Eagles 53-man roster prediction: Preseason Movers and shakers

Eagles quez watkins
PHILADELPHIA, PA – AUGUST 12: Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver Quez Watkins (16) celebrates his touchdown with Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts (1) during the preseason game between the Philadelphia Eagles and the Pittsburgh Steelers on August 12, 2021 at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, PA. (Photo by Andy Lewis/Icon Sportswire)

With the first of three preseason games in the books, here’s a quick look at how the Eagles 53-man roster may be primed to look by the time the season starts.

Quarterbacks: 3 (3)

Jalen HurtsJoe FlaccoNick Mullens

Sure, Joe Flacco may have the inside track to the QB2 role now, but that doesn’t mean the Eagles won’t keep Mullens around as a project arm. He still has some clear ability and is young enough to have a ceiling high enough to invest in. Overall, no shocks here though.

Running backs: 4 (7)

Miles SandersKenny Gainwell, Jordan Howard, Boston Scott

Kerryon Johnson’s injury might be something worth monitoring over the next week or so. If that didn’t tilt the scales, then Howard’s pass-protecting efficiency against the Steelers just might. It’s unlikely that the team keep more than four backs and unless Johnson can return to health and build on what was an otherwise promising preseason debut, Howard might have this one locked in.

Offensive linemen: 10 (17)

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

Andre Dillard should comfortably make the roster (unless he’s traded) as a backup tackle to Jordan Mailata, showing a real sense of strength when it comes to depth. The Eagles find themselves inundated with it once again and after an injury-plagued 2020, it’s a breath of fresh air. Landon Dickerson may start the year on PUP, opening up a roster spot elsewhere, but for now, we’ll keep things simple.

Tight ends: 4 (21)

Zach Ertz, Dallas GoedertRichard Rodgers, Tyree Jackson

Tyree Jackson’s preseason explosion was clearly a long time coming and I don’t think that momentum is going to fade any time soon. However, whether or not he has enough steam to displace Richard Rodgers is another question entirely. At this point, the Eagles may look to drop a player from a positional group of more depth in a bid to keep Jackson around, knowing fully well that he’d be poached in a heartbeat if exposed to waivers.

Wide receivers: 5 (26)

DeVonta Smith, Jalen ReagorJohn HightowerTravis FulghamQuez Watkins

Unfortunately, the fall guy for Jackson’s appearance on the roster is Greg Ward Jr. His story is incredible, but as a receiver, he’s a well-rounded slot guy with a solid floor as a starter in the NFL. Unfortunately, every other wideout listed has some kind of special trait that separates them from the crowd. The Eagles can afford to go light here thanks to the versatility of the position and sneak a couple of players on the practice squad if needs be.

Defensive tackle: 5 (31)

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

T.Y McGill is pushing Hassan Ridgeway for a roster spot, there’s no denying that. But I’m going to need to see more than just one game of flashes to combat various solid regular season efforts put forward by Ridgeway over the past two years. Outside of that, it’s all as expected.

Defensive end: 6 (37)

Brandon GrahamDerek Barnett, Ryan KerriganJosh Sweat, Tarron JacksonPatrick Johnson (LB)

Again, no real shocking moves here. The Eagles maintain a strong EDGE rotation going into the new season.

Linebacker: 4 (41)

Eric WilsonAlex Singleton, Davion Taylor, JaCoby Stevens

Providing that Davion Taylor can get healthy before week one, he should comfortably make the cut after a stellar summer. If he’s not, look for someone like Shaun Bradley to sneak up in his place.

Cornerback: 5 (46)

Darius SlayAvonte MaddoxZech McPhearson, Steven Nelson, Josiah Scott

Michael Jacquet’s awful game against Pittsburgh opens the door for Josiah Scott, who has had a really solid camp. If anything, this probably works out well. McPhearson appears to be vying for a backup spot on the outside while Maddox will hold the nickel for this season. Scott can backup the Pitt product while the rookie hones his craft behind Slay and Nelson.

Safety: 4 (50)

Anthony Harris, Marcus Epps, K’Von WallaceAndrew Adams

Rodney McLeod is still on the PUP list right now and there is a chance he starts the season on it as well. If that’s the case, Marcus Epps has done more than enough to prove himself worthy of that spot, with Andrew Adams looking to fill in for Rudy Ford’s void on special teams.

Special teams: 3 (53)

Arryn SipossJake Elliott, Rick Lovato

I miss Cameron Johnston.

Photo by Andy Lewis/Icon Sportswire