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September 03, 2020

Final 2020 Eagles 53-man roster projection

Eagles NFL
022020DougPedersonHowieRoseman Bill Streicher/USA TODAY Sports

Doug and Howie.

The Philadelphia Eagles, along with the rest of the NFL, will have to trim their rosters to 53 players on Saturday by 4:00 p.m. EST, and so, we'll take our final crack at the Birds' 53-man roster.

First, as a guide, here's a historical look at how many players the Eagles have kept at final 53-man cutdowns since 2016, when the Doug Pederson / Jim Schwartz / Howie Roseman era began.

 Position2016 2017 2018 2019 
 OL11 10 10 

Player in red = inactive Week 1

Quarterback (3): Carson Wentz, Nate Sudfeld, Jalen Hurts

Cut (0): Nobody

Sudfeld will be the No. 2 to start the season. However, in going through the process of figuring out who will be the Eagles' five inactives Week 1, it looks like Hurts will be in uniform.

Changes: None.

Running back (3): Miles Sanders, Boston Scott, Corey Clement

Cuts (3): Adrian Killins, Elijah Holyfield, Michael Warren

As you can see in the chart above, since the start of the Pederson/Schwartz/Roseman era, the Eagles have never kept fewer than four running backs on their final 53-man roster.

The belief here is that a fourth back could eventually find his way to the roster by Week 1, but Killins, Holyfield, and Warren didn't show enough to make the initial roster over players at other positions.

Changes: None.

Wide receiver (6): DeSean Jackson, Jalen Reagor, J.J. Arcega-Whiteside, Greg Ward, John Hightower, Quez Watkins

Cuts (3): Deontay Burnett, Manasseh Bailey, Marcus Green, Travis Fulgham

There's also the matter of Alshon Jeffery, who continues to rehab from a Lisfranc injury. There are two options with Jeffery:

  1. He is activated to the active roster, and he stays there.
  2. He goes from Active/PUP to Reserve/PUP, and remains there for at least 6 games.

What is not on the table is a scenario in which Jeffery comes off of PUP, makes the initial 53-man roster, and then he goes on IR for 3 weeks instead of 6 on PUP. For Jeffery to go on IR, he would have to suffer some sort of new injury, aside from his Lisfranc injury. So that's not a reasonable circumvention of the rules.

One other scenario that I investigated was whether or not Jeffery could be traded if he's on PUP. As we've maintained all year long, if the Eagles could trade Jeffery for literally anything, they absolutely would in half a heartbeat. Should a trade offer come along and the Eagles couldn't deal him because he's on PUP, that would be a devastating missed opportunity. But alas, you can indeed trade players on PUP, so that's not a reason to roster him.

The idea that Jeffery could be ready by September seems far-fetched to me, given that he didn't work out at all on a side field during media-attended practices, like Jalen Mills did a year ago, and still didn't play until Week 7. 

Changes: Burnett out.

Tight end (3): Zach Ertz, Dallas Goedert, Noah Togiai

Cuts (2): Caleb Wilson, Tyrone Swoopes

Togiai is likely to be active Week 1, seeing as he was a "starter" on the punt coverage and kick return teams. Could they cut Togiai and add him back to the practice squad later, and then call him up for Week 1 duty? Yeah, I guess that's possible, but I don't think all that screwing around is worth whoever you'd be fitting onto the back end of the roster instead. 

Changes: None.

Offensive line (9): Jason Peters, Isaac Seumalo, Jason Kelce, Matt Pryor, Lane Johnson, Nate Herbig Jack Driscoll, Jordan Mailata, Prince Tega Wanogho

Cuts (3): Luke Juriga, Sua Opeta, Julian Good-Jones

To be determined whether Peters will play LT, or if this Peters-Eagles pissing contest will continue into the regular season.

On the back end, we have Mailata surviving, and the team being unwilling to risk losing Wanogho in waivers.

Changes: None.

Defensive end (6): Brandon Graham, Derek Barnett, Josh Sweat, Vinny Curry, Joe Ostman, Casey Toohill

Cuts (3): Genard Avery, Shareef Miller, Matt Leo

The Eagles have kept six defensive ends in two of the last four years, so this is not overkill, based on their history. Joe Ostman and Casey Toohill both made better arguments to make this roster than Genard Avery and Shareef Miller. Should the Eagles opt for Avery or Miller, it would only be because they each cost fourth-round picks. It would certainly not be on merit.

Changes: None.

Defensive tackle (4): Fletcher Cox, Javon Hargrave, Malik Jackson, Hassan Ridgeway

Cuts (3): Raequan Williams, Anthony Rush, T.Y. McGill

The DT rotation felt easy a week ago, but the appearance of Ridgeway on the injury report is at least concerning. Still, the ability to promote two practice squad guys to the active roster each week would be a short-term solution in the unlikely event that both Ridgeway and Hargrave aren't ready to play Week 1.

Changes: None.

Linebacker (5): Nate Gerry, Duke Riley, T.J. Edwards, Shaun Bradley, Davion Taylor

Cuts (1): Alex Singleton

The Eagles would probably like to keep Singleton as a backup linebacker and special teamer, but if they can't get him back on the practice squad, it's not as if he's an irreplaceable player.

Changes: None.

Cornerback (6): Darius Slay, Avonte Maddox, Nickell Robey-Coleman, Cre'Von LeBlanc, Sidney Jones, Craig James

Cuts (3): Rasul Douglas, Michael Jacquet, Trevor Williams

Jones does not deserve to make the roster, but I believe he'll get one last undeserved shot in 2020.

Changes: James in.

Safety (5): Jalen Mills, Rodney McLeod, Will Parks, K'Von Wallace, Rudy Ford

Cuts (3): Grayland Arnold, Marcus Epps, Elijah Riley

Ford stunk last year on special teams, but he has consistently been one of the gunners throughout camp. The preference here would be to keep and develop Arnold, who has had his moments in camp, however, with Parks out at least Week 1, the guess here is that the Eagles will keep the experienced vet in Ford, and hope Arnold can clear waivers and return to the practice squad.

Changes: Ford in, Arnold out.

Specialists (3): Jake Elliott, Cameron Johnston, Rick Lovato

Cuts (0)

None of these guys have any competition.

Changes: None.

Opted out / COVID: WR Marquise Goodwin

PUP: OG Brandon Brooks, WR Alshon Jeffery, DE Daeshon Hall.

IR: Andre Dillard (soon to be on IR), Josh Perkins

Practice squad (16)

  1. Kyle Lauletta (or maybe some other QB who gets cut by another team)
  2. Elijah Holyfield
  3. Adrian Killins
  4. Travis Fulgham
  5. Caleb Wilson
  6. Sua Opeta
  7. Luke Juriga
  8. Genard Avery
  9. Shareef Miller
  10. Raequan Williams
  11. Anthony Rush
  12. Alex Singleton
  13. Rasul Douglas
  14. Michael Jacquet
  15. Grayland Arnold
  16. Marcus Epps
  17. Matt Leo (roster exempt)

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