A new breed of Football: Taking a closer look at the Eagles 53-man roster

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Now that we’ve found out the players who won’t be suiting up in Midnight Green this season, let’s focus on the ones who will be. Here’s a closer look at your 2018 Philadelphia Eagles.

 

OFFENSE

Quarterback
Carson Wentz, Nick Foles, Nate Sudfeld

It was reported earlier today that it would be Nick Foles starting the season for the Eagles, but the depth chart remains as clear as glass. Carson Wentz is the future of the franchise, Nick Foles is the Super Bowl MVP winning backup and Nate Sudfeld will likely inherit that QB2 role one day.

 

Running back
Jay Ajayi, Darren Sproles, Corey Clement, Wendell Smallwood

Availability is the best kind of ability and Wendell Smallwood was able to finally put his foot in the ground while his main competition was sidelined. The WVU product was still relatively lucky to make the final 53 however, backing up Ajayi, Sproles and Corey Clement.

 

Wide receiver
Alshon Jeffery, Nelson Agholor, Mike Wallace, Mack Hollins, Shelton Gibson, DeAndre Carter

Seeing DeAndre Carter’s name on this list just warms your heart. After joining so late in the proceedings and been in this situation countless times since going undrafted in 2015, Carter finally fulfilled a promise he made to his fallen brother, to find a future in the NFL.

Carter was a worthy choice here after killing the preseason, but all of the Eagles starting receivers have experienced injury setbacks this offseason, prompting them to carry the extra body, especially given as some are bound to carry over into the next few weeks. Look for Shelton Gibson and DeAndre Carter to see an exposure to the rigors of a regular season.

 

Tight end
Zach Ertz, Dallas Goedert, Richard Rodgers, Joshua Perkins

Surprisingly, the Eagles carry four tight ends, which is something they haven’t done since 2014. #GoedErtz will lead the charge as a receiving tandem, while Richard Rodgers will fill Celek’s old role, leaving Perkins as Burton once was, the unaccounted for underdog, if activated.

An undrafted free agent in 2016, Perkins stuck onto the Falcons roster as their fourth tight end but was often inactive. When Jacob Tamme suffered an injury in November of last year, Perkins saw his first action on an NFL field. 2 of his 3 career receptions came against the Carolina Panthers and one just so happened to be an eyebrow raising touchdown pass. It will be interesting to see how his career progresses from here.

 

Offensive tackle
Jason Peters, Lane Johnson, Halapoulivaati Vaitai, Jordan Mailata
Am I allowed to write a paragraph that reads nothing but ‘Jordan Mailata’? No? Okay. The Eagles keep their two franchise tackles and of course, Big V, who was instrumental in the team’s incredible post-season run. Now can I write about Jordan Mailata? 

JORDAN. MAILATA.

There will be a third Film Room episode on the way…

 

Offensive guard
Brandon Brooks, Stefen Wisniewski, Chance Warmack, Matt Pryor

This is a little surprising. The Eagles decided to keep both Chance Warmack AND Matt Pryor. Mike Mayock stated during the team’s preseason finale that Warmack would keep his spot and Pryor would not, which I heavily disagreed with due to his versatility, size, upside and work ethic. Pryor has outperformed the wily veteran and could well be groomed to take over from Warmack as the primary backup in future.

 

Center
Jason Kelce, Isaac Seumalo

No surprises here, Seumalo makes the team in spite of his inherent snapping problem, but his versatility and experience come in handy here. Besides, cutting a third 2016 draft pick today

would just be uncool…

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DEFENSE

 

Defensive end
Brandon Graham, Michael Bennett, Chris Long, Derek Barnett, Josh Sweat

This has been the most likely outcome since the beginning of OTA’s. Although Sweat was disappointing this offseason, there’s plenty of room to grow and an abundance of time to do it in. It does mean that Steven Means was left off of the roster, which is a real shame, but the defensive end rotation has enough variety in skillset that it could still emerge as one of the league’s finest.

 

Defensive tackle
Fletcher Cox, Haloti Ngata, Destiny Vaeao, Bruce Hector

Bruce Hector wins out that vital DT4 spot (more on that in the coming days) and deservedly so. After beating out Winston Craig, former Eagles draftee Elijah Qualls and Aziz Shittu, Hector will join Destiny Vaeao as a key cog in the rotation. Ngata will fill in for Jernigan while he’s sidelined due to injury, completing a run defense that again, has elite potential.

 

Linebacker
Kamu Grugier-Hill, Joe Walker,
 Jordan Hicks, LaRoy Reynolds, Nathan Gerry

Don’t panic, Nigel Bradham is going to be around, he’s just facing a one-week suspension due to his silly off-the-field troubles that came back to haunt him. Provisionally, this gives LaRoy Reynolds and Joe Walker one real chance to prove themselves worthy of backing up the big man. Walker is an outside linebacker, but if either can shine on special teams, the Eagles are in a position to simply watch the ‘best man win’. I’m also VERY excited to see how Grugier-Hill and Gerry split starting weakside snaps.

 

Cornerback
Ronald Darby, Jalen Mills, Sidney Jones,Avonte Maddox, Rasul Douglas

It’s always sunny in Philadelphia…I mean Pick city. This secondary is going to be very fun to watch next season. Keep your eyes on the skies and watch for plenty of big plays on the ball from a cornerback room bursting with potential.

 

Safety
Malcolm Jenkins, Rodney McLeod, Corey Graham, Tre Sullivan

The re-signing of Corey Graham ultimately completes the defensive backfield, once again freeing up Malcolm Jenkins to wreak havoc wherever he pleases. Tre Sullivan’s evolution has earned him a spot filling the role left by Jaylen Watkins. The former Raven hits hard and has earned his stripes wings feathers spot on the final 53 following a very strong offseason.

SPECIAL TEAMS

Kicker — Jake Elliott

Punter — Cameron Johnston

Long snapper — Rick Lovato

Cameron Johnston’s iron leg is on the roster and that is all that matters.

 

Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

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