Eagles more depth at this spot.

DT: Fletcher Cox, Javon Hargrave, Milton Williams, T.Y. McGill (4) [33]

Cox and Hargrave could absolutely wreck s*** on the interior this year. If either player gets hurt, though, the depth behind them isn’t looking awesome. Williams has been splitting time as an edge rusher. Hassan Ridgeway has done nothing to earn a spot and his injury history is concerning. T.Y. McGill has flashed throughout the summer. He’s yet another player who falls in the vested veteran bucket. McGill might be a prime candidate for last year’s Cre’Von LeBlanc situation where the Eagles temporarily cut Strap to clear an extra roster spot only to bring him back the next day. Defensive tackle is another position the Eagles could be looking to add from via waivers.

LB: Eric Wilson, Alex Singleton, Genard Avery, T.J. Edwards, Davion Taylor, JaCoby Stevens (6) [39]

Wilson and Singleton seem to be locked in as the top two guys. Avery appears set to have a role in this defense as a SAM. Edwards has earned a spot on the team as a defensive role player and special teams contributor. Taylor has been hurt for most of camp but the Eagles seemed to really like his potential early on. Stevens has missed a couple weeks now but the Eagles seem to value his upside as he transitions from safety to linebacker. Shaun Bradley has been playing a lot late into preseason games; the Eagles are giving him a chance to stick around but he hasn’t erased all doubt. Patrick Johnson is also on the bubble. The Eagles might go a little heavier at this position than expected with some of these players (Avery, Johnson) set to have pass rushing roles as opposed to just being pure off-ball linebackers.

CB: Darius Slay, Steve Nelson, Avonte Maddox, Zech McPhearson, Craig James, Josiah Scott (6) [45]

Slay and Nelson are the starters on the outside with Maddox starting in the slot. That much is locked in. ZMP has struggled in preseason games after excelling in practice. Regardless, the rookie is a top candidate to play if one of the starters goes down. James isn’t necessarily a lock as he’s missed time with injury but the guess here is the Eagles still value his special teams ability. Scott is on the bubble but could stick around since the Eagles gave up a future draft pick for him and he provides more slot depth. Michael Jacquet III hasn’t done enough to make the team but is worth keeping around on the practice squad.

S: Rodney McLeod, Anthony Harris, Marcus Epps, K’Von Wallace, Elijah Riley (5) [50]

The guess here is that McLeod will be activated from active/PUP before Week 1. But will he be ready to play in Week 1? We’ll see. If not, it’ll likely be Harris and Epps as the starting safeties. Wallace re-aggravated his groin injury against the Patriots and he hasn’t done a ton to separate himself from Epps anyway. The Eagles probably need to keep five safeties with McLeod and Wallace less than 100% so that’s where Riley comes in.


SPECIAL TEAMS

K: Jake Elliott (1) [51]

Elliott is currently day-to-day with an ankle injury. The Eagles will hope he heals up soon.

P: Arryn Siposs (1) [52]

Siposs ranks ninth out of 41 preseason punters in average net yards per punt attempt. He’s shown enough to earn the job.

LS: Rick Lovato (1) [53]

Yep.


INJURY

NON-FOOTBALL INJURY (NFI): Landon Dickerson

The Eagles might want to take it slow with Dickerson given his extensive injury history. If he begins the season on NFI, he won’t be eligible to play until Week 7 at the earliest.


PRACTICE SQUAD

QB (Not named Nick Mullens), RB Elijah Holyfield, WR John Hightower, WR Jhamon Ausbon, TE Jack Stoll, OT Le’Raven Clark, OG Kayode Awosika, C Ross Pierschbacher, DE Tarron Jackson, DT Marlon Tuipulotu, LB Shaun Bradley, LB Joe Ostman, LB Patrick Johnson, CB Michael Jacquet III, S Andrew Adams, S Grayland Arnold

Exemption: DE Matt Leo


ROSTER CUT DATES

Tuesday, August 24 — Cut down from 85 to 80 players

Tuesday, August 31 — Cut down from 80 to 53 players