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August 21, 2023

Eagles 53-man roster projection, a week before final cuts

With a week to go, here's how Jimmy sees the roster shaping up.

Eagles NFL
082123HowieRoseman Eric Hartline/USA TODAY Sports


The Philadelphia Eagles are now through their first 14 training camp practices as well as a pair of preseason games, so let's take an updated look at the projected 53 players who will make the team next week.

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

Others (1): Ian Book

We entered camp seeking to confirm whether or not McKee would beat out Book for the No. 3 quarterback job. We'll exit it wondering if McKee or Mariota should be the No. 2.

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

Others (2): Trey Sermon, Kennedy Brooks

Swift, Penny, and Gainwell will all have roles on gameday. To be determined if Scott is active on gameday as the kick returner, or not. 

There's a fun debate within the fantasy football community as to who will get the most touches among this group of backs during the regular season, with the two most logical candidates being Swift and Gainwell. There are three arguments in Gainwell's favor:

  1. He's in his third year in Nick Sirianni's offense, and the staff trusts him.
  2. He has a cleaner injury history than Swift.
  3. He has gotten more work during training camp than Swift.

The argument for Swift is that he's very clearly the most talented back on the roster. That's a pretty big one! I wouldn't overthink it. It'll probably be Swift.

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

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

The Eagles are thin on depth at outside receiver, so there were opportunities for someone to shine in camp and convince the team to keep six receivers, but that just didn't happen.

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

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

Calcaterra has had a quiet camp, but I think part of that is because he's been marooned on the second-team offense with Mariota. He should be fine.

I could absolutely see Howie Roseman still being in love in Jackson's blend of size and athleticism, so he's a little bit of a wildcard here. I have him off of my 53, but I'm not confident about that.

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

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

In this scenario, the Eagles don't have a backup *bench* center on gameday. Should Kelce go down with an injury, Jurgens would replace him at center in-game, and a bench guy — probably Steen — would fill in for Jurgens at RG. In the past, Jeff Stoutland has shown that he would probably prefer to just make a one-for-one replacement from the bench rather than make multiple changes on the line to account for one injury. The problem with that, however, is that a C-RG combo of Jurgens-Steen would be substantially better than, saaaayyyy, Andrews-Jurgens.

If both Kelce and Jurgens went down in-game, then Dickerson could fill-in as the emergency center.

If Kelce or Jurgens were going to miss an entire game due to injury, then the Eagles should be prepared with player they can call up from the practice squad to be a bench player on gameday, whether that's Andrews, Good-Jones, or (fill in some player they sign later).

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

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

The Eagles already lost core special teamers Shaun Bradley and Zech McPhearson to season-ending injuries, so it would be tough to also cut Kyron Johnson. These are the dilemmas that loaded teams face, numbers-wise. Ultimately, Kyron doesn't have a role in the regular defense, so he's on the chopping block.

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

Others (5): Kentavius Street, Olive Sagopolu, Caleb Sanders, Marvin Wilson, Robert Cooper

It is still to be determined how severe Ojomo's concussion is. Players that are placed on injured reserve before initial 53-man cutdowns are done for the season. Players who go on IR after cutdowns only have to miss four weeks. If Ojomo were to go on IR after 53-man cutdowns, the team could fill his roster spot with a fourth linebacker, like vested veteran Nicholas Morrow, who we do not have making the team (see below). 

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

Others (4): Nicholas Morrow, Ben VanSumeren, Quinton Bell, Tyreek Maddox-Williams

Cunningham and Elliss will compete over the next three weeks for the starting linebacker job opposite Dean, though I would have Cunningham in the lead at the moment.

Morrow started off camp slowly, but he has been better more recently. Still, the numbers are tough, and it's hard to fit Morrow in, for now.

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

Others (3): Josiah Scott, Eli Ricks, Mekhi Garner

Goodrich is the beneficiary of Zech McPhearson's season-ending injury. He has had a good camp in the slot (better than McPhearson's camp, if we're being honest), and earned his way onto the team.

If the Eagles weren't Super Bowl contenders, I could make an argument for keeping Ricks over Goodrich on the premise that Ricks has a higher ceiling, but the reality is that the Eagles need a backup slot corner on the roster, so Goodrich gets the nod.

Safety (5): Reed Blankenship, Terrell Edmunds, Sydney Brown, K'Von Wallace, Justin Evans

Others (1): Tristin McCollum

Because we went light at linebacker, we'll go heavy at safety, with Edmunds and Wallace having some ability to play in the box like linebackers.

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

Others (0): None

Siposs still has to worry about the Eagles signing a punter from another team after cuts, but he should at least survive the initial 53-man roster.

Injured reserve (5): LB Shaun Bradley, CB Zech McPhearson, WR Tyrie Cleveland, DT Noah Elliss, WR Charleston Rambo

Of these five players, the only one who previous made any of our 53-man projections was McPhearson.

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. C/G Josh Andrews
  8. C/G Julian Good-Jones
  9. OT Fred Johnson
  10. DE Janarius Robinson
  11. DT Kentavius Street
  12. DT Olive Sagopolu
  13. LB Kyron Johnson
  14. LB Ben VanSumeren
  15. CB Eli Ricks
  16. CB Mekhi Garner

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