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September 01, 2018

Eagles' initial 53-man roster is set, with analysis

The Philadelphia Eagles' initial roster is set, as the team cut down from the 90-man roster to 53 on Saturday, and there were a few surprises. Let's take a look at who make the club, and why.

Quarterback (3): Carson Wentz, Nick Foles, Nate Sudfeld

This was the easiest position to figure out, with of course the exception of who is starting Week 1. 

Running back (4): Jay Ajayi, Corey Clement, Darren Sproles, Wendell Smallwood

Josh Adams didn't make it, despite perhaps having more upside than Smallwood or the other backs vying for the fourth RB spot.

Wide receiver (6): Alshon Jeffery, Mike Wallace, Nelson Agholor, Mack Hollins, Shelton Gibson, DeAndre Carter

Carter deserved to make the roster based on his preseason game performances, and he did, which doesn't always happen.

Tight end (4): Zach Ertz, Dallas Goedert, Richard Rodgers, Josh Perkins

Perkins' appearance on the final 53 was difficult to predict without knowing the severity of his head injury. It would appear that he's not seriously injured. It would also seem that Perkins' presence on the roster is strong hint that Rodgers' knee injury is going to keep him out for a while.

Offensive line (10): Jason Peters, Stefen Wisniewski, Jason Kelce, Brandon Brooks, Lane Johnson, Halapoulivaati Vaitai, Isaac Seumalo, Matt Pryor, Jordan Mailata, Chance Warmack

Warmack didn't earn a roster spot based on performance, in my view, but the team could be looking to trade him in the coming week.

Defensive line (9): Brandon Graham, Fletcher Cox, Destiny Vaeao, Derek Barnett, Chris Long, Michael Bennett, Haloti Ngata, Bruce Hector, Josh Sweat

The biggest surprise, by far, was the release of Steven Means, who had three sacks and a forced fumble in the final preseason game against the Jets. He was able to make the team in each of the past two seasons, and there was a good argument to be made that 2018 was his best offseason.

Linebacker (5): Jordan Hicks, Nate Gerry, Kamu Grugier-Hill, Joe Walker, LaRoy Reynolds

This was another easy positional group to predict, especially after the release of Corey Nelson.

Cornerback (5): Jalen Mills, Ronald Darby, Sidney Jones, Rasul Douglas, Avonte Maddox

The team decided to cut De'Vante Bausby, who was an early camp darling, but whose play fell off late in camp and in the preseason games.

Safety (4): Malcolm Jenkins, Rodney McLeod, Corey Graham, Tre Sullivan

Sullivan's spot wasn't a guarantee, but he's unlikely to see the field with the regular defense barring multiple in-game injuries. The team must have liked what they saw of him on special teams.

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

Good for you, Cameron.

Also, Tim Jernigan (NFI) and Chris Maragos (PUP) will miss at least the first six weeks of the season, while Nigel Bradham will miss one week due to suspension.

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