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August 13, 2021

Eagles 53-man roster projection, after the first preseason game

Eagles NFL
081321NickSirianni Bill Streicher/USA TODAY Sports

Nick Sirianni ponders which players Howie Roseman will keep on the 53-man roster.

With the Philadelphia Eagles' first preseason game in the books, let's go ahead and update our 53-man final roster projections, shall we? (Yes, we shall.)

Quarterback (2): Jalen Hurts, Joe Flacco

Cuts (1): Nick Mullens

The Eagles have kept three quarterbacks at 53-man cutdowns in each of the last three seasons. The two seasons before that, they only kept two.

Year QB1 QB2 QB3 
2016 Carson Wentz Chase Daniel  
2017 Carson Wentz Nick Foles  
2018 Carson Wentz Nick Foles Nate Sudfeld 
2019 Carson Wentz Josh McCown  Nate Sudfeld 
2020 Carson Wentz Nate Sudfeld Jalen Hurts 

Mullens was 1/5 for 4 yards and 2 INT on Thursday night. If the Eagles want to keep him on their practice squad, they should have no trouble doing so. If he finds a home on someone else's 53... who cares?

Running back (5): Miles Sanders, Boston Scott, Kenny Gainwell, Jordan Howard, Jason Huntley

Cuts (3): Kerryon Johnson, Adrian Killins, Elijah Holyfield

When the Eagles published their first unofficial depth chart this week, Howard was listed as the No. 2 running back, which, uh, alright. And then on Thursday night he started when the team gave Sanders the night off, which, uh, alright. Personally, I would have like five backs over Howard, but it doesn't appear that the Eagles see it that way.

Huntley sneaks on because of his speed and potential contributions as a kick returner. If he could catch the Eagles might really have something there. Get that kid on the JUGS machine all year.

Wide receiver (6): DeVonta Smith, Jalen Reagor, Travis Fulgham, Greg Ward, Quez Watkins, J.J. Arcega-Whiteside

Cuts (4): John Hightower, Jhamon Ausbon, Marken Michel, Andre Patton

Arcega-Whiteside hasn't done enough to stick on the final 53, but with Howie Roseman making the cuts, I believe he'll get one more year to show something, perhaps in a niche role as a big slot.

Tight end (3): Dallas Goedert, Richard Rodgers, Tyree Jackson

Cuts (4): Caleb Wilson, Jason Croom, Hakeem Butler, Jack Stoll

Traded (1): Zach Ertz

The Eagles have several players who would make sense for the Najee Goode treatment. If you'll recall, on multiple occasions they released Goode at 53-man cutdowns, then signed him a week later when his salary would no longer be guaranteed. 

Players who would make sense for that kind of move would include Rodgers, Hassan Ridgeway, T.Y. McGill, and Andrew Adams, who would not be subjected to the waiver process because of their longevity in the league.

Since I'm still of the opinion that Ertz will get moved before the start of the season, I think they'll ultimately just keep Rodgers on the final 53 at cutdowns, but the "cut-and-sign" possibility is worth noting for him and others.

Offensive line (9): Jordan Mailata, Isaac Seumalo, Jason Kelce, Brandon Brooks, Lane Johnson, Andre Dillard, Jack Driscoll, Nate Herbig, Sua Opeta

Cuts (7): Matt Pryor, Brett Toth, Luke Juriga, Kayode Awosika, Casey Tucker, Ross Pierschbacher, Harry Crider

PUP (2): Landon Dickerson, Le'Raven Clark

The Eagles have enough depth along their offensive line that they should have no reason to rush Dickerson back to the lineup before he's truly 100 percent ready. He and Clark, an experienced player with guard-tackle versatility, can start the season on PUP and be added to the lineup after Week 6.

Still, we'll have the Birds keeping nine offensive linemen anyway, since it's by far their deepest positional group. 

If this were a true meritocracy, Toth would make the team over Dillard, but it's not. We have them trying to sneak him onto the practice squad, along with Awosika, who has had a good camp. It's worth noting that Awosika only played seven snaps against Pittsburgh, an indication that the Eagles are hiding him from the rest of the league.

Defensive line (9): Brandon Graham, Fletcher Cox, Javon Hargrave, Derek Barnett, Josh Sweat, Ryan Kerrigan, Milton Williams, Hassan Ridgeway, T.Y. McGill

Cuts (6): Tarron Jackson, Marlon Tuipulotu, Joe Ostman, Raequan Williams, Matt Leo, JaQuan Bailey

Jackson had a decent start to camp, but has cooled off substantially, while Tuipulotu had an awful game Thursday night in which he got bullied by Steelers OL reserves.

McGill deserves a roster spot with the way he has played this summer.

Linebacker (6): Eric Wilson, Alex Singleton, T.J. Edwards, JaCoby Stevens, Davion Taylor, Genard Avery

Cuts (3): Shaun Bradley, Patrick Johnson, Rashad Smith

If the Eagles were to make use of a phony IR injury, I think the linebacker position would make some sense, with Taylor and Stevens being the best candidates for that. If not, the squeeze could be felt by Bradley, who is better than Taylor right now, but was a lower draft pick and has a more limited ceiling.

Cornerback (5): Darius Slay, Steve Nelson, Avonte Maddox, Zech McPhearson, Craig James

Cuts (4): Josiah Scott, Michael Jacquet, Kevon Seymour, Lavert Hill

Scott was the toughest cut to make here, but he's a slot corner only in a defense that values versatility. He's a good candidate for the practice squad.

Safety (5): Anthony Harris, Rodney McLeod, K'Von Wallace, Marcus Epps, Elijah Riley

Cuts (3): Andrew Adams, Grayland Arnold, Blake Countess

Riley has been a core special teamer throughout camp, and he was a rare positive standout on the Eagles' third-team defense against the Steelers.

The team could release Adams, who again, wouldn't be subjected to waivers, and bring him back after Week 1.

Specialists (3): Jake Elliott, Arryn Siposs, Rick Lovato

All of the Eagles' specialists are running unopposed, and have played well enough.

Practice squad (16)

  1. QB Nick Mullens
  2. RB Adrian Killins
  3. WR John Hightower
  4. TE Jack Stoll
  5. OT Brett Toth
  6. C Luke Juriga
  7. OG Kayode Awosika
  8. DE Tarron Jackson
  9. DT Marlon Tuipulotu
  10. DT Raequan Williams
  11. LB Joe Ostman
  12. LB Shaun Bradley
  13. LB Patrick Johnson
  14. CB Josiah Scott
  15. CB Michael Jacquet
  16. S Grayland Arnold

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