Eagles 53-man roster prediction: Final edition

Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

Now that the Eagles’ preseason schedule is over, Philadelphia’s focus shifts to cutting their roster down to the regular season 53-player limit before the 4:00 PM Eastern deadline on Tuesday, August 29. Here’s our best effort at projecting what the ORIGINAL 53 is going to look like. Note that the Birds will likely make some tweaks (injured reserve placements, trades, waiver claims) before they actually play the New England Patriots in Week 1.


QUARTERBACK: Jalen Hurts, Marcus Mariota, Tanner McKee (3) [3]

Hurts had a good camp. And there’s every reason to believe in a dude who’s absolutely obsessed with getting back to the Super Bowl and winning this time. Mariota was a net negative this summer but he did enough to remain QB2 ... for now. His leash on that job should be shortened given how well McKee played.

OUT: Ian Book

RUNNING BACK: Kenneth Gainwell, D’Andre Swift, Boston Scott, Rashaad Penny (4) [7]

Kenny G led all Eagles running backs in first-team carries, hat tip to SportsRadio 94WIP’s Eliot Shorr-Parks. That still doesn’t lead me to believe he’ll be a bellcow back all season long as much as he’s the favorite to get the most touches early on. The feeling here is that the Eagles’ backfield situation is still very much fluid. Roles could be dependent on matchups, game script, and performance. If there’s a hot hand to ride, one would expect them to do so. For now, it looks like all four backs will be involved to some extent. Swift is the most dynamic threat, especially with the value he brings as a pass-catcher. Scott is sturdy and coming off a good camp. Penny’s stock could rise late in the year as the weather gets cold and his hard-running style is no fun for defenses to deal with. Trey Sermon never looked so good that the Birds MUST keep him; he logged 3.5 yards per carry on 30 preseason rushes.

OUT: Trey Sermon, Kennedy Brooks

WR: A.J. Brown, DeVonta Smith, Quez Watkins, Olamide Zaccheaus, Britain Covey (5) [12]

A.J. and DeVonta were awesome in camp; they should be recognized as elite players at their position. Watkins did some good things early in camp before suffering a hamstring injury. Of course, this wasn’t the first summer that Quez looked good in camp. He still has much to prove in terms of being trusted in regular season action. OZ isn’t overly flashy but he looks like he can be a solid in a relatively limited role. Covey is being underrated because he struggled early on last year before becoming one of the NFL’s very best punt returners in his final 10 games. Covey also looked good enough as a pass catcher in camp despite missing a good chunk of time with a hamstring injury. The Eagles don’t need to replicate the early 2007 dynamic where they eschewed having a punt returner and it cost them a game that ultimately could’ve been the difference in making the playoffs. Devon Allen’s kick return in the preseason finale was nice but that’s an area of the game that’s going to be less important than ever. Greg Ward did good things but there’s no evidence to suggest teams will be going hard after him. Joseph Ngata showed some potential but he’s not there yet and could benefit by developing on the practice squad.

OUT: Devon Allen, Greg Ward Jr., Joseph Ngata, Deon Cain, Jadon Haselwood, Johnny King, Freddie Swain

TE: Dallas Goedert, Jack Stoll, Grant Calcaterra, Tyree Jackson (4) [16]

Goedert had an awesome camp that may have been overshadowed by how good A.J. and DeVonta were. The Eagles really like Stoll as their top blocking tight end. Calcaterra didn’t overly impress but he was in a tough spot with Mariota failing to accurately get the ball to him. Jackson flashed just enough to make the team ... plus Howie Roseman once talked about his potential as a factor in trading Zach Ertz.

OUT: Dan Arnold, Brady Russell

OL: Jordan Mailata, Landon Dickerson, Jason Kelce, Cam Jurgens, Lane Johnson, Tyler Steen, Fred Johnson, Jack Driscoll, Sua Opeta (9) [25]

The starters are in place with Jurgens seizing the right guard job. The Eagles should have one of the very best — if not THE very best — offensive lines in the NFL. There are questions about the team’s depth. Steen looked better at tackle than guard. Johnson came out of nowhere to earn a depth spot; his tackle/guard versatility helped him. Driscoll didn’t really look that great to me but the Eagles still seem to like him. Opeta being a pure guard limits his value but he brings experience and familiarity to the table. Julian Good-Jones is a tough cut here because of his C/G versatility. The Eagles can probably get him to the practice squad, though. Same goes for vets like Josh Andrews and Dennis Kelly. The Eagles seemingly wanted Josh Sills to claim a roster spot but he really struggled upon returning to the roster.

OUT: Julian Good-Jones, Josh Andrews, Dennis Kelly, Josh Sills, Brett Toth, Roderick Johnson, Tyrese Robinson, Cameron Tom


DE: Josh Sweat, Brandon Graham, Derek Barnett (3) [28]

Sweat had another great camp, no big deal to him. BLG is still going to give the Eagles juice off the bench. Barnett is going to commit dumb penalties and no one will be surprised.

OUT: Janarius Robinson, Tarron Jackson

SAM: Haason Reddick, Nolan Smith, Patrick Johnson (3) [31]

Reddick is expected to be ready to play in Week 1 despite having thumb surgery. It’ll be interesting to see how Smith’s role evolves over the course of the season. He might have to play his way into more and more snaps. Johnson looked pretty good in camp before getting hurt. He might actually be ahead of Smith as the top SAM backup.

