Updated: 9:48 a.m.: Zach Brown signed.
The Eagles won’t even take the field together for another few weeks, so I’m well aware this is very premature.
Heck, we won’t have a good idea of the 53-man roster until training camp and even then, there are going to be a few surprises. There always are.
But for now, it’s fun to make a prediction and see how much will change in a few months. This time last year, guys like Matt Jones and Corey Nelson were going to make the roster. That didn’t work out.
Anyway, here’s my first crack at the Eagles’ 53-man roster for 2019:
QB (3): Carson Wentz, Nate Sudfeld, Clayton Thorson
I guess there’s a possibility the Eagles would roll with two QBs and try to sneak Thorson on the practice squad, but after drafting him in the fifth round, that might be too big a risk. They brought him in to develop him and they can’t do that if another team poaches him. The odd man out is former AAF QB Luis Perez.
TE (3): Zach Ertz, Dallas Goedert, Richard Rodgers
The top two guys are set and I think Rodgers is the safest bet. The Eagles still have Josh Perkins and Will Tye, but Rodgers has the inside track to make the roster after the Eagles brought him back. He was injured for a lot of 2018, but the team never soured on him.
WR (5): Alshon Jeffery, DeSean Jackson, Nelson Agholor, J.J. Arcega-Whiteside, Mack Hollins
The Eagles kept six receivers out of training camp last year, but I’m not sure that will be the plan this year. That means Shelton Gibson, Charles Johnson and Braxton Miller are the odd guys out, but if the Eagles keep six, one of them could earn a spot. I don’t think Hollins’ roster spot is guaranteed, but he’s the favorite after the top four.
OL (10): Jason Peters, Isaac Seumalo, Jason Kelce, Brandon Brooks, Lane Johnson, Andre Dillard, Halapoulivaati Vaitai, Jordan Mailata, Matt Pryor, Ryan Bates
This is a little heavy on OL but I have them keeping undrafted OL Ryan Bates from PSU. I think there’s a chance the Eagles will still add a veteran guard, so that guy would then make the roster. They also kept 10 last year. Maybe Big V is traded, but if he isn’t, he’s back on the roster for 2019.
RB (4): Miles Sanders, Jordan Howard, Corey Clement, Wendell Smallwood
I think the top three are solid. After that, there are a few guys battling for the fourth job. I’ve made the mistake of counting out Smallwood before; not doing it again. I have him beating out Josh Adams, Boston Scott and Donnel Pumphrey.
DE (5): Brandon Graham, Derek Barnett, Vinny Curry, Josh Sweat, Shareef Miller
I don’t have Chris Long here because it seems pretty clear he’s leaning toward not returning, so these six were pretty easy. The top two are starters and then there’s the rotational players. I don’t think this group is nearly as good as the group that included Michael Bennett and Long last year.
DT (4): Fletcher Cox, Malik Jackson, Tim Jernigan, Hassan Ridgeway
The top three are locks as long as Jernigan is healthy. After that, the Eagles traded for Ridgeway, so I have him on the roster for now. But he should be battling with Treyvon Hester for the last spot. I wouldn’t completely rule out Hester in that competition. The Eagles gave up a seventh for Ridgeway, but there’s no guarantee seventh-round picks make the roster.
LB (6): Nigel Bradham, Zach Brown, Kamu Grugier-Hill, L.J. Fort, Paul Worrilow, Nate Gerry
Brown signed a one-year deal on Friday morning. He will likely start with Bradham and KGH. Fort and Worrilow are veterans and Gerry has shown flashes. All three have proven they can play special teams. Remember, Gerry is still making the conversion to LB from S. This is heavy on LB, but I'm not sure which one to take off just yet. So I'm a little light on DL until I figure that out.
CB (6): Ronald Darby, Jalen Mills, Sidney Jones, Rasul Douglas, Avonte Maddox, Cre’Von LeBlanc
I don’t know how good the Eagles’ starters will be, but the depth is the reason they were never going to use a high draft pick on a corner. They like all six of these guys and barring a trade, I’d expect them to all make the roster in 2019.
S (4): Malcolm Jenkins, Rodney McLeod, Andrew Sendejo, Tre Sullivan
I really thought the Eagles were going to draft a safety, but because they didn’t, Sendejo and Sullivan both make the roster. Perhaps the Eagles could still sign an available free agent, but for now, I’m sticking with these three, knowing Maddox has the ability to shift to safety if needed.
ST (3): Jake Elliott, Cameron Johnston, Rick Lovato
I have nothing to say about this.
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