All-too-early Eagles 53-man roster prediction: How many rookies make the cut?

Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts pushes off New York Giants linebacker Micah McFadden during the first half of an NFL football game Monday, Dec. 25, 2023, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

The Philadelphia Eagles enjoyed a stellar NFL Draft, and with OTA’s now on the horizon, it’s the perfect time to take an early guess at what the 53-man roster will look like for the 2024 season.

Eagles 2024 53-man roster prediction

Quarterbacks (3):

Jalen Hurts, Kenny Pickett, Tanner McKee

Don’t expect any shocks here. The signing of WIll Grier is a fun one to give Tanner McKee some competition, and Kenny Pickett is a fringe starter who will act as Jalen’s backup in 2024 provided that there are no bumps along the way. I’m intrigued to see how McKee develops this offseason and if he can maybe apply some pressure to the former Steeler, but these should be the 3 names making the 53-man roster.

Running Backs (3):

Saquon Barkley, Kenny Gainwell, Will Shipley

The Eagles can go a little lighter at running back this offseason because of the presence of Saquon Barkley. The superstar running back is a 3-down runner in every sense and depth isn’t going to be the necessity it was during the ‘committee era’. Gainwell and Shipley are birds of a feather, with the rookie likely being viewed as the long-term replacement for Gainwell should he depart this coming offseason.

Saquon eagles

Offensive line (8):

Jordan Mailata, Landon Dickerson, Cam Jurgens, Lane Johnson, Tyler Steen, Trevor Keegan, Dylan McMahon, Mekhi Becton

A slight change up at offensive line also allows the Eagles to go a bit lighter. Rookie Dylan McMahon has experience at every interior spot, while former first-round tackle Mekhi Becton will be afforded a chance to find his feet again under Jeff Stoutland. The Eagles might decide to keep a second swing tackle, but for now, this should be enough depth to carry into the new season.

Tight end (5):

Dallas Goedert, Grant Calcaterra, C.J Uzomah, Johnny Wilson, Albert Okwuegbunam

With that extra spot, the Eagles decide to carry an extra tight end. There is a chance that one of Uzumah/Albert-O lose out on a roster spot in favor of Johnny Wilson and a backup tackle, but the Birds really need to ensure that depth behind Dallas Goedert is reliable.

Wide receiver (6):

A.J Brown, DeVonta Smith, Ainias Smith, DeVante Parker, Parris Campbell, Britain Covey

This might be the nicest looking receiver room we’ve seen in a long time. With the two pillars locked in to long-term extensions, the Eagles found a developmental slot wideout to hang their hat on in Ainias Smith. Parris Campbell can hold his own at X, and Johnny Wilson might lack speed, but could well provided some versatility at wideout in a pinch if needed.

Eagles devonta smith
Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver DeVonta Smith celebrates after scoring with quarterback Jalen Hurts during the first half of an NFL football game against the New York Giants Monday, Dec. 25, 2023, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Chris Szagola)

Defensive line (9):

Brandon Graham, Josh Sweat, Bryce Huff, Jalyx Hunt, Nolan Smith, Jalen Carter, Jordan Davis, Marlon Tuipolotu, Milton Williams

A move to a 3-4 sees a slight change in personnel. The Eagles have a solid EDGE rotation and I wouldn’t be surprised to see Milton Williams take on a more versatile role this season. The interior appears set in stone, but a veteran backup could well join the team between now and the Summer.

Linebacker (6):

Nakobe Dean, Devin White, Jeremiah Trotter Jr., Zack Baun, Oren Burks, Patrick Johnson

You could argue that starting-level talent is still lacking at linebacker, but with the demands of the EDGE position under Vic Fangio and a plentiful secondary, much of that is going to be negated. Zack Baun is the name I’m most excited to watch this Summer. Whether it’s special teams or more, I think he can push his way into a substantial role in this defense.

FILE – Clemson linebacker Jeremiah Trotter Jr. (54) reacts during an NCAA college football game against North Carolina Saturday, Nov. 18, 2023, in Clemson, S.C. Jeremiah Trotter Jr. wears his dad’s No. 54, plays the same position and celebrates sacks and big tackles with the same signature axe swing. (AP Photo/Jacob Kupferman, File)

Cornerback (6):

Darius Slay, Quinyon Mitchell, Avonte Maddox, Isaiah Rodgers Jr., Kelee Ringo, Eli Ricks

The arrival of Quinyon Mitchell was a big one. James Bradberry could be sent on his merry way after June 1st without any real cap ramifications, opening the door to a starting role for the teams’ 2024 first-round pick. A flurry of young corners are all chomping at the bit to make the roster, but with a re-shaped starting trio, opportunities might become limited.

The Eagles will likely keep Isaiah Rodgers around and hope he can become a long-term replacement for Maddox, while Ringo and Ricks add depth with starting experience behind the starters.

Safety (4):

Chauncey Gardner-Johnson, Reed Blankenship, Cooper DeJean, Tristin McCollum

No real shocks here. CJGJ and Reed Blankenship will man the defensive backfield, and the Eagles will likely start Cooper DeJean at Safety while Sydney Brown rehabs his torn ACL. McCollum fills that spot until his return.

Specialists (3):

Jake Elliott, Rick Lovato, Braden Mann

The special teams unit has been cemented after this past offseason, so expect no changes here.

AP Photo/Matt Slocum