Is it too early to predict the Eagles 53-man roster? Maybe. But I feel doing so at least forces a spotlight onto positional battles or areas of concern that may have been lost in the thrill of the NFL Draft.
Before we get started, it’s worth noting that two practice squad players per week can be elevated to the final (I suppose 55-man) roster. This player can be sent back down twice without having to clear waivers, giving NFL teams more security around some of their longer term projects.
With this in mind, here’s attempt number one at projecting the Eagles 53-man group for 2020.
Quarterback 3 (3)
Carson Wentz, Jalen Hurts, Nate Sudfeld
No surprises here (excluding the 53rd overall pick being spent on a quarterback), although I do think Kyle Lauletta has a legitimate chance of dethroning Nate Sudfeld for the QB3 role. It’ll be an interesting narrative to watch through the Summer, as well had how rigid or flexible Hurts’ role in the offense appears to be.
Running back 4 (7)
Miles Sanders, Boston Scott, Corey Clement, Adrian Killins
We live in a world where Boston Scott is a certified roster lock behind one of the most impactful rookies of 2019 and I am so happy that’s the case. Had the Eagles not signed Corey Clement recently, Michael Warren would’ve been my undrafted underdog here, but I feel as though the sheer speed Killins brings to the table will be the perfect complement to a very versatile backfield.
Offensive line 10 (17)
Lane Johnson, Brandon Brooks, Jason Kelce, Isaac Seumalo, Andre Dillard, Matt Pryor, Jack Driscoll, Jordan Mailata, Prince Tega Wanogho, Nate Herbig
The Eagles are able to bring both of their 2020 draft picks onto the final 53-man roster. Jordan Mailata makes the cut (for now) while Nate Herbig’s presence will allow Jack Driscoll breathing room to begin his transition to center. Matt Pryor’s versatility and impressive stint in 2019 becomes the x-factor that keeps a very young group of backups together and enables them to stick on the roster.
Tight end 3 (20)
Zach Ertz, Dallas Goedert, Alex Ellis
The Richard Rodgers experiment failed and Joshua Perkins feels more of an oversized slot receiver than an in-line blocker. Perkins has his moments, but I think the Eagles may covet something a little more from their TE3. Ellis shined towards the end of preseason and somehow was unable to make the cut. Luck swings his way this time around.
Wide receiver 6 (26)
JJ Arcega-Whiteside, DeSean Jackson, Jalen Reagor, John Hightower, Greg Ward Jr, Marquise Goodwin
The Eagles currently have 14 wide receivers on their roster and while the sense of speed is blistering, cramming it all into a position group where they usually carry 6 names is going to be tricky.
The only hope here is that Alshon’s injury recovery leads to him starting the season on the PUP list, giving the Eagles some much needed flexibility. Those extra two roster spots per week will come in handy, but you’re still probably going to have to part ways with a name that’s less than ideal.
This format gives the Eagles the most bang for their buck, providing Quez Watkins can be rotated on and off of that additional roster spot.
Defensive tackle 4 (30)
Fletcher Cox, Javon Hargrave, Malik Jackson, Hassan Ridgeway
No shocks here. The Eagles easily have one of the top defensive tackle rotations in the league.
Defensive end 4 (34)
Brandon Graham, Derek Barnett, Josh Sweat, Shareef Miller
The Eagles run light at defensive end purely due to the fact that Malik Jackson can line up at the 5-tech spot and most likely will. A jump in production from Sweat and Miller is absolutely needed. Whether that happens or not is anyone’s guess, but with no Vinny Curry around, the gamble has already been made.
Linebacker 6 (40)
Nate Gerry, Davion Taylor, Alex Singleton, Duke Riley, T.J Edwards, Genard Avery
The Eagles keep their special teams tandem of Alex Singleton and Duke Riley, while allowing T.J Edwards to thrive as a MIKE alongside Gerry and the rapid rookie Davion Taylor. Oddly, this isn’t even that bad…
Cornerback 6 (46)
Darius Slay, Sidney Jones, Avonte Maddox, Nickell Robey-Coleman, Cre’Von LeBlanc, Rasul Douglas
The cornerback position could again be headed for a training camp battle like no other. I think it’s likely that Rasul Douglas is moved and having Jalen Mills at Safety at least ticks a second box in a pinch, should the Eagles need an outside starter. This means that while Trevor Williams has a lot of talent if he can stay healthy, the Eagles can put the young guys first.
Safety 4 (50)
Rodney McLeod, K’Von Wallace, Jalen Mills, Will Parks
Again, very little in the way of controversy here. The Eagles have their dream quarter in place for the time being.
Special teams 3 (53)
Cameron Johnston, Jake Elliott, Rick Lovato
I’d just like to take this moment to recognize Cameron Johnston and his Iron Leg.
WR Quez Watkins
CB Michael Jacquet
RB Michael Warren
LB Shaun Bradley
QB Kyle Lauletta
DT Albert Huggins
DT Anthony Rush
OG Julian Good-Jones
G Sua Opeta
OT Casey Tucker
* Rookie minicamp tryout
* Rookie minicamp tryout