The Eagle must cut their 80-man roster down to 53 players by 4 p.m. on Saturday and it won’t be easy.
This year, it’ll be even tougher without having preseason games to evaluate. And now, the Eagles have plenty of injuries lingering into the season, which just complicates everything.
And here’s what I came up with:
QB (3): Carson Wentz, Nate Sudfeld, Jalen Hurts
This hasn’t changed throughout. Now, you can argue about the order of No. 2 and 3 but they can jockey for position from the safety of the 53-man roster.
RB (4): Miles Sanders, Boston Scott, Corey Clement, Adrian Killins Jr.
This was a tough call because part of me wanted to let the Eagles head into the season with three running backs. But I kept Killins for a few reasons. First, Sanders is getting over an injury, so even if he’s back in Week 1, it’s fair to wonder if he’ll take on the full load. And with Jalen Reagor’s injury, the Eagles will need return men. I kept Killins over Elijah Holyfield because even though he’s 5-8, 177, Killins is the more versatile player.
WR (7): DeSean Jackson, Jalen Reagor, J.J. Arcega-Whiteside, Greg Ward Jr., John Hightower, Alshon Jeffery, Deontay Burnett
Tough spot here because of the numbers. Quez Watkins has been dealing with a lingering injury so I think the Eagles will be able to waive him with an injury or get him to their practice squad without losing him. And that gives them the chance to keep Burnett, who will help right now. I couldn’t keep seven receivers including Jeffery and Reagor if the other five weren’t healthy. That’s part of the reason why Burnett makes it over Watkins.
TE (2): Zach Ertz, Dallas Goedert
With the extra spots needed for Reagor and Alshon, I opted to keep just two tight ends. Now, I think this is going to be temporary. The Eagles will keep one or two tight ends on the practice squad and will be ready to call one up for Week 1. And, this could be a position where they look to the waiver wire to see what talent gets cut from other teams.
OL (9): Matt Pryor, Isaac Seumalo, Jason Kelce, Jason Peters, Lane Johnson, Jordan Mailata, Jack Driscoll, Nate Herbig, Prince Tega Wanogho
I toyed with the idea of cutting Tega and keeping Sua Opeta. Maybe that’s what the Eagles do, but ultimately, I kept the draft pick. I think nine is the right number. There’s a chance the Eagles could go with eight, something they did a few years ago, but I think that’s too thin, especially as Johnson gets back from an injury.
DE (5): Brandon Graham, Derek Barnett, Vinny Curry, Josh Sweat, Casey Toohill
One of the toughest decisions I had to make was leaving Joe Ostman off this roster because he did everything he could to make this team. Either way, I think he’ll play for the Eagles this season. But Toohill had a good camp and they drafted him. I also have the Eagles cutting Genard Avery and Shareef Miller. I needed extra spots at corner and safety, so I went light on the D-line.
DT (4): Fletcher Cox, Javon Hargrave, Malik Jackson, Hassan Ridgeway
I feel really good about this. Now, Hargrave has been injured and Ridgeway was added to the injury report this week, so maybe they keep five. If they do, UDFA Raequon Williams would be my pick. But I think they can get by with these four, knowing Graham or Curry can bump inside if needed.
LB (5): Nate Gerry, Duke Riley, T.J. Edwards, Davion Taylor, Shaun Bradley
There’s a chance the Eagles could keep six linebackers, which would mean keeping Alex Singleton. But I think they can get him to the practice squad. And drafting two athletic ‘backers should mean they can take those special teams snaps.
CB (6): Darius Slay, Avonte Maddox, Nickell Robey-Coleman, Cre’Von LeBlanc, Rasul Douglas, Craig James
No Sidney Jones. The Eagles might keep him so they don’t have to admit a mistake but he hasn’t done enough to earn a spot. The Eagles should be trying to trade him but I’m not sure he’ll have a very good market. James makes the team after a good camp and as a key special teams player. He’s a really good gunner on the punt unit.
S (5): Rodney McLeod, Jalen Mills, Will Parks, K’Von Wallace, Marcus Epps
With the injury to Will Parks, I think the Eagles would be wise to keep five safeties, unless they want to move Douglas there for a bit. It came down to Epps or UDFA Grayland Arnold. Ultimately, I kept Epps, who has more experience. Arnold lands on the practice squad.
Specialists (3): Jake Elliott, Cameron Johnston, Rick Lovato
These three are written in stone.
Practice squad (16+*international exemption): Noah Togiai, Joe Ostman, Quez Watkins, Alex Singleton, Sidney Jones, Sua Opeta, Luke Juriga, Grayland Arnold, Raequon Williams, Shareef Miller, Michael Jacquet, Tyrone Swoops, Elijah Riley, Elijah Holyfield, Anthony Rush, Kyle Lauletta, *Matt Leo.