Eagles training camp 2022: Pre-camp 53-man roster projection

The Eagles report for training camp this week with a roster of 90 players.

They have to be down to 53 in just a few weeks when they go into the 2022 season so there’s plenty of work to do.

This year, NFL teams must reduce their rosters to 85 players by Aug. 16, to 80 players by Aug. 23 and to 53 by Aug. 30.

While there are many players who are locks to make the team, there are roster spots up for grabs this summer. Before those battles take place, here my best guess at a 53-man roster for the 2022 season:

Quarterbacks (3): Jalen Hurts, Gardner Minshew, Carson Strong

There’s still a chance the Eagles could get blown away by a trade offer for Minshew, but it seems more likely that he returns for the 2022 season. This is now a team with playoff hopes entering this year and the backup QB position is an important one. The Eagles might need Minshew to win a game or two for them in 2022. And as long as Strong is healthy, I expect him to beat out Reid Sinnett for that No. 3 job. The Eagles lured Strong to Philly with a ton of guaranteed money as a UDFA.

Out: Reid Sinnett

Running backs (3): Miles Sanders, Kenny Gainwell, Boston Scott

These three feel pretty safe. Sanders has struggled to stay healthy the last couple years but had a career-high in YPC last season. Meanwhile, Gainwell and Scott have proven themselves as solid contributors. The Eagles have two other running backs on their 90-man roster fighting for a roster spot that might not exist. Still, one or both of them could land on the practice squad if the Eagles keep just three.

Out: Jason Huntley, Kennedy Brooks

Receivers (6): AJ Brown, DeVonta Smith, Quez Watkins, Zach Pascal, Jalen Reagor, Britain Covey

The first four are locks. And Brown, Smith, Watkins and Pascal is a good and deep group of wideouts. After that, things get tricky. Reagor might not deserve another chance but he is a former first-round pick and the Eagles might not be willing to give up on him yet, especially because he’d have a higher dead cap figure if they cut him. Covey could be a surprise, but he impressed his coaches and teammates at OTAs and he’s the type of dynamic return man the Eagles haven’t had in quite some time. It’s a bit of a luxury to keep him, but it could be fun. After that, perhaps Allen could land on the practice squad this season.

Out: Devon Allen, Deon Cain, Josh Hammond, John Hightower, Greg Ward, Keric Wheatfall

Tight ends (3): Dallas Goedert, Jack Stoll, Grant Calcaterra

Goedert will be the unquestioned no. 1 tight end for the Eagles this season. He shared that job with Zach Ertz to begin the 2021 season. Stoll handled the no. 2 role well last year after the Ertz trade but wasn’t asked to catch many balls. That’s where Calcaterra comes in. The sixth-round pick if an F tight end who can run routes like a receiver. The JJAW transition to tight end won’t be easy and I have him missing the cut. So, putting Jackson on the PUP to start the season. The Eagles like him and this is a way to keep him around.

Out: JJ Arcega-Whiteside, Richard Rodgers, Noah Togiai

PUP: Tyree Jackson (ACL)

Offensive line (9): Jordan Mailata, Landon Dickerson, Jason Kelce, Isaac Seumalo, Lane Johnson, Andre Dillard, Cam Jurgens, Jack Driscoll, Sua Opeta

Some tough decisions here on the offensive line. The Eagles kept 10 offensive linemen last season but they could afford to go lighter this year given the versatility of some of their backups. There will be competition for those last roster spots. Kayode Awosika and Le’Raven Clark were the toughest to cut. But Awosika can probably still make it to the practice squad and Clark is a vested veteran so the Eagles can play that game and bring him back later to avoid guaranteeing his salary. Although, if Dillard gets traded, then Clark will be on the roster.

Out: Jack Anderson, Kayode Awosika, Le’Raven Clark, William Dunkle, Josh Sills, Jarrid Williams

PUP: Brett Toth (ACL)

Defensive tackle (4): Fletcher Cox, Javon Hargrave, Jordan Davis, Milton Williams

These four are locks for the roster, but don’t sleep on Elliss or Wilson. Wilson has a highly touted UDFA last season but was in camp with the Browns. And Elliss is a priority UDFA this season and could potentially fill the backup nose tackle role behind Davis. But, for now, both of them fall short.

Out: Noah Elliss, Marvin Wilson, Renell Wren

Defensive End (4): Brandon Graham, Josh Sweat, Derek Barnett, Tarron Jackson

Breaking the defense into positions is a little tougher this season because the defensive ends and SAM linebackers are all lumped together. We’ll separate them here, though. Matt Leo, the project from Australia, is the only DE to not make the team.

Out: Matt Leo

SAM linebackers (3): Haason Reddick, Kyron Johnson, Patrick Johnson

Yes, this is heavy on these edge players but the SAM position is a versatile one. The Eagles used late-round draft picks in consecutive years on the Johnsons. They might be competing for one job but I wouldn’t be surprised to see them both make it.

Out: Ali Fayad

Linebackers (5): TJ Edwards, Kyzir White, Nakobe Dean, Davion Taylor, Shaun Bradley

These five feel pretty safe to me and there’s a drop off from them to the two guys who get cut. Still, the linebacker battle at training camp will still be intriguing because those five will be competing for roles and playing time.

Out: Christian Elliss, JaCoby Stevens

Cornerbacks (6): Darius Slay, James Bradberry, Avonte Maddox, Zech McPhearson, Tay Gowan, Josiah Scott

There are so many cornerbacks on the roster and after the starting trio of Slay, Bradberry and Maddox, they’re all pretty unproven. McPhearson was a fourth-round pick last year and was the top backup so I think he keeps that role. Gowan came over in the Ertz trade and he’s one defensive player I’m looking forward to watching in camp. And Scott can fill in as the backup nickel and will be a gunner on the punt team. The toughest cut here was Kary Vincent Jr., who is blazing fast. But can the Eagles really keep more than six corners? Some of these young guys won’t make the roster.

Out: Josh Blackwell, Mario Goodrich, Josh Jobe, Mac McCain III, Jimmy Moreland, Kary Vincent Jr.

Safety (4): Anthony Harris, Marcus Epps, Jaquiski Tartt, K’Von Wallace

Like the linebacker position, the top three safeties will be fighting for roles and playing time during camp. But all three feel like relatively safe bets to make the roster. That fourth spot should be a battle between Wallace and Andre Chachere. Wallace is a former fourth-round pick who hasn’t been able to stay healthy or to wrestle away a consistent role in the defense. Chachere is a special teams ace. If he makes the team, it’ll be because of his play in that role.

Out: Reed Blankenship, Andre Chachere, Jared Mayden

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

The Eagles don’t have any in-house competition for Siposs, who struggled last year. The Australian punter is a big part of the field goal operation as the holder but needs to be more consistent at his No. 1 job. A few of those shanks late last season were brutal. But, for now, these three return for their second season together.

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