Eagles 53-man roster prediction: Pre-training camp edition

NFL: SEP 15 Chargers at Lions
DETROIT, MI – SEPTEMBER 15: Detroit Lions running back Kerryon Johnson (33) catches a pass near the sidelines and out runs the defense for a touchdown during the Detroit Lions versus Los Angeles Chargers game on Sunday September 15, 2019 at Ford Field in Detroit, MI. (Photo by Steven King/Icon Sportswire)

With a little under two weeks away until the Philadelphia Eagles kick off a long Summer of Training Camp, it’s time to take a closer look at a 90-man roster that’s all but finalized. The Eagles have been relatively quiet this offseason and their roster features plenty of unproven talent. Bookmakers both sides of the pond have written off the Eagles ahead of next season, with online bookies uk offering very long odds for the 2018 winners to make it anywhere near the Super Bowl.  but how will that impact their final roster? Here’s my best guess at how things will pan out.

Quarterbacks: 3 (3)

Jalen HurtsJoe FlaccoNick Mullens

No real surprises here. The Eagles keep the three quarterbacks in a newly assembled room, each bringing something slightly different to the table. There will be a very intense competition going into camp in what almost promises to be a triple threat matchup. All three of these quarterbacks will believe they can start come week one, only further adding to the competitive atmosphere that Nick Sirianni wants to create. Jalen Hurts should still have a head start and will likely be named QB1, but if he does struggle for whatever reason this Summer, there are a pair of strong options behind him.

Running backs: 4 (7)

Miles SandersKenny Gainwell, Kerryon Johnson, Boston Scott

The duo of Sanders and Gainwelll should be considered locks here, but as for who backs them up, that remains a mystery. The Eagles will need a thumper and while I’d like to see someone like Elijah Holyfield step up to the plate, I feel like it’s going to come down to Jordan Howard or Kerryon Johnson, with the latter potentially having more reason for optimism after the Eagles watched Howard fall from grace following his 2019 injury.

Boston Scott should be able to provide just enough to stick onto the roster as the change-of-pace back and backup to Gainwell in the passing game.

Offensive linemen: 10 (17)

Jordan MailataIsaac Seumalo, Jason Kelce, Brandon Brooks, Lane Johnson, Landon DickersonAndre DillardJack DriscollNate Herbig, LeRaven Clark

Again, there should be very few surprises here. The main wildcard will come in the way of Brandon Brooks and if he’ll be ready to start in week one or not. If he’s unavailable due to rehabbing his Achilles and lands on the PUP list, expect Landon Dickerson or Nate Herbig to get the green flag. LeRaven Clark’s versatility should give the Eagles a nice contingency plan in the event of another injury bug.

Ultimately, this is one of the strongest positional groups on the roster in terms of depth and affords little in the way of opportunity

Tight ends: 3 (20)

Zach Ertz, Dallas GoedertRichard Rodgers

As of right now, there’s no reason to believe Zach Ertz will be moved outside of the basic logic that has been ignored by Howie Roseman all offseason. The Eagles simply value the Stanford product more than the rest of the league and with his contract expiring this offseason, why would a team overpay if the need isn’t dire? The window has passed and barring a late surprise, we can expect the same trio who took the field last year to do so again in 2021.

Wide receivers: 6 (26)

DeVonta Smith, Jalen Reagor, Greg Ward JrJohn HightowerTravis FulghamQuez Watkins

The Eagles will have som tricky decisions to make at wide receiver this offseason, but ultimately, it comes down to keeping those who will give the offense the best chance of success. That means J.J Arcega-Whiteside faces an early exit in what was a disappointing tenure in Philadelphia.

There’s enough versatility and speed in this room to keep six receiver and afford them all opportunities to ball out. With Reagor likely moving inside, we’re going to see more opportunities to get someone like Fulgham on the field in red-zone opportunities, or a burner in Watkins or Hightower in others. This is a room stacked with young potential.

Defensive tackle: 5 (31)

Fletcher CoxJavon Hargrave, Milton Williams, Hassan Ridgeway, Marlon Tuipulotu

The Eagles finally have a solid interior rotation again and there are plenty of reasons to be excited. Fletcher Cox might finally have the weight lifted off of his shoulders and there is an excitingly explosive young athlete in the way of Milton Williams who could well end up as the team’s first option off the bench providing he can kick on this Summer.

Defensive end: 6 (37)

Brandon GrahamDerek Barnett, Ryan Kerrigan, Josh Sweat, Tarron JacksonPatrick Johnson

The Eagles go one heavier here thanks to the addition of Ryan Kerrigan. It gives them three complete pairings to rotate throughout the season and given Barnett might not be back after the season ends, the team need to see what they have deeper into that rotation. Josh Sweat should naturally see an expanded role, but look for both Tarron Jackson and Patrick Johnson to filter in throughout the year to keep the top guys healthy and afford them an opportunity to prove their worth.

Linebacker: 4 (41)

Eric WilsonAlex Singleton, Shaun BradleyJaCoby Stevens

Due to offseason moves at EDGE and the signing of offensive lineman, the Eagles are going to have to make cuts somewhere. Ultimately, Linebacker may prove to be that spot. Alex Singleton should be able to build on his 100-tackle campaign and emerge as a dominant run defender thanks to the arrival of a coverage King in Eric Wilson.

I don’t think Davion Taylor will be able to show enough to unseat Shaun Bradley, who did actually flash some nice potential during limited action as a rookie. Taylor was always going to be a project and I don’t think stashing him on the practice squad is a risk given that his level of play just isn’t where it needs to be for other teams to come knocking.

The Eagles can afford to go lighter here as a result and instead take a shot on their shiny new converted Safety, JaCoby Stevens.

Cornerback: 5 (46)

Darius SlayAvonte MaddoxZech McPhearsonKeVon Seymour, Michael Jacquet

No cornerback help, no problem. Letting the young guys compete to earn that CB2 role makes sense and I think by the end of camp, it will be KeVon Seymour and his scintillating speed that comes out on top, with Michael Jacquet not too far behind. Maddox and McPhearson will man slot duties. It’s not perfect, but the Eagles have a trio of first-round picks to collect the ultimate prize in next year’s draft. One more year of wobbly secondary play is tolerable with that in mind.

Safety: 4 (50)

Anthony Harris, Rodney McLeod, K’Von WallaceAndrew Adams

If Rodney McLeod is unable to go by week one then expect K’Von Wallace to see some extended time while Andrew Adams takes over special teams duties left over by Rudy Ford. Marcus Epps may find himself challenging for a roster spot but in the event due to congestion elsewhere, but if McLeod starts the year on PUP then he should sneak on.

Special teams: 3 (53)

Arryn SipossJake Elliott, Rick Lovato

We end the projection with an unsurprising special teams trio. Nothing much to say here, although I am interested to see how Arryn Siposs fares as he looks to replace Cameron Johnston.

Photo by Steven King/Icon Sportswire