Eagles 53-man roster prediction: Which preseason standouts make the cut?

PHILADELPHIA, PA – DECEMBER 19: Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts (1) celebrates his touchdown during the game between the Washington Football Team and the Philadelphia Eagles on December 21, 2021 at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, PA. (Photo by Andy Lewis/Icon Sportswire)

Another week of Training Camp is in the books and the process of the Philadelphia Eagles trimming their roster from 90 downs to 53 is underway. A few moves have been made already and with only one more preseason game remaining, we’re beginning to see the 2023 Eagles take shape. Here’s my latest 53-man roster prediction factoring in all the thrills and spills of the last two weeks.

Quarterback 3 (3)

Jalen Hurts, Marcus Mariota, Tanner McKee

No surprises here. Tanner McKee has been impressive throughout preseason and while Marcus Mariota hasn’t, there’s a hefty guaranteed contract that the Eagles are bound to. It will be fun to see McKee develop over the next few years. The Eagles might finally have a developmental arm worth committing to.

Running back 4 (7)

Kenny Gainwell, Rashaad Penny, D’Andre Swift, Boston Scott

As flexible as the Eagles’ backfield appears to be, the core four should go unchanged. Trey Sermon has enjoyed a good preseason, but some minor injury concerns might be the deciding factor here. That’s not to say he won’t make an impact down the line, but it will likely be off the practice squad.

Offensive line 9 (16)

Jason Kelce, Jordan Mailata, Landon Dickerson, Lane Johnson, Sua Opeta, Cam Jurgens, Dennis Kelly, Jack Driscoll, Tyler Steen

This might be the most predictable unit on the roster. The familiar names and faces are all still there, but Tyler Steen will make his arrival and complete what is an absolutely stacked unit. Steen has showcased some astounding versatility over the last few weeks and will be a valuable asset for years to come.

The Eagles also brought Dennis Kelly back into the fold just before Training Camp, which not only gives them a veteran presence to mentor the younger guys, but gives them some reliability in a pinch. This affords Jeff Stoutland more time to work with those younger players away from the spotlight.

Tight end 3 (19)

Dallas Goedert, Jack Stoll, Tyree Jackson

I previously thought that Dan Arnold would sneak onto this roster as a proven veteran, but he’s had a mysteriously silent summer. I don’t actually recall seeing a single tweet about him or even seeing him on the field in preseason.

Instead, It’s Tyree Jackson who has stepped up to the plate. This experiment is far from over with the former QB flashing his upside as a receiving TE throughout yet another preseason.

The Eagles also keep Jack Stoll around due to his blocking prowess, giving them one tight end who specialises in receiving, and one in blocking. Dallas Goedert specifically name-dropped him when discussing the TE group last week, stating how much info the young TE is soaking up and how he’s mentoring Stoll’s route-running. He seems to be held in a high regard which is bound to help his case.

Wide receiver 5 (24)

DeVonta Smith, A.J Brown, Quez Watkins, Olamide Zaccheaus, Joseph Ngata

While the Eagles do have some real star-power here, there is a lack of depth. Covey does have some nice upside but is yet to really kick into gear as a wide receiver. I like Devon Allen or Joseph Ngata to take that final spot and can see the rookie being the man to do so. With Zaccheaus flashing versatility at both Y and Z spots, it should give the Eagles some flexibility to bring up a developmental talent like Allen/Ngata to work under the wings of Smitty and A.J Brown.

Defensive tackle 5 (29)

Jordan Davis, Jalen Carter, Milton Williams, Fletcher Cox, Moro Ojomo

A dominant tandem of Davis and Carter headlines the DT spot and there is plenty of depth in behind. Moro Ojimo makes the cut provided his concussion heals in time. This is a really solid five-man rotation and frankly something that the Eagles have coveted since 2017.

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)

Defensive end 5 (34)

Haason Reddick, Nolan Smith, Josh Sweat, Brandon Graham, Derek Barnett

This all depends on what you consider a ‘defensive end’, with both Reddick and Smith arguably counting as OLB’s too. Either way, the Birds keep both Josh Sweat and Brandon Graham in their traditional roles and have a choice of a proven vet (and flag merchant) in Derek Barnett, or the likes of Tarron Jackson in behind Smith and Reddick. I think Barnett takes the spot here just as he’s the more experienced name and likely still the better player in spite of his flaws.

Linebacker 5 (39)

Nakobe Dean, Zach Cunningham, Christian Elliss, Nicholas Morrow, Patrick Johnson

An injury to Shaun Bradley opens the door to a roster spot for Christian Elliss, while Myles Jack retiring all but solidifies Zach Cunningham’s spot as the second starter. Because of how the Eagles deploy both Reddick and Smith, they will likely only need 4 linebackers – a starter and a backup for the other two spots. They should be fairly comfortable here now all things considered (dependent on Dean’s health), which says a lot.

Cornerback 6 (46)

Darius Slay, James Bradberry, Avonte Maddox, Kelee Ringo, Eli Ricks, Josh Jobe

I know 6 corners sounds like a lot…but it’s really not. It’s a backup for each starting spot and given that I’m expecting rookie CB Kelee Ringo to play a niche role during his rookie season, that gives them one less ‘depth’ corner to work with. They lost Zech McPhearson to injury, which should give Jobe & Ricks a guaranteed path to the roster.

Safety 4 (50)

Reed Blankenship, Sydney Brown, Terrell Edmunds, Justin Evans

The Eagles have a really solid rotation at Safety. Blankenship and Sydney Brown will likely lock down the starting roles, while Terrell Edmunds and Justin Evans provide some special teams depth.

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)

Specialists 3 (53)

Rick Lovato, Jake Elliott, Arryn Siposs

No surprises here, although I do wish Ty Zentner was still around.

Be sure to let me know your thoughts on this roster prediction in the comments!

Photo by Andy Lewis/Icon Sportswire