The Eagles have made it through their first two rounds of training camp practices. So it’s time for another 53-man roster prediction.
And a few things have changed since the pre-camp version.
This year, NFL teams must reduce their rosters to 85 players by Aug. 16, 80 players by Aug. 23 and 53 by Aug. 30.
Here’s my latest prediction:
Quarterbacks (3): Jalen Hurts, Gardner Minshew, and Reid Sinnett
The Eagles could gamble here and cut Sinnett in an attempt to get him through waivers and to their practice squad. But that seems like a bit of a risk and they appear to like him. Sinnett has clearly outplayed rookie Carson Strong this summer.
Out: Carson Strong
Running back (3): Miles Sanders, Kenny Gainwell, Boston Scott
The Eagles kept these same three running backs going into last season. Huntley had a great training camp in 2021 but hasn’t had those flashy plays yet this summer. His ability as a kick returner gives him a chance, but they can probably get him to their practice squad if they want.
Out: Jason Huntley, Kennedy Brooks
Receivers (6): AJ Brown, DeVonta Smith, Quez Watkins, Zach Pascal, Jalen Reagor, Britain Covey
After keeping five receivers going into 2021, the Eagles clearly have more depth at the position this year. The top four are pretty solidified. Perhaps the Eagles still find a way to trade Reagor, but if not, I still don’t see them giving up on the former first-round pick. So the rest of the bunch are fighting for a roster spot that might not exist. The obvious advantage for Covey is his ability as a return man. He can return kicks and punts and that’s enough to keep him. The others close are Greg Ward, John Hightower and Deon Cain.
Out: Lance Lenoir, Keric Wheatfall, Devon Allen, John Hightower, Greg Ward Jr., Deon Cain
Tight ends (3): Dallas Goedert, Jack Stoll, Grant Calcaterra
This one feels pretty easy, especially without Tyree Jackson ready to return. He can be stashed on the Reserve/PUP list until he’s healthy and then they’ll have to figure that out. If the Eagles like where JJAW is in his transition from receiver, then maybe he can continue to learn on the practice squad.
Out: JJ Arcega-Whiteside, Jaeden Graham, Richard Rodgers, Noah Togiai
PUP: Tyree Jackson
Offensive line (9): Jordan Mailata, Landon Dickerson, Jason Kelce, Isaac Seumalo, Lane Johnson, Andre Dillard, Cam Jurgens, Jack Driscoll, Sua Opeta
There’s a very good chance the Eagles might keep 10 like they did entering the 2021 season. But they can also get away with nine because of the versatility of their backups. If they elect to keep 10 offensive linemen, Jack Anderson, Kayode Awosika and Le’Raven Clark are fighting for that job. Although Clark is a vested veteran, so the Eagles might not want to guarantee his salary by having him make the 53. Anderson would be my best guess if they keep 10, but I have him out for now.
Out: Jack Anderson, Kayode Awosika, Josh Sills, Cameron Tom, William Dunkle, Le’Raven Clark
PUP: Brett Toth
Defensive tackle (5): Fletcher Cox, Javon Hargrave, Jordan Davis, Milton Williams, Marlon Tuipulotu
The top four are locks and keeping five isn’t guaranteed. But the depth at this spot is impressive. Tuipulotu has had a better training camp entering Year 2 and got some first-team reps early in camp. He’s also a more prototypical nose tackle in this scheme. I like Marvin Wilson, the former standout from Florida State but didn’t have a spot for him.
Out: Kobe Smith, Marvin Wilson, Renell Wren
Defensive ends (4): Josh Sweat, Brandon Graham, Derek Barnett, Tarron Jackson
This one was pretty easy, although it’s all a little convoluted when you remember that the defensive ends and SAM linebackers all share a position room as the “overhang” players. In total, I’m keeping six of those guys.
Out: Matt Leo
SAM linebackers (2): Haason Reddick, Kyron Johnson
Patrick Johnson was the 54th guy. It came down to him or Tuipulotu for the final roster spot and I gave a nod to the backup nose tackle. It could go either way. The argument for Patrick Johnson is his ability on special teams but the Eagles can get that from rookie Kyron Johnson, who might offer more upside as a pass rusher.
Out: Patrick Johnson, Ali Fayad
Linebackers (5): TJ Edwards, Kyzir White, Davion Taylor, Nakobe Dean, Shaun Bradley
This felt easy. All these guys are jockeying for playing time — even though TJ Edwards has been fantastic this summer — but the roster spots aren’t in question. Even Bradley’s spot feels very safe because of his special teams ability.
Out: JaCoby Stevens, Christian Elliss
Cornerbacks (6): Darius Slay, James Bradberry, Avonte Maddox, Zech McPhearson, Josiah Scott, Kary Vincent Jr.
The top three starters were easy. After that, McPhearson is a draft pick and the top of the heap for the rest of the corners. But this is a position with a bunch of young guys fighting for that last spot or two. Scott was on the team last year and was a good gunner on the punt team. In addition, he’s the backup nickel and has even gotten reps at safety in camp. That last spot went to Tay Gowan in my last projection, but I’m going to give a nod to Vincent this time. He’s not as long as Gowan, but he has speed and inside-outside versatility.
Out: Mario Goodrich, Tay Gowan, Mac McCain, Josh Jobe, Josh Blackwell, Jimmy Moreland
Security (4): Marcus Epps, Anthony Harris, Jaquiski Tartt, and Andre Chachere
Chachere has outperformed former fourth-round pick K’Von Wallace in training camp. Chachere is known for his special teams ability but he can play safety too and has a couple interceptions. Obviously, Wallace still has a shot to win back this job.
Out: K’Von Wallace, Jared Mayden, Reed Blankenship
Specialists (3): Jake Elliott, Arryn Siposs, Rick Lovato
These are the only three specialists in camp.
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