Eagles depth chart: Expect some unexpected surprises during the preseason

Eagles Haason reddick
Philadelphia Eagles linebacker Haason Reddick reacts following an NFL divisional round playoff football game against the New York Giants, Saturday, Jan. 21, 2023, in Philadelphia. The Eagles won 38-7. (AP Photo/Chris Szagola)

The Eagles return to action tonight for the first time since their Super Bowl loss to the Kansas City Chiefs. With the season drawing closer and closer as the days go by, many are anxious to see what the 2023 Eagles can accomplish.

With that being said, I think it’s a good idea to take a deeper look at their first initial depth chart of the season.

The Quarterbacks

Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts (1) throws a pass as New York Giants linebacker Jihad Ward (55) tries to rush in on him during the first half of an NFL divisional round playoff football game, Saturday, Jan. 21, 2023, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

There isn’t much to speculate about when it comes to who will be the team’s QB1. Hurts has solidified himself as the face of the franchise after a remarkable season where he finished as the runner-up to the MVP award. But behind Hurts could be where things take an interesting turn. The Eagles did invest in Marcus Mariota as the veteran backup, Ian Book and Tanner McKee.

McKee may currently be listed behind the two backup QB’s, but the rookie prospect has been making a good impression on the coaching staff this training camp. The Eagles haven’t had a true developmental QB as their backup plan for quite some time and there’s hope with Tanner McKee.

Running backs

PHILADELPHIA, PA – JULY 30: Philadelphia Eagles running back Kenneth Gainwell (14) during Philadelphia Eagles training camp on July 30, 2021 at Novacare Complex in Philadelphia, PA (Photo by John Jones/Icon Sportswire)

The log jam at running back has allowed the Eagles to keep their gameplan close to their chest. While they do have Kenny Gainwell listed as a starter, I would think that the Eagles will deploy the group in favor of Swift or Penny once the season begins.

So as for now, it will be the Kenny G show but he may not be the main attraction for the group during preseason. We have heard Nick Sirianni praise Trey Sermon time and time again with the expectation that Sermon could be a key part of this team’s offensive game plan.

I would expect to see a heavy dose of the former 49er and Giant slayer, Boston Scott, during the preseason as the team attempts to go with the best RB group that they can deploy. 

Wide Receivers

DeVonta Smith eagles
PHILADELPHIA, PA – NOVEMBER 14: Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver DeVonta Smith (6) celebrates his touchdown during the game between the Washington Commanders and the Philadelphia Eagles on November 14, 2022 at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, PA. (Photo by Andy Lewis/Icon Sportswire)

This will be an interesting bunch to keep an eye on. We know that no one on the roster will or can challenge A.J. Brown or DeVonta Smith for their spots. Outside of those two, the depth chart becomes a bit of an interesting competition.

While the Eagles have backed Quez Watkins throughout the entire offseason, they also signed Olamide Zaccheaus to not only add another wrinkle to this offense but to quietly push the best out of Quez Watkins. With the speed that Quez and Zaccheaus have on the field for the Eagles, it allows the offense to open up more for Brown, Smith, and Goedert.

After those four wideouts, there may be a spot open for a 5th which could lead to a battle between Greg Ward Jr, Britain Covey, and Deon Cain. While Covey may be the one who makes the roster by default due to his kick return ability, I wouldn’t write off the other two receivers just yet.

Offensive Line

PHILADELPHIA, PA – OCTOBER 18: Philadelphia Eagles Offensive Tackle Jordan Mailata (68) looks on in the second half during the game between the Baltimore Ravens and Philadelphia Eagles on October 18, 2020 at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, PA. (Photo by Kyle Ross/Icon Sportswire)

The offensive line is who they are at this point for the Eagles. But the battle at right guard continues between Tyler Steen and Cam Jurgens. Jurgens has had a terrific camp and it just shows how great of a positions coach Jeff Stoutland is.

With those two battling for RG supremacy, the next thought would be who are the backups? Upon looking at this depth chart I would say that Driscoll and Opera are shoe-ins to make the team while Josh Andrews could give Brett Toth a run for his money to be Kelce’s backup. 

Defensive Line

PHILADELPHIA, PA – OCTOBER 30: Philadelphia Eagles defensive tackle Jordan Davis (90) rushes during the game between the Pittsburg Steelers and the Philadelphia Eagles on October 30, 2022 at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, PA. (Photo by Andy Lewis/Icon Sportswire)

Jordan Davis is expected to start alongside Fletcher Cox while Jalen Carter and Milton Williams rotate in. The rotation of this line is deep which will their playmakers to be as fresh as possible throughout the season.

On the edge, you have Brandon Graham and Josh Sweat with Haason Reddick rotating in to rush the passer as well. I would expect to see Nolan Smith thrown into the mix too which could lead to him bunking Barnett off the roster. It’s going to be intriguing to see how Desai mixes up the talent on the defensive side of the ball. 


Eagles Nakobe dean
PHILADELPHIA, PA – AUGUST 02: Philadelphia Eagles linebacker Nakobe Dean (17) enters the field during training camp on August 2, 2022 at the Novacare Complex in Philadelphia, PA (Photo by John Jones/Icon Sportswire)

We know that Nakobe Dean is a lock no matter what anybody, except Desai and Sirianni, says. The second-year LB will have new talent around him in Zach Cunningham and Myles Jack going into the preseason. I wouldn’t invest too much into where they currently stand in the depth chart due to them still getting ramped up with the team. 

As for Nicholas Morrow, he may be fighting for survival on this roster against Christian Ellis. Both of them will be rotating in the WILL spot which could be an indication of the Eagles zeroing in on the LB spot. 


PHILADELPHIA, PA – AUGUST 12: Philadelphia Eagles safety Reed Blankenship (46) warms up during pre-season game between the New York Jets and the Philadelphia Eagles on August 12, 2022 at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia PA. (Photo by Andy Lewis/Icon Sportswire)

Safety remains a cause for concern as the depth there isn’t the most talented. There have been reports of K’Von Wallace now emerging for a starting role although he is slotted behind Edmunds in their first reveal of the depth chart.

Blankenship has all but locked up his position and rookie, Sydney Brown, will have to earn his playing time on the field. Justin Evans and Tristan McCollum may just be fighting for a roster spot at this point which could lead to either of them making special teams.


LANDOVER, MD – JANUARY 02: Eagles cornerback Darius Slay (2) waits for the game to start during the Philadelphia Eagles versus Washington Football Team National Football League game at FedEx Field on January 2, 2022 in Landover, MD. (Photo by Randy Litzinger/Icon Sportswire)

The corner position is very similar to the wide receiver situation. The two starters are locked in while their backups are still competing for the next spot. It’s interesting to see that the second unit as of now would be Zech McPhearson in the slot with Josh Jobe and rookie Kelee Ringo on the outside. 

We haven’t heard much noise from Greedy Williams and Mario Goodrich but if this is how the Eagles will go into the season then the corner depth may be one of the more unique groups on the team. The talent is there but can the backups execute when the starters need rest or miss time?

AP Photo/Chris Szagola