Eagles

A way too early Eagles’ 53-man roster projection after draft

Eagles

The Eagles have made it through the draft, which means the team they have now is pretty much the team they’ll have in the 2021 season.

Sure, Howie Roseman might add another player or two, maybe pull off a trade, but this is mostly it.

Last week, I put together a depth chart. And now, here’s my first crack at a 53-man roster, the first under new head coach Nick Sirianni:

Quarterback (2): Jalen Hurts, Joe Flacco

The Eagles have undrafted Jamie Newman as their third-string quarterback but unless they’re really worried about losing him, they won’t have to use up a roster spot on him just yet. They can keep Newman on the practice squad for now.

Running back (4): Miles Sanders, Boston Scott, Kenny Gainwell, Kerryon Johnson

This means that Jordan Howard, Adrian Killins Jr. and Elijah Holyfield don’t make the cut. It’s possible that there will be a real competition for that lost spot in training  camp. With Johnson and Howard, you wonder how much they have left. I simply went with the younger player on this one.

Wide receiver (6): DeVonta Smith, Jalen Reagor, Greg Ward Jr., Travis Fulgham, Quez Watkins, John Hightower

It shouldn’t be a surprising cut but perhaps this is the year the Eagles cut their losses and move on from J.J. Arcega-Whiteside. I don’t think it’s a definite and there are a lot of questions about how the new coaching staff will view this group. This is another position where there will be true competition in training camp. I definitely don’t think Hightower is safe either.

 

Tight end (2): Dallas Goedert, Richard Rodgers

Yes, you’ll notice that absence of Zach Ertz, who is still on the current roster. I just don’t anticipate him being here in Week 1. Maybe I’m wrong and the Eagles never find a trade partner, but it’s hard for me to imagine that. Instead, I have the Eagles obviously keeping Goedert and then re-signing Richard Rodgers, who remains a free agent. That would be a solid 1-2 and then the Eagles can keep one or two tight ends on the practice squad and elevate one of those guys early in the season to manipulate the roster rules.

Offensive line (10): Jordan Mailata, Andre Dillard, Isaac Seumalo, Jason Kelce, Brandon Brooks, Lane Johnson, Landon Dickerson, Jack Driscoll, Nate Herbig, Brett Toth

After keeping just eight offensive linemen last year, the Eagles need to go heavier this season for obvious reasons. Brooks and Dillard are back from injury and the Eagles drafted Dickerson (we’ll see if he’s healthy enough to be on the 53 for Week 1). The last players cut on the OL are Matt Pryor, Sua Opeta and Luke Juriga. You might be surprised to see Toth make the list but the Eagles lost him once before trying to stash him on the practice squad so they might not want to risk it again.

Defensive end (5): Brandon Graham, Derek Barnett, Josh Sweat, Tarron Jackson, Patrick Johnson

I’m listing Johnson as a defensive end here even though the Eagles list him as a linebacker. He’ll likely be in a stand up rusher type of role. Genard Avery doesn’t make the cut here but there’s a chance he makes the team over Johnson. The top three are obvious locks and Jackson has upside.

Defensive tackle (5): Fletcher Cox, Javon Hargrave, Hassan Ridgeway, Milton Williams, Marlon Tuipulotu

This is a very good group and it’s worth the Eagles keeping five. Could Tuipulotu be a candidate for a *wink, wink* redshirt season? Maybe. But for now, I have the Eagles sticking with five DTs, which is a tad heavy.

Linebacker (6): Alex Singleton, Eric Wilson, T.J. Edwards, Davion Taylor, Shaun Bradley, JaCoby Stevens

I feel pretty good with these six and linebacker is a position where you’re OK keeping more because the bottom of the roster guys become major special teams contributors.

Cornerback (5): Darius Slay, Avonte Maddox, Zech McPhearson, Craig James, Michael Jacquet

There’s a good chance the Eagles aren’t done at the cornerback position. If Howie Roseman adds another player then this would obviously change. But I feel good about the top three and even James, who is a very good special teamer. Jacquet is competing with Shakial Taylor, Jameson Houston and Kevon Seymour.

 

Safety (5): Rodney McLeod, Anthony Harris, K’Von Wallace, Marcus Epps, Andrew Adams

McLeod is coming off that ACL injury so it’s hard to know if he’ll be ready for the start of the season. For now, I have him on the 53, along with fellow veteran Harris, two young guys in Wallace and Epps and the special teamer Adams. If the Eagles need another safety, the next guy would be Grayland Arnold.

Specialists (3): Jake Elliott, Arryn Siposs, Rick Lovato

Cameron Johnston is gone after signing a free agent deal with the Texans this offseason, which leaves Siposs as the only punter on the roster. The Eagles could bring in competition for him at some point but for now, he’s the guy.

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