Eagles 53-man roster projections with two preseason games in the books
With two preseason games and about a month’s worth of training camp practices in the books, the Eagles final roster is starting to become crystal clear.
We’re a week out from the final cutdown day where NFL teams will have to reduce their rosters from 80 to 53 players, so there’s still some time for bubble players to stake their claims to a roster spot. As it stands, only a handful of positions remain uncertain in Philly. The final preseason contest against Miami will be a make or break moment for several fringe players.
Now that there’s just a few weeks of camp left, let’s go ahead and refresh our Eagles 53-man roster projections
Quarterback (3): Jalen Hurts, Gardner Minshew, Reid Sinnett
This position remains unchanged from my last roster projection.
Sinnett is the clear favorite to earn the QB3 role in Philadelphia. Undrafted rookie Carson Strong felt like a write-in for the spot prior to camp. Even with $320K in guaranteed money (the highest amount to any UDFA in 2022), Strong has done little to inspire any confidence. He has eight preseason snaps under his belt, all of which came in the final minutes of the team’s preseason matchup with Cleveland. His lone pass attempt on the day fell incomplete.
Nevertheless, Strong is prime candidate for the Eagles practice squad. Affording him as much developmental time as possible is probably best for all parties.
Running Back (3): Miles Sanders, Boston Scott, Kenneth Gainwell
Throughout all of camp, I was convinced the Eagles were going to keep four backs on the roster. Now, I just don’t see the point.
On paper, Jason Huntley feels like a welcomed addition to the Eagles rushing attack, but he just hasn’t been that impressive during the preseason. Sure, he might be a solid kick returner, but is that really enough to earn a roster spot? The team has other options to use in the return game, players who have value outside of just special teams.
I wouldn’t be shocked if Howie Roseman still looks to add another back before the start of the regular season. The recently released Kenyan Drake and potential trade target Kareem Hunt are prime candidates.
Wide Receiver (6): AJ Brown, DeVonta Smith, Quez Watkins, Zach Pascal, Jalen Reagor, Deon Cain
The final spot on the WR depth chart has been a revolving door on my roster projections this year. First it was Greg Ward, then UDFA Britain Covey, and now the sixth spot is going to Deon Cain.
Cain was a standout performer during the Eagles second preseason contest, hauling in five receptions for 66 yards, including two contested catches in the final minutes of the first half.
Of all the wideouts fighting for the final roster spot, Cain is the only one who looks like a true NFL receiver. Plus, his and Nick Sirianni’s familiarity with one another from their days in Indianapolis probably gives Cain the upper hand over some of the lesser-known commodities populating the Eagles WR room.
Tight End (3): Dallas Goedert, Jack Stoll, Grant Calcaterra
Goedert and Stoll have been roster locks since the start of camp. For awhile, rookie Grant Calcaterra felt like a lock as well, but his roster spot has come into some question over the past week or so.
He’s missed a lot of camp time with a hamstring injury and despite coming back to practice last Friday, the rookie didn’t suit up for the game on Sunday. That may be a cause for concern for some, but his absence on Sunday tells me the coaching staff is actually pretty confident in his abilities. If they weren’t, getting Calcaterra some live action reps would have been a priority.
Offensive Line (9): Jordan Mailata, Landon Dickerson, Jason Kelce, Isaac Seumalo, Lane Johnson, Andre Dillard, Cam Jurgens, Jack Driscoll, Sua Opeta
No changes here.
The Eagles have the deepest offensive line in the NFL and it’s not all that close. Dillard, Jurgens, and Driscoll could start for a number of teams around the league. Jurgens in particular has shined during his first training camp with the team.
Remember when fans were clowning him for getting pushed around by Jordan Davis in that clip from open practice? It appears the rookie has taken that to heart.
Defensive End (4): Brandon Graham, Josh Sweat, Derek Barnett, Tarron Jackson
This position group has been one of the easiest to predict throughout camp. Each of these pass rusher should get playing time throughout the 2022 campaign.
Defensive Tackle (5): Fletcher Cox, Javon Hargrave, Jordan Davis, Milton Williams, Marlon Tuipulotu
I’ve been reluctant to add Marlon Tuipulotu to this group all offseason, but it’s become more and more obvious that the second-year tackle is a near-lock for the final 53. Per PhillyVoice’s Jimmy Kempski, “[Tuipulotu] has arguably been the most improved player on the team” throughout camp.
The Eagles’ brass values interior defensive line depth tremendously, so rolling into the season five-deep at the position makes sense.
SAM Linebacker (3): Haason Reddick, Patrick Johnson, Kyron Johnson
Haason Reddick and Patrick Johnson have been roster locks since July, and now it appears that rookie Kyron Johnson is close to a lock as well.
Although he’s had a quiet camp, the rookie has shown flashes throughout the preseason. At the very least, he’ll be a solid special teams contributor. The Eagles traded up to snag the Kansas pass rusher, so the team clearly values what he brings to the field.
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Linebacker (5): TJ Edwards, Kyzir White, Nakobe Dean, Davion Taylor, Shaun Bradley
Like defensive end, the linebacker position is pretty easy to predict. White and Edwards will be the starters, with Dean and Taylor serving as their backups, and Bradley will remain in his role as a core special teams player.
Cornerback (5): Darius Slay, James Bradberry, Avonte Maddox, Zech McPhearson, Josh Jobe
With an absurd amount of young corners on the Eagles camp roster, the final spot on the CB depth chart has been difficult to predict, until now. Undrafted rookie Josh Jobe is a near-lock for the final roster. He ran with the second-team defense in the first preseason game and got the start on Sunday against Cleveland.
Jobe has good ball skills and is a pretty solid tackler for the position. Although I still like the potential of guys like Tay Gowan and Mario Goodrich, they haven’t stood out quite like Jobe has throughout the preseason.
Safety (4): Anthony Harris, Marcus Epps, K’Von Wallace, Josiah Scott
Although I would still categorize Josiah Scott as a slot corner-safety hybrid, the majority of his playing time during the preseason has been at safety, so he’s included with this position now. And he’s done enough from his newfound role to earn the fourth and final spot on the safety depth chart, beating out Andre Chachere, Jaquiski Tartt, and Reed Blankenship.
Chachere was a tough call here due to his special teams expertise, but it shouldn’t be too difficult to find an adequate replacement for him in-house.
When the Eagles signed Tartt this offseason, it seemed like he was in-line to start opposite of Harris. He’s done little to nothing during camp and was running with the third-team defense on Sunday. His days in Philly are numbered.
Blankenship has had his moments throughout camp and the preseason, but he’s still an undrafted rookie. If the Eagles are ready to part ways with former fourth-round pick K’Von Wallace, either Blankenship or Chachere could crack the roster. But I have a feeling the defensive coaching staff still has some faith in Wallace’s abilities.
Specialists (3): Jake Elliot (K), Arryn Siposs (P), Rick Lovato (LS)
None of these guys have had any competition during camp. They’ll all be on the opening day roster.
Mandatory Credit: Jason Miller | Getty Images