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August 14, 2023

Eagles 53-man roster projection after the first preseason game

Here's who Jimmy thinks will be on the Eagles' active roster.

Eagles NFL
081423HowieRoseman Tommy Gilligan/USA TODAY Sports

Eagles executive vice president and general manager Howie Roseman.

The Philadelphia Eagles are now through their first 10 training camp practices as well as their first preseason game, so let's take an updated look at the projected 53 players who will make the team in few weeks.

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

Others (1): Ian Book

Lock it in. McKee showed enough in one preseason game against the Ravens that Hurts-Mariota-McKee are your Eagles' 1-2-3 in 2023. If I'm the Eagles, McKee would be getting a ton of work over the next two games (a) to see if he can duplicate his encouraging performance Saturday night, and (b) get him as many reps as possible while they still can.

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

Others (2): Trey Sermon, Kennedy Brooks

Swift is the most talented running back on the roster, and Gainwell is obviously a lock. I also think the Eagles trust Scott for what he is and he sticks as the No. 4.

I was surprised to see Penny get nine carries Saturday night, and with the disclaimer that I haven't rewatched his carries, he did not impress. I would need a whole lot more convincing that he won't be on the roster, but his usage did at least create some small level of doubt.

Sermon got mop up duty, and didn't stand out. (He also hasn't really stood out in practice either.) 

Wide receiver (5): A.J. Brown, DeVonta Smith, Quez Watkins, Olamide Zaccheaus, Britain Covey

Others (6): Joseph Ngata, Devon Allen, Jadon Haselwood, Tyrie Cleveland, Greg Ward, Charleston Rambo

I had Ngata on the initial 53 in the last version of this exercise because he has made a ton of catches in practices, but as a bubble player he did not do enough against the Ravens to stay on, for now. He'll have more chances to impress in joint practices against the Browns and Colts, as well as the two games against those teams. But if he doesn't put good play on film for the other 31 teams to see there's little threat of him getting claimed off of waivers, and the Eagles should be able to bring him back on the practice squad. 

Tight end (3): Dallas Goedert, Jack Stoll, Grant Calcaterra

Others (3): Dan Arnold, Tyree Jackson, Brady Russell

I think the Eagles would be open to carrying four tight ends, but none of the three tight ends left off the of 53 here have done enough to warrant a roster spot. Jackson had a good start to camp, but he has not sustained it.

Offensive line (9, but really 10): Jordan Mailata, Landon Dickerson, Jason Kelce, Cam Jurgens, Lane Johnson, Jack Driscoll, Tyler Steen, Josh Sills, Josh Andrews

Others (8): Dennis Kelly, Sua Opeta, Brett Toth, Roderick Johnson, Fred Johnson, Julian Good-Jones, Cameron Tom, Tyrese Robinson

I left Sills off of the last version of this, but after closer consideration, the Eagles probably wouldn't have brought him back to the team just to cut him.

I also have Josh Andrews on in favor of Sua Opeta. Andrews can play center and guard, which gives him a spot on the gameday 48 along with Driscoll and Steen, while Opeta only plays guard.

And as a reminder, I project Kelly to be released at 53-man cutdowns and then signed back to the team at a later date.

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

Others (3): Kyron Johnson, Janarius Robinson, Tarron Jackson

I should note that these projections are based on what I believe the team would do, not what I would do. Barnett has done very little to make the roster, but the team likes his toughness and intensity. 🤷‍♂️

Interior defensive line (6): Fletcher Cox, Jordan Davis, Jalen Carter, Milton Williams, Marlon Tuipulotu, Moro Ojomo

Others (2): Kentavius Street, Noah Elliss

The Eagles will roll with Cox and five guys that the team selected over the last three drafts. They have a high ceiling, but there's also some level of the fear of the unknown here.

Linebacker (4): Nakobe Dean, Christian Elliss, Myles Jack, Zach Cunningham

Others (2): Nicholas Morrow, Ben VanSumeren

This is by far the hardest positional group to project, mainly because we don't have enough information on Jack and Cunningham yet. We'll get a better idea soon if they can still play, but their additions feel like an indictment of Morrow more than any other player. 

Cornerback (6): Darius Slay, James Bradberry, Avonte Maddox, Zech McPhearson, Kelee Ringo, Josh Jobe

Others (5): Josiah Scott, Greedy Williams, Eli Ricks, Mekhi Garner, Mario Goodrich

I have little doubt that the six corners I have kept here will make the roster. The question is whether or not the Eagles squeeze a seventh corner in. If so, I think that would be Ricks, but I still need to see more even after his pick-six on Saturday.

Safety (4): Reed Blankenship, Terrell Edmunds, Sydney Brown, K'Von Wallace

Others (1): Justin Evans, Tristin McCollum

Evans is a competent safety and is my most difficult cut. He's my 54th guy.

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

Others (1): Ty Zentner

Again, the Eagles should be keeping a watchful eye on the other teams around the league that have two punters in camp. There are seven of them other than the Eagles, just FYI.

Season-ending injured reserve (1): Shaun Bradley

In past 53-man projections, I did not have Bradley making the team. His torn Achilles and imminent addition to the injured reserve list will lock in his pay for the season, whereas he might've lost around a million bucks if he had gotten cut and not picked up by some other team.

Practice squad:

  1. RB Trey Sermon
  2. WR Devon Allen
  3. WR Joseph Ngata
  4. WR Greg Ward
  5. TE Brady Russell
  6. TE Tyree Jackson
  7. OL Julian Good-Jones
  8. OT Fred Johnson
  9. DE Janarius Robinson
  10. DT Noah Elliss
  11. LB Kyron Johnson
  12. LB Ben VanSumeren
  13. CB Eli Ricks
  14. CB Mario Goodrich
  15. CB Mekhi Garner
  16. S Justin Evans

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