With one week of preseason remaining, the Eagles’ roster is largely set, save for maybe a spot or two, so this is my final shot at predicting the 53-man roster.
There are a lot of intriguing debates to be had, but I put a lot of thought into first, who will be the 46 players active on game day, and then who are the best 53 overall.
What I came up with I think is pretty close to where the Eagles are, barring any trades between now and cut-down day.
QB (3): Carson Wentz, Josh McCown, Nate Sudfeld
Clayton Thorson has been better of late, but not so much the fifth-round rookie shouldn’t pass through waivers and make it to the Eagles’ practice squad. The real intrigue here is whether there’s any trade market for Sudfeld, an unrestricted free agent in 2020.
RB (4): Miles Sanders, Jordan Howard, Darren Sproles, Corey Clement
Honestly, it’s hard to discount the possibility Wendell Smallwood makes this roster as a fifth back. With Josh Adams likely to land on the scout team though, there doesn’t appear to be a need.
WR (6): Alshon Jeffery, DeSean Jackson, Nelson Agholor, J.J. Arcega-Whiteside, Greg Ward, Mack Hollins
Ward clearly outperformed Hollins this summer, and Arcega-Whiteside can fill vital roles on special teams. Still, Hollins keeps getting opportunities, so I can’t help but think the third-year wideout will be here, even he’s inactive on Sundays. Keep in mind, the former fourth-round pick only started practicing again in June after a year-long absence.
TE (3): Zach Ertz, Dallas Goedert, Joshua Perkins
There’s a chance Perkins would’ve made the roster over Richard Rodgers anyway, but the vet’s never-ending string of injuries makes it a formality.
OL (8): Jason Peters, Isaac Seumalo, Jason Kelce, Brandon Brooks, Lane Johnson, Halapoulivaati Vaitai, Andre Dillard, Jordan Mailata
Stefen Wisniewski’s demotion from backup center to backup guard doesn’t indicate good things are on the horizon for the vet. The Eagles seem to like Nate Herbig and may be able to sneak him on to the practice squad — don’t be surprised if he’s on the 53, though.
DE (6): Brandon Graham, Derek Barnett, Vinny Curry, Daeshon Hall, Josh Sweat, Shareef Miller
Hall looks like the Eagles’ third or fourth best end right now, but Sweat is a talented prospect whom the club shouldn’t give up on quite yet. Miller is still extremely raw and won’t be in uniform on Sundays.
DT (4): Fletcher Cox, Malik Jackson, Tim Jernigan, Hassan Ridgeway
There’s been little discernable difference between Ridegway and Treyvon Hester, other than the Eagles traded a draft pick for Ridgeway. Blocking the occasional field goal is great — just maybe not enough on its own to crack this particular roster.
LB (6): Nigel Bradham, Kamu Grugier-Hill, Zach Brown, L.J. Fort, Nathan Gerry, T.J. Edwards
Edwards truly played himself into a spot here, though injuries within the ranks didn’t hurt. The undrafted rookie may or may not be active on a weekly basis, but he’s not making it through waivers after a preseason in which he showed improvement each week.
CB (6): Ronald Darby, Sidney Jones, Avonte Maddox, Rasul Douglas, Orlando Scandrick, Cre’Von LeBlanc
It seems LeBlanc could be out awhile, which is problematic. With Scandrick, the Eagles won’t necessarily miss LeBlanc on the field — yet to IR him the first half, he needs to be on the roster Week 1. That’s far from a guarantee, but with no end in sight to Jalen Mills’ stint on the physically unable to perform list, it may be necessary.
S (4): Malcolm Jenkins, Rodney McLeod, Andrew Sendejo, Jonatan Cyprien
Once the Eagles are finished jockeying players around after initial cuts, there’s a chance the Eagles carry five safeties, one of whom is a dedicated special teamer such as Deiondre’ Hall or Rudy Ford. It can probably wait until LeBlanc hits IR, or another corresponding move.
ST (3): Jake Elliott, Cameron Johnston, Rick Lovato
Is Elliott the best kicker in the league? Obviously not, but the Eagles’ philosophy right now basically boils down to Grass isn’t always greener. Probably astute and accurate — he’s won them more games than he’s lost so far.
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