OUT: Kyron Johnson, Quinton Bell

DT: Fletcher Cox, Jalen Carter, Jordan Davis, Milton Williams, Marlon Tuipulotu, Moro Ojomo (6) [37]

The Eagles were using a six-man DT rotation late last year. Why not go back to it? All of these players are worth rostering. The Eagles know what they have in Cox. Carter has the potential to be really good; perhaps even the Defensive Rookie of the Year. But it’s also not common for rookie DTs to be super productive from the jump. It would be nice to see Davis more involved in the stat sheet; we’ll see if he can get that done. Williams improved from Year 1 to Year 2 and he could be better in Year 3. Tuipulotu looked good enough in camp to earn a spot. Ojomo also looked good but perhaps the Eagles will carry him on the 53 and then put him on IR to free up a spot for at least four weeks while he recovers. As a vested vet not subject to waivers, Kentavius Street could be re-signed after some Eagles roster chicanery.

OUT: Kentavius Street, Olive Sagapolu, Robert Cooper, Caleb Sanders, Marvin Wilson

LB: Nakobe Dean, Zach Cunningham, Christian Elliss (3) [40]

Dean didn’t necessarily have a bad summer but it’s fair to say he wasn’t as impressive as one would’ve hoped him to be. Regardless, he’s the top linebacker at the moment, which also speaks to the weakness of the position. Cunningham showed the makings of a credible starter after signing with the team in early August. Elliss has flashed but he’s probably not ideally suited for a full-time role as much as he can be a rotational player. Nicholas Morrow fell down the depth chart and Ben VanSumeren is too raw at this stage. Tyreek Maddox-Williams probably made more plays in the Eagles’ preseason finale than all of their linebackers did combined all summer long ... but it’s too small of sample size to earn a roster spot. The Eagles should keep him on the practice squad.

OUT: Nicholas Morrow, Ben VanSumeren, Tyreek Maddox-Williams

CB: Darius Slay, James Bradberry, Avonte Maddox, Josh Jobe, Mario Goodrich, Kelee Ringo, Eli Ricks (7) [47]

Slay and Bradberry are the outside starters. Maddox didn’t really have a good summer, which isn’t a total shock since he’s coming off an injury that lingered into the start of camp. Jobe stepped up and earned his role as the top backup option on the outside. He might even be a future starter one day? Goodrich figures to be the top backup slot option, especially with Zech McPhearson out for the year. He also might be a “carry through the cut deadline and then place on IR” candidate since he’s hurt and didn’t play in the preseason finale. I’ve seen some suggest that Ringo shouldn’t make the team and I think that’s harsh considering he turned 21 less than a month ago. He’s not a finished product; give him some time. Ricks didn’t really stand out in practice like he did in the preseason games. The Eagles might want to go heavy with youth at this spot considering Slay and Bradberry are on the wrong side of 30.

OUT: Mekhi Garner, Josiah Scott

S: Reed Blankenship, Terrell Edmunds, Justin Evans, Sydney Brown (4) [51]

Blankenship looks prepared to make a leap from Year 1 to Year 2; he had a great camp. While his outlook is clear, it very much remains to be seen how the rest of this position is going to play out. Edmunds is the most experienced starter and he wasn’t a total liability so he could be worth keeping around. Evans has recently been taking first-team safety reps, so, the Eagles seem to like him even though he hasn’t been great. Brown failed to totally seize a starting job but he might eventually end up in that spot by default. K’Von Wallace was a tough cut since the team has overvalued him in the past but he was playing a lot in the preseason finale, which typically isn’t a good sign.

OUT: K’Von Wallace, Tristin McCollum


K: Jake Elliott (1) [52]

No reason to be concerned about Elliott, who finished the preseason strong with field goal makes from 52 and 59.

LS: Rick Lovato (1) [53]


P: none

The Eagles need a new punter. Arryn Siposs beating out Ty Zentner is no accomplishment. The former merely stunk a little less than the latter. The Eagles cannot go into a season with Siposs as their punter when he played a big role in their last two playoff losses. They have to be able to do better than him.

OUT: Arryn Siposs



LB Shaun Bradley
WR Tyrie Cleveland
DT Noah Elliss
CB Zech McPhearson
WR Charleston Rambo

By being placed on IR prior to the establishment of 53-man rosters, these players are currently ineligible to play for the Eagles during the 2023 season. The exception is if they’re waived with injury settlements and enough time passes to be eligible to re-sign with Philly. But the nature of some of these injuries prohibit the players from being physically capable of playing football this year.



LB Myles Jack

Two weeks after signing with the Eagles, Jack decided to retire. The Birds own his rights if he changes his mind and wants to come back to football.


RB Trey Sermon, WR Joseph Ngata, WR Devon Allen, WR Greg Ward, TE Brady Russell, OL Josh Andrews, OL Dennis Kelly, OL Julian Good-Jones, OL Josh Sills, DE Janarius Robinson, SAM Kyron Johnson, DT Kentavius Street, LB Ben VanSumeren, LB Tyreek Maddox-Williams, CB Mekhi Garner, S K’Von Wallace

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