Eagles 53-man roster prediction: Parallel universe edition

Training Camp may well be on the horizon, but it’s going to resemble nothing we’ve seen before. Social distancing measures being enforced will make this a very unique challenge for coaches across the league and there are no OTA’s to bring players up to speed. But what if they were? Which players would have shined? Here’s a hypothetical look at how the Eagles’ roster would be looking had OTA’s gone ahead.

Quarterback 3 (3)

Carson Wentz, Jalen Hurts, Kyle Lauletta

The first (big?) surprise here is the lack of Nate Sudfeld. The Indiana product looked wobbly last offseason and his decision to re-sign with the team may well have been the safest option…that was until Jalen Hurts arrived.

Former Giants draftee Kyle Lauletta is now breathing down his neck and while Cody Kessler was unable to beat out Sudfeld last year, Lauletta may well be able too. In this OTA hypothetical, he hits the ground running and immediately puts pressure on Sudfeld, working with the likes of Quez Watkins to turn heads at the NovaCare Complex.

Running back 4 (7)

Miles Sanders, Boston Scott, Corey Clement, Elijah Holyfield

No real shocks here. The real battle will be for the RB4 role, but Holyfield’s experience at the NFL level gives him an edge over this year’s UDFA crop. The former Carolina Panther would’ve been exciting to watch in May and set a high bar for the rookies to reach for.

Offensive line 10 (17)

Lane Johnson, Matt Pryor, Jason Kelce, Isaac Seumalo, Andre Dillard, Jordan Mailata, Jack Driscoll, Nate Herbig, Prince Tega-Wanagho, Sua Opeta

With no Brandon Brooks, the Eagles’ offensive line depth will undoubtedly be tested and the lack of OTA’s hurt them here. A group of largely unproven talents will have to be at their best in order to cement roster spots behind the starters. There shouldn’t be any major surprises to begin with, but names like Casey Tucker and Julian Good-Jones will be on the outside looking in.

Tight end 3 (20)

Zach Ertz, Dallas Goedert, Joshua Perkins

I feel as though Alex Ellis is going to really push Perkins this offseason, but there’s no denying that the third-year TE has improved since joining the Eagles. His contributions last season were notable when Ertz went down, and he should be able to pick up where he left off in a hypothetical OTA period.

Wide receiver 7 (26)

JJ Arcega-Whiteside, DeSean Jackson, Jalen Reagor, John Hightower, Greg Ward Jr, Marquise Goodwin

Welcome to roster problems 101. The Eagles worked hard to inject as much speed as possible into the offense this past offseason, but cramming it all onto the roster won’t exactly be easy, especially when depth is needed at other areas. Quez Watkins was the lat receiver drafted by the Eagles and his tape is definitely the rawest. That’s not to say Watkins will be cut, but in a roster battle against names like Greg Ward Jr. etc, OTA’s may not be the platform where he shines brightest. Watkins’ finest audition will arrive when Training Camp and preseason do. For now, he narrowly misses the cut, but not by much.

Defensive tackle 4 (30)

Fletcher Cox, Javon Hargrave, Malik Jackson, Hassan Ridgeway

The Eagles can afford to run light here knowing that they can stash names like Anthony Rush on the practice squad if needed. This quartet has some truly explosive potential and OTA’s should be a fairly run-of-the-mill window for such a prominent group.

Defensive end 5 (35)

Brandon Graham, Derek Barnett, Josh Sweat, Genard Avery, Shareef Miller

Shareef Miller has guaranteed 10 sacks this year…but first he’s got to lock-in his spot on the roster. That won’t be easy with names like Daeshon Hall and Genard Avery (technically a stand-up DE but kind of a LB??) lurking.

For now, experience will push Avery onto the roster. He was clearly traded for with a role in mind and we may get to see flashes of that in an OTA period.

Joe Ostman will be breathing heavily down Miller’s neck, but coming off of a torn ACL is no easy feat and it may take him some time to settle back into the swing of things, likely heating up as a hypothetical camp and preseason would roll around.

Linebacker 5 (40)

T.J Edwards, Nate Gerry, Alex Singleton, Duke Riley, Davion Taylor

The Eagles lack a lot of depth at linebacker, but there’s going to be a feisty competition to fill the roles of Nigel Bradham and Kamu Grugier-Hill. Davion Taylor should be able to establish himself as a linebacker ready to contribute as a rookie, but seventh-round pick Shaun Taylor may have a harder time doing so.

Cornerback 6 (46)

Darius Slay, Avonte Maddox, Sidney Jones, Nickell Robey-Coleman, Cre’Von LeBlanc, Rasul Douglas

Rasul Douglas remains on the roster, has taken a paycut, and is now working out with a Footwork coach who has previously helped Darius Slay. I think he would show enough during OTA’s to put himself in the CB picture, even if it’s in a primary outside reserve role. The rest of the group should speak for itself, but how that depth shakes out is anyone’s guess.

Safety 4 (50)

Rodney McLeod, Will Parks, Jalen Mills, K’Von Wallace

This group should be self explanatory. I can’t see OTA’s impacting the Safeties all that much, but I think both Rudy Ford and Marcus Epps will be ‘gunning’ for a special teams role (pardon the pun).

Specialists 3 (53)

Jake Elliott, Cameron Johnston, Rick Lovato

No analysis needed here except to once again mention that Cam Johnston has a leg made of iron.

Practice squad

WR Quez Watkins
DE Joe Ostman
LB Shaun Bradley
RB Michael Warren
CB Grayland Arnold
CB Craig James
QB Undecided, but probably a pickup from another team’s cuts
DT Anthony Rush
S Marcus Epps
DE Joe Ostman
TE Alex Ellis
WR Deontay Burnett

Mandatory Photo Credit: Danielle Parhizkaran/NorthJersey.com, NorthJersey.com via Imagn Content Services, LLC

Leave a Reply