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August 29, 2023

Analysis of the Eagles' initial 2023 53-man roster

A look at the Eagles' initial 53 with a few more moves likely to follow.

Eagles NFL
082923NickSirianniJalenHurts Vincent Carchietta/USA TODAY Sports

Jalen Hurts made it.

The Philadelphia Eagles' 53-man roster is set! Well, until they make more changes, which should be right around the corner. 

But let's analyze the initial 53.

Quarterback (3): Jalen Hurts, Marcus Mariota, Tanner McKee

Mariota struggled at times during the preseason, but this is still a very strong quarterback room with the MVP runner-up in Hurts, an experienced backup with some similar mobility skills in Mariota, and a preseason phenom in McKee.

Running back (4): D'Andre Swift, Rashaad Penny, Kenny Gainwell, Boston Scott

The Eagles don't have a 3-down bell cow type of back, but they do have a variety of talented players with varying skill sets. It'll be interesting to see how Nick Sirianni deploys them.

Wide receiver (4): A.J. Brown, DeVonta Smith, Quez Watkins, Olamide Zaccheaus

The Eagles cut Britain Covey, which was a big surprise to me, but apparently not to others. To be determined who will return punts. When asked, Howie Roseman and Nick Sirianni didn't offer much of an answer beyond, "Not Jordan Mailata."

The Eagles are obviously very thin at receiver, just by sheer numbers alone, though obviously they have a pair of star players in Brown and Smith.

Tight end (4): Dallas Goedert, Jack Stoll, Grant Calcaterra, Albert Okwuegbunam

Roseman made a surprise trade just before the cutdown deadline, landing Okwuegbunam for basically nothing. Otherwise, there are no surprises with the other three tight ends.

Offensive line (9): Jordan Mailata, Landon Dickerson, Jason Kelce, Cam Jurgens, Lane Johnson, Jack Driscoll, Tyler Steen, Fred Johnson, Sua Opeta

The Eagles could still perhaps look to add a bench player who can play center, but the nine guys who made the team were as expected.

While the offensive line is arguably not as deep as 2022, this is still a deep group relative to other NFL teams, most of whom have glaring holes in their starting lineups, much less on their benches.

Edge defenders (6): Haason Reddick, Josh Sweat, Brandon Graham, Nolan Smith, Derek Barnett, Patrick Johnson

The Eagles are absolutely stacked with edge talent in Reddick, Sweat, Graham, and Smith.

In past seasons, the Eagles traded guys like Jalen Reagor and Eric Rowe after finalizing their initial 53, so it's still possible that Derek Barnett could be dealt. He's been the subject of trade rumors this week.

Interior defensive line (7): Fletcher Cox, Jordan Davis, Jalen Carter, Milton Williams, Marlon Tuipulotu, Moro Ojomo, Kentavius Street

It's the one grizzled vet in Cox, and then a whole lot of young guys, many of whom have extraordinarily high ceilings, most notably Carter.

Linebacker (3): Nakobe Dean, Zach Cunningham, Christian Elliss

The Eagles went light at linebacker. Nicholas Morrow entered camp as the favorite to start opposite Dean, but he did not even make the roster. Cunningham is now the favorite to start.

Cornerback (7): Darius Slay, James Bradberry, Avonte Maddox, Josh Jobe, Eli Ricks, Kelee Ringo, Mario Goodrich

The Eagles went heavy at corner, which makes sense since they have a lot of promising young talent, and a couple of older guys in Slay and Bradberry who are into their 30's.

Safety (4): Reed Blankenship, Terrell Edmunds, Sydney Brown, Justin Evans

Blankenship is the only definitive starter at safety. The defensive staff will have to sort out roles for Edmunds, Brown, and Evans over the next couple of weeks.

Specialists (2): Jake Elliott, Rick Lovato

Arryn Siposs got whacked, and the Eagles will be on the hunt for a new punter.

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