All-too-early Eagles 53-man roster prediction: A summer of surprises?

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: DEC 28 CFP Semifinal at the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl – Oklahoma v LSU
ATLANTA, GA – DECEMBER 28: LSU Tigers safety JaCoby Stevens (3) during the College Football Playoffs Semifinal Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl between the LSU Tigers and the Oklahoma Sooners on December 28, 2019 at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by John Adams/Icon Sportswire)

Is it too early to make a 53-man roster prediction for the Philadelphia Eagles? Yes. Am I going to do it anyway? Yes.

A lot can change between now and the end of August, but if we were to assemble the roster as of today, how many twists and turns would we encounter? Let’s find out!

Quarterbacks: 3 (3)

Jalen Hurts, Joe Flacco, Jamie Newman

No surprises here, other than the fact that they all have names beginning with J.

Running backs: 4 (7)

Miles Sanders, Kenny Gainwell, Kerryon Johnson, Boston Scott

The signing of Kerryon Johnson really does open up this backfield battle. It would make sense for the Eagles to try and keep ‘two’ of each style of back. Gainwell and Scott can take care of receiving duties while Sanders and Johnson can slash between the tackles and make things happen…theoretically of course.

Whether or not Johnson can displace Jordan Howard will be the big talk going into the Summer, but given the intent to poach him off waivers, it at least seems highly plausible.

Offensive linemen: 9 (16)

Jordan Mailata, Isaac Seumalo, Jason Kelce, Brandon Brooks, Lane Johnson, Landon Dickerson, Andre Dillard, Jack Driscoll, Nate Herbig

The Eagles usually keep around ten offensive linemen on the roster but they will naturally go a little lighter here due to the versatility of Landon Dickerson. The real question mark here comes in the way of Brandon Brooks and if he can continue to defy the laws of physics and biology by recovering from another torn Achilles way ahead of schedule. If he’s not, the Eagles may be able to give Dickerson a short-term shot as a starter and give the roster spot to someone else until he returns.

Tight ends: 3 (19)

Zach Ertz, Dallas Goedert, Tyree Jackson

The Eagles have two tight ends in contract years, Jason Croom the touchdown machine, and a ton of former WR’s turned TE’s. I think the most intriguing of the current crop is former Bills QB Tyree Jackson purely due to his 6’7 frame. Nick Sirianni likes creating matchup problems and if Jackson does have some upside, he could be a fun red-zone weapon.

Wide receivers: 6 (25)

DeVonta Smith, Jalen Reagor, Greg Ward Jr, John Hightower, Travis Fulgham, Quez Watkins

The Eagles will have some tricky decisions to make at WR this offseason, and the first will be admitting that they whiffed on JJAW. Travis Fulgham will become the team’s strongest big-body wideout to line up behind DeVonta Smith, while Jalen Reagor is backed up by Hightower on the outside. Ward remains the team’s starting slot wideout and Quez Watkins fills in behind. As a result, the team have an eclectic group of wideouts with varying skill sets primed to pick apart defenses.

Defensive tackle: 5 (30)

Fletcher Cox, Javon Hargrave, Milton Williams, Hassan Ridgeway, Marlon Tuipulotu

The Eagles are able to build a five-man rotation without much in the way of drama here. Tuipulotu will be going up against Raequan Williams for that final spot which will be a very exciting training camp battle given how different the two pass-rushers are. The rookie should have a leg-up given that he’s been drafted with a specific role in mind for this new defense.

Defensive end: 5 (35)

Brandon Graham, Derek Barnett, Josh Sweat, Tarron Jackson, Patrick Johnson

Both of the team’s new edge rushers make it onto the roster here due to a severe lack of depth at the position. The top-3 were already cemented, and the addition of Milton Williams at DT should give them some flexibility when it comes to creating pairings.

Linebacker: 6 (41)

Eric Wilson, Alex Singleton, Davion Taylor, Genard Avery, Shaun Bradley, JaCoby Stevens

I don’t think T.J Edwards makes the roster now, which I know will come as a shock since so many people are high on him. Eric WIlson and Alex Singleton will probably be the two linebackers in nickel and dime packages, while Davion Taylor’s athleticism fits the exact mold that the Eagles are now looking for. Genard Avery’s transition under a new coaching staff may displace Edwards, and JaCoby Stevens will pick up where Nate Gerry left off and hopefully push on a lot further.

Cornerback: 5 (46)

Darius Slay, Avonte Maddox, Zech McPhearson, KeVon Seymour, Michael Jacquet

The Eagles don’t yet have a CB2 to pair with Darius Slay, but if we’re to go off of the current roster, Michael Jacquet and Kevon Seymour are the two strongest candidates. Seymour, to me, probably has the inside track due to being the closest profile-wise to Slay, but Jacquet’s confidence against DeAndre Hopkins last year should put him in the mix.

Safety: 4 (50)

Anthony Harris, Rodney McLeod, K’Von Wallace, Andrew Adams

The Eagles list Stevens as a LB but he could take on some Safety responsibilities too. Special teams are the name of the game here, and Wallace should logically be ready to step up and take over from Marcus Epps, while Andrew Adams replaces Jalen Mills. If Rodney McLeod is injured to start the season, expect Epps to stick around.

Special teams: 3 (53)

Arryn Siposs, Jake Elliott, Rick Lovato

I miss Cameron Johnston.

Photo by John Adams/Icon Sportswire)