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Philadelphia Eagles 53-man roster prediction: Final edition

Projecting keeps and cuts.

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

The Eagles’ preseason schedule is over! Philadelphia’s focus now shifts to trimming their roster down to the regular season 53-player limit before the 4:00 PM Eastern deadline this Tuesday, August 30. Here’s our best effort at projecting what the original 53 is going to look like. Note that the Birds are likely bound to make some tweaks before they actually play the Detroit Lions in Week 1.


QUARTERBACK: Jalen Hurts, Gardner Minshew (2) [2]

The good news is that Hurts showed signs of development this summer. The bad news is that there’s more evidence to support subtle improvement than a complete night and day difference from last year. Minshew had an up-and-down summer, never threatening for the QB1 job at any point. The Eagles historically like to keep three quarterbacks but Reid Sinnett played his way out of a spot. Is anyone really going to claim him if he gets cut? The Eagles can bring him back on the practice squad. And/or they might very well look to add another passer to be QB3. Carson Strong played 16 total preseason snaps and attempted four passes. The Eagles wouldn’t mind if another teams claims him so they’re off the hook for his salary.

Out: Reid Sinnett, Carson Strong

RUNNING BACK: Miles Sanders, Boston Scott, Kenneth Gainwell (3) [5]

Sanders had a good camp as a runner before suffering a hamstring injury. The jury is still out on his value as a third down back. Scott is a very solid RB2, nothing more and nothing less. Gainwell finished camp stronger than he started but was disappointing on the whole. Especially when it came to flashing as a pass-catcher. The Eagles should be looking to add more talent at running back if possible. Jason Huntley and Kennedy Brooks are worth keeping around on the practice squad. The Eagles should really take advantage of practice squad elevation and bump Huntley up for a game or two as a kick returner. He could give the Birds a special teams spark in a big game. But I’m not holding my breath on them actually doing that.

Out: Jason Huntley, Kennedy Brooks

WIDE RECEIVER: A.J. Brown, DeVonta Smith, Quez Watkins, Zach Pascal, Jalen Reagor (5) [10]

Barring injury, Brown is guaranteed to lead the Eagles in targets this season. He’s going to have a big year. Smith’s volume production could be hampered a bit by the presence of Brown and Goedert ... but he’s a damn good talent who will make important contributions. Watkins could have some feast-or-famine stat lines since he offers big play ability but isn’t going to see a ton of targets. Mark my words: Pascal is going to frustrate fantasy football owners as he vultures some touchdowns away from the likes of Brown and Smith. He’s going to be a factor in the red zone. If I were Howie Roseman, I’d be looking to get what I can get for Reagor in a trade and keep Allen as the fifth receiver. The latter actually provides positive special teams value. But the guess here is that Reagor sticks around. Allen is suddenly a tough cut after flashing his big play ability against the Browns and his gunner prowess against the Dolphins. The uniqueness of Allen’s background is also worth considering. Is a practice squad spot worth his time or would he rather just go back to fully focusing on his Olympic track career? Deon Cain and Britain Covey had some nice moments this summer but the Eagles should be able to bring them back on the practice squad. Greg Ward’s time with the Eagles is quietly coming to an end after missing multiple weeks with a toe injury.

Out: Devon Allen, Deon Cain, Britain Covey, Greg Ward, John Hightower

TIGHT END: Dallas Goedert, Jack Stoll, Grant Calcaterra (3) [13]

Goedert is going to have a big season; he looks good and Hurts likes throwing to him. He might actually finish second in targets behind Brown and ahead of DeVonta. Stoll hasn’t done a ton as a pass-catcher but the Eagles value his blocking ability. Calcaterra is less of an in-line contributor as much as he’s an effective pass catcher. Not unlike Pascal, the rookie sixth-round pick could have a role as a red zone specialist. Noah Togiai had a solid summer and gives the Eagles more tight end depth on the practice squad. Dick Rod is always a phone call away should the Eagles get really banged up at tight end.

Out: Noah Togiai, Richard Rodgers

OFFENSIVE LINE: Jordan Mailata, Landon Dickerson, Jason Kelce, Isaac Seumalo, Lane Johnson, Andre Dillard, Sua Opeta, Cam Jurgens, Jack Anderson, Jack Driscoll (10) [23]

The starting offensive line is locked in ... unless Kelce isn’t healthy enough to return for Week 1. But all indications currently point to him playing. If he can’t, Jurgens certainly showed he’s more than a capable backup. The Eagles should trade Dillard if they can get a Day 2 pick for him but they probably won’t be able to get that much. Opeta, Driscoll, and Anderson are decent backup offensive linemen who have playing experience under their belts. Kayode Awosika is on the bubble and could be kept if they want to go really heavy here or if the Eagles trade one of their blockers. Le’Raven Clark can be kept around on the practice squad for more tackle depth.

Out: Kayode Awosika, Le’Raven Clark, Josh Sills, Cameron Tom


DEFENSIVE END: Brandon Graham, Josh Sweat, Derek Barnett, Tarron Jackson (4) [27]

This position is straightforward. Graham had such a great summer that I wouldn’t be surprised if he has a career year at age 34. Sweat was also once again looking good in camp. Barnett might log more snaps than people are comfortable with him playing. One would hope he can keep the penalties down. Jackson is undoubtedly an upgrade on last year’s Ryan Kerrigan role. Matt Leo is going to stick around as an extra practice body with his exempt status.

