Eagles 53-man roster projections following first preseason game
With over two weeks of training camp and one preseason game in the books, the 2022 Eagles roster is starting to come into clear focus.
The NFL mandated new roster regulations for this year, which means teams will now have to trim down their rosters from 90 to 85 following the first preseason game. The Eagles have already began their cutdowns, cutting offensive lineman William Funkle and linebacker Ali Fayad. They’ll have until 4 PM on Tuesday to get down to 85.
Now that we have some added insight after the team’s first preseason game, let’s update our initial 53-man roster projections.
Quarterback (3): Jalen Hurts, Gardner Minshew, Reid Sinnett
The only major change at quarterback is at the third spot on the depth chart. By all accounts, undrafted rookie Carson Strong has struggled throughout training camp, opening the door for 25-year-old Reid Sinnett to take hold of the QB3 role.
Although Sinnet was inconsistent during the preseason opener, he got the most snaps of any QB on the roster. Strong didn’t see any action, which probably tells us all we need to know about how the coaching staff feels about the undrafted signal caller.
Running Back (4): Miles Sanders, Kenneth Gainwell, Boston Scott, Jason Huntley
Although I still have some Kennedy Brooks stock, it seems like Jason Huntley is the front-runner for the RB4 spot after Friday’s contest. Huntley saw 41 snaps against the Jets, the most of any player on the Eagles offense.
He tallied 48 yards on 16 carries and managed to find paydirt once. Huntley was also active in the passing game, hauling in four receptions for 39 yards.
The Huntley vs. Brooks camp battle is still far from over. But at this moment, it’s hard to deny that Huntley is firmly ahead of Brooks on the depth chart.
Wide Receiver (6): AJ Brown, DeVonta Smith, Quez Watkins, Zach Pascal, Jalen Reagor, Britain Covey
The top-four receivers were all locks coming into camp and nothing has changed on that front. There was speculation that Jalen Reagor could be on the roster bubble, but he’s been a standout throughout camp, so he’s safe.
Undrafted rookie Britain Covey rounds out the WR depth chart here after I initially left him off my pre-camp roster projections. He’s been getting buzz all throughout camp and brings added value as a returner.
After it was initially reported that Covey had torn ligaments in his thumb during Friday’s game, head coach Nick Sirianni clarified the wideout’s diagnosis by stating that it was only a sprain. He was back on the field during Sunday’s practice session, so his injury doesn’t appear to be too serious.
Tight End (3): Dallas Goedert, Jack Stoll, Grant Calcaterra
No changes here.
Though rookie Grant Calcaterra has missed some camp time with a hamstring injury, he’s looked solid as a receiver when he’s been on the field. If the Eagles really wanted stability at the end of their TE depth chart, Richard Rodgers could be the preferred choice. But with the amount of upside Calcaterra brings as a receiver, he still feels like the obvious selection here.
Offensive Line (9): Jordan Mailata, Landon Dickerson, Jason Kelce, Isaac Seumalo, Lane Johnson, Andre Dillard, Cam Jurgens, Jack Driscoll, Sua Opeta
Again, no major changes with the offensive line grouping.
The team has dealt with some injuries throughout camp with Jordan Mailata, Andre Dillard, and most recently, Jason Kelce. If Kelce’s recovery from elbow surgery takes a bit longer than expected, keeping another offensive lineman on the opening day roster would make sense.
Assuming Kelce is good to go by Week 1, keeping nine guys in the offensive line room is fine.
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Defensive End (4): Brandon Graham, Josh Sweat, Derek Barnett, Tarron Jackson
The Eagles defensive end group is essentially already set in stone. Each of the four edge rushers on the roster should see ample playing time throughout the season.
BG’s status as a full-time starter came into question this offseason, given the fact that he’s now 34 years old and fresh off an Achilles tear. After a solid outing in the first preseason game, any concerns with Graham’s viability should be squashed.
Defensive Tackle (4): Fletcher Cox, Javon Hargrave, Jordan Davis, Milton Williams
Although second-year interior lineman Marlon Tuipulotu has gotten some attention for his performance during camp so far, I still think the Eagles will opt to go with just four defensive tackles entering the season.
Fletcher Cox, Javon Hargrave, Jordan Davis, and Milton Williams should all see extensive playing time this season. Davis has been the talk of the town throughout camp and may have earned himself a larger role than was initially expected.
It’ll be interesting to watch how Jonathan Gannon utilizes his DT rotation once the regular season rolls around.
SAM Linebacker (2): Haason Reddick, Patrick Johnson
Rookie Kyron Johnson still has a shot to earn a roster spot, but he hasn’t done much of anything during camp thus far. He played 22 total snaps on Friday night and his statline was blank by the end of the contest.
Second-year backer Patrick Johnson logged 33 defensive snaps against the Jets. He managed to record two tackles and one quarterback hurry and hit on the night. Barring any unforeseen circumstances, he should be Haason Reddick’s primary backup come Week 1.
Linebacker (5): TJ Edwards, Kyzir White, Nakobe Dean, Davion Taylor, Shaun Bradley
The linebacker position in Philly is pretty straight forward.
Kyzir White had a standout performance during his first preseason game with the team, snagging an interception on the Jets opening drive.
Rookie third-round pick Nakobe Dean also put on a show in his Eagles preseason debut, logging three tackles on 24 snaps while posting a Pro Football Focus defensive grade of 77.4 for his efforts, the second-highest mark among Eagles backers Friday night.
All in all, the Eagles group of backers stole the show Friday night. When’s the last time any of us could say that?
Cornerback (6): Darius Slay, James Bradberry, Avonte Maddox, Zech McPhearson, Tay Gowan, Josiah Scott
While the top-four corners are pretty much solidified, the final two spots on the CB depth chart are still very much up in the air.
On my initial roster projections, I decided to go with Jimmy Moreland and undrafted rookie Mario Goodrich. After two weeks of camp action and one preseason game, it’s pretty clear that I was off with my assessment.
Goodrich only logged six defensive snaps on the night and Moreland didn’t play at all. Second-year corner Tay Gowan, on the other hand, had a standout performance against New York. He allowed just one reception on four targets for 16 yards and recorded a pass breakup.
Josiah Scott is the other new addition to the cornerback group.
As it stands, he looks to be the primary backup to Avonte Maddox in the nickel. The team has also given him some reps at safety. Jonathan Gannon loves versatility in his secondary, which should give Scott the upper hand for the final CB slot.
Safety (4): Anthony Harris, Marcus Epps, Andre Chachere, K’Von Wallace
The surprise cut of camp could very well be safety Jaquiski Tartt, who missed several practice sessions and the preseason opener due to a personal matter. Despite signing with the team in June, the veteran is squarely on the roster bubble two weeks into camp.
Unless Tartt can bounce back, Andre Chachere is the most logical safety to round out the depth chart. He logged 37 defensive snaps on Friday and has been a standout throughout camp. Like Scott, Chachere has the versatility to line up deep at safety and drop down into the slot when need be.
Versatility will be key when the Eagles finalize their roster. Chachere certainly fits the bill.
Specialists (3): Jake Elliot (K), Arryn Siposs (P), Rick Lovato (LS)
At this point, it seems like the Eagles are content running it back with Arryn Siposs as the punter. After struggling immensely towards the end of last year, there was plenty of speculation that the team would opt to go in a different direction this season. He managed to place two of his punts inside the 20 against the Jets, so hopefully the Aussie has turned a corner.
Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher | USA Today Sports