Philadelphia Eagles 53-man roster projection: Building depth for a deep playoff run

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)

It’s that time of the year again. Football is almost back which means it’s time to project what the Eagles’ roster can look like at the start of the season. Philly added 9 players via the 2024 NFL Draft, all of whom I have on the team. The front office made a concerted effort to get younger, and the infusion of youth has been celebrated.

But as I created my 53-man roster it was clear they still have positions where more veteran depth would be welcomed. They have a long way to go before they need to make any of these decisions, and they will likely make a few more roster moves as well. For now, these could be your 2024 Philadelphia Eagles.

The Offense (24)

Quarterback (2)

Eagles jalen hurts
Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts (1) scrambles as Tampa Bay Buccaneers linebacker Yaya Diaby (0) and defensive tackle Calijah Kancey (94) chase him during the second half of an NFL wild-card playoff football game, Monday, Jan. 15, 2024, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack)

Jalen Hurts and Kenny Pickett. 

Keeping only 2 QBs is a calculated risk, but if the Eagles are comfortable with Kenny Pickett as QB2 for the next 2 seasons, it is a risk they could be willing to take. Likely QB3 candidate Tanner McKee is a player they like a lot. They drafted and are developing him, but he also could get through waivers and make it to their PS. He is a player who could have a role, but they could also deem his spot necessary to protect other assets. They signed an insurance policy that could be their QB3 in Will Grier.

Running Back (3)

Philadelphia Eagle’s Saquon Barkley talks to the media during a press conference after signing with the NFL football team, Thursday, March 14, 2024, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Chris Szagola)

Saquon Barkley, Kenny Gainwell, and Wil Shipley.

They have a few options they can keep on their PS including UDFA Kendall Milton, but I do not see a need to keep 4 on the active roster. RB4, Rashaad Penny, had 11 carries for 33 yards in 2023 being used as a game-day elevation when needed. The 4th running back position is not utilized enough to warrant a roster spot.

Wide Receiver (6)

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Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver A.J. Brown (11) celebrating his touchdown with teammate wide receiver DeVonta Smith (6) during the first half of an NFL football game against Washington Commanders, Sunday, Oct. 29, 2023, in Landover, Md. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

A.J. Brown, DeVonta Smith, Parris Campbell, Ainias Smith, Britain Covey, and Johnny Wilson

Devante Parker’s retirement made projecting this position easier. Wilson’s size and athleticism could make him intriguing to other teams and the Eagles saw enough in him to draft, so they will likely protect him. Covey was one of the best punt returners in the league last year and if they try to get him through waivers like they did last year, I believe they will lose him. He brings value to the team and is developing as a pass catcher. 

Tight End (3)

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Dallas Goedert has been a staple of the Eagles offense since he was drafted back in 2018 Photo by Andy Lewis/Icon Sportswire

Dallas Goedert, CJ Uzomah, and Albert Okwuegbunam

I went back and forth with Albert O vs UDFA Matt Castles. The Eagles traded for Albert and signed him to an extension this off-season, that has to mean something. The Eagles should be able to get Castles through waivers and on the practice squad. They can continue to develop him and see what they have. 

Offensive Line (10)

Eagles jordan mailata
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)

Tackles– Lane Johnson, Jordan Mailata, Mekhi Becton, and Fred Johnson.

Undrafted OL Anim Dankwah is a large, powerful man who exhibits traits that Coach Stoutland could find intriguing. Anim is one to watch this spring, and he could push Fred for a roster spot.

Interior– Cam Jurgen, Tyler Steen, Landon Dickerson, Matt Hennessy, Trevor Keegan, and Dylan McMahon.

The Defense (26)

Defensive Line (11)

Philadelphia Eagles Bryce Huff talks to the media during the press conference after signing with the Eagles, Thursday, March 14, 2024, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Chris Szagola)

Edge- Bryce Huff, Josh Sweat, Nolan Smith II, Brandon Graham, Zack Baun, and Jalyx Hunt.

Tackle- Jalen Carter, Milton Williams, Jordan Davis, Moro Ojomo, and PJ Mustipher.

The battle for the final tackle spot likely comes down to free agent PJ Mustipher vs. incumbent Marlon Tuipulotu. I went heavy at the DL position due to the Eagle’s use of a busy rotation.

Off-Ball Linebacker (5)

In this file photo, Philadelphia Eagles’ Nakobe Dean looks on during rookie minicamp. AP Photo/Christopher Szagola

Devin White, Nakobe Dean, Jeremiah Trotter Jr, Ben VanSumeren, and Oren Burks

This is the position that caused me to go light at QB. Who knows how this will play out over the summer, but I wanted all 5 on the roster. They have drafted or developed 3 of the players and losing one to waivers who could be good is not a risk worth taking. 

Safety (3)

Philadelphia Eagles safety Sydney Brown (21) reacts after tackling San Francisco 49ers quarterback Brock Purdy (13) during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Dec. 3, 2023, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

Chauncey Gardner-Johnson, Reed Blankenship, and Sydney Brown.

This number likely needs to increase. They have rookie Cooper DeJean who has some experience at the position on the collegiate level, and they also have Avonte Maddox who could be a backup safety too. They likely need more depth at safety and are likely to sign someone. A former Fangio standout, Justin Simmons, is still available. 

Cornerback (7)

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)

Big Play Slay, Quinyon Mitchell, Cooper DeJean, Isaiah Rodgers, Kelee Ringo, Eli Ricks, and Tyler Hall.

If the Eagles need a longer look at one of the above players they can use the veteran status of Avonte Maddox to move him to the practice squad without the risk of waivers. This seems advantageous to both him and the team. He stays with the Eagles and the Birds get to manipulate an extra player on the 53. Maddox should have a role on the team due to his versatility. 

Josh Jobe is a hard omission due to his special teams play, but with the new kick-off rules in play, he will have to be better as a corner. The battle for the final spot could be between him, Hall, and Ricks.

Special Teams (3)

Jake elliott eagles
Philadelphia Eagles place-kicker Jake Elliott kicks a game tying field goal against the Buffalo Bills during the second half of an NFL football game Sunday, Nov. 26, 2023, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Chris Szagola)

Kicker- Jake Elliott

Punter- Braden Mann

Long snapper- Rick Lovato

As always, thank you for reading

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AP Photo/Chris Szagola