Out: Matt Leo

DEFENSIVE TACKLE: Fletcher Cox, Javon Hargrave, Jordan Davis, Milton Williams, Marlon Tuipulotu (5) [32]

The Eagles are very deep at defensive tackle; there figures to be a heavy rotation at this spot. Cox is still good but can he rebound to top form? Hargrave is expected to be ready for Week 1 after missing a good chunk of time. We’ve seen him get hot but we’ve also seen him go cold for stretches. It’ll be interesting to see what kind of impact Davis can make — and how said impact will be measured — as a rookie. Williams had a quieter summer than he did last year but he should at least be a decent rotational player. Tupulotu was arguably the most improved player in camp. Marvin Wilson would be worth rostering if the Eagles weren’t already so loaded here. Maybe they’ll be able to trade him? Kobe Smith and/or Renell Wren could be worth keeping on the practice squad if Wilson isn’t retained instead.

Out: Marvin Wilson, Kobe Smith, Renell Wren

SAM: Haason Reddick, Patrick Johnson, Kyron Johnson (3) [35]

Reddick finished camp strong. Everyone hopes Jonathan Gannon won’t overthink it by dropping him into coverage too often. He’ll produce sacks if he’s allowed to rush. Patrick Johnson also finished camp strong and looks like a decent backup option behind Reddick. Kyron Johnson did enough to justify a roster spot. Not sure he’s ready to plan a ton on defense as a rookie but he could help on special teams as he develops. The Eagles might look for an external addition to their practice squad for even more SAM depth.

Out: N/A

LINEBACKER: T.J. Edwards, Kyzir White, Nakobe Dean, Shaun Bradley, Davion Taylor (5) [40]

Edwards and White had very strong summers to solidify themselves as the top two linebackers. Dean mainly showed some promise in the first preseason game but otherwise had a relatively quiet summer. He could contribute as a role-player in certain packages. Especially interested to see if Dean can provide some pass-rushing juice like he did at Georgia. Bradley is a solid special teams contributor and backup linebacker. Taylor started camp strong before struggling to the point where there are questions if he should be considered a lock to make the roster. The thinking here is the Eagles will keep him ... but the coaching staff’s trust in him has to be damaged. Taylor is helped by the Eagles having no other viable linebacker options worth rostering.

Out: JaCoby Stevens, Christian Elliss

CORNERBACK: Darius Slay, James Bradberry, Avonte Maddox, Zech McPhearson, Josh Jobe (5) [45]

The trio of Slay, Bradberry, and Maddox is the best starting corner group the Eagles have had in some time. McPhearson started camp slow before finishing on a stronger note. He doesn’t inspire a ton of confidence at the moment but the Eagles have had worse backup corner options in the past. Jobe showed enough promise and production to make the team as an undrafted rookie free agent. Of course, Jobe’s injury — the extent of which unknown — could complicate things at this spot. Perhaps the Eagles feel the need to keep six. The problem is that they don’t really have a sixth corner worth rostering, though I do think Gowan did some nice things in the preseason games. Depending on the severity of his injury, the Eagles could always place Jobe on injured reserve after keeping him on the original 53. Then they could bring back someone like Gowan, assuming he clears waivers. Jobe would be eligible to return after missing four weeks.

Out: Kary Vincent Jr., Mac McCain III, Mario Goodrich, Josh Blackwell

S: Marcus Epps, Anthony Harris, K’Von Wallace, Josiah Scott, Andre Chachere (5) [50]

Epps is the Eagles’ most inspiring safety option. Harris isn’t going anywhere; he’s the most experienced player at this spot and he’s been the one leading the huddle prior to games. Wallace does not deserve to make the roster but I don’t see Roseman bailing on his 2020 fourth-round pick just yet. The Eagles seem to like Scott, who is currently injured. Not unlike Jobe, he could be another candidate to go on IR after making the 53. Chachere is also in that same boat. Reed Blankenship is a very tough cut here. He did everything he could this summer to make the team. But he played so much on both defense and special teams in the final preseason game that I don’t know that the Eagles are definitely planning to keep him. Jaquiski Tartt should be available to return if the Eagles really want to bring him back after either placing some player(s) on IR ... or after Week 1. Do remember that he was available as a free agent in late June and he didn’t do much to generate positive reviews this summer.

Out: Reed Blankenship, Jaquiski Tartt


K: Jake Elliott (1) [51]

Elliott is trying to go back-to-back as a Pro Bowl selection.

P: Arryn Siposs (1) [52]

Siposs had a good game in the preseason finale. The guess here is the Eagles will stick with him as their punter but they shouldn’t close the door on upgrading the position.

LS: Rick Lovato (1) [53]

As noted in our last projection, the Eagles can open an extra roster spot by temporarily cutting Lovato with the intention of bringing him back shortly after. It’s a maneuver they utilized at the trade deadline last year. But I’m going to guess they don’t end up doing that here.



The Eagles officially placed both Jackson and Toth on reserve/PUP. This means they’ll miss at least the first four games of the season. Jackson seems to be closer to returning than Toth based on rehab work off to the side during practice.


Practice squad capacity goes up to 16 players.

QB Reid Sinnett, RB Jason Huntley, RB Kennedy Brooks, WR Deon Cain, WR Devon Allen, WR Britain Covey, TE Noah Togiai, OT Le’Raven Clark, OL Kayode Awosika, DT Marvin Wilson, LB JaCoby Stevens, LB Christian Elliss, CB Kary Vincent Jr., CB Tay Gowan, CB Mac McCain, S Reed Blankenship

Exemption: DE Matt Leo

[UPDATE: I’m a fool! I meant to have Devon Allen on the practice squad but I forgot because I was considering him for the 53. I’m replacing John Hightower with him. I may have just lost the Eagles 53-player roster prediction competition with this misstep. My canonical entry to the competition will rightfully show that I kept Hightower but in terms of trying to predict the most accurate outcome to the readers, I am updating the practice squad with Allen staying. Thank you and sorry for being a dummy.]

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