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August 31, 2018

Final Eagles 53-man roster projection

Eagles NFL
083118DougPederson Bill Streicher/USA TODAY Sports

Doug Pederson cuts a guy.

The Philadelphia Eagles have concluded training camp, and now their fourth and final preseason game, making way for final cuts, which have to be made by 4:00 p.m. on Saturday.

Below is our final 53-man roster projection. We'll color-code this version, with projected Week 1 starters in green, and inactives in red.

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

Yes, I still believe Wentz will start Week 1. If he doesn't, he'll of course be inactive, and Sudfeld will be active as the No. 2.

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

Running back was the hardest decision for me, in terms of predicting what the team would do. In my view, Josh Adams showed enough to make team over his unimpressive competition. He has more upside than any of the other backs fighting for the fourth running back job, though that's a low bar.

And yet, at the same time, I don't think there would be any teams lining up to poach Adams if the Eagles cut him. 

The fact that Smallwood didn't play in the final preseason game could be completely meaningless. The team could have decided that they already know exactly who Smallwood is as a player and they don't need to see anything more. Still, players who don't play at all in the fourth preseason game usually make the team.

The Eagles could go Smallwood. They could go Adams. They could go Smallwood and Adams. Or they could just keep three running backs. I have no confidence whatsoever in what they'll do here.

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

The Eagles could certainly keep a sixth wide receiver, especially with Alshon Jeffery out. If they did, it would be Kamar Aiken, who the team likes for some reason, Markus Wheaton, a veteran with some upside, or DeAndre Carter, who flashed in the preseason. 

I'm fairly confident it won't be Carter. Every team has a DeAndre Carter, a receiver who made some plays in preseason games, but ultimately has significant flaws to overcome. He's a career practice squad player since 2015, and could easily remain one. There's no danger of him getting poached.

In my view, while Wheaton missed time in camp and the preseason, he looked good before he tweaked his hamstring, and is the player most capable of filling in immediately if another receiver goes down. 

Tight end (3): Zach Ertz, Dallas Goedert, Richard Rodgers

With Rodgers likely out Week 1, the Eagles would be thin at tight end, but the reality is that any tight end they might keep from the current roster wouldn't play anyway, so ¯\_(ツ)_/¯.

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

Wait, Chance Warmack? Why? Well, he's not good, and he had a rough training camp and preseason, so he didn't earn a roster spot in any way. BUT, with so many teams lacking offensive line starters, much less depth, I wonder if the Eagles might just hang onto him in the hope of facilitating a trade. Warmack did hold his own when he filled in for Wisniewski late in the season last year, and that's the meaningful tape that's available to the 31 other teams.

If the Eagles cut Warmack, they save $1.1 million. If they find a way to trade him for literally anything, they would save $1.6 million. I think they'll try to hold out for some desperate OL-needy team to come calling.

Defensive line (10): Brandon Graham, Fletcher Cox, Destiny Vaeao, Derek Barnett, Chris Long, Michael Bennett, Haloti Ngata, Bruce Hector, Steven MeansJosh Sweat

Bruce Hector, congratulations. In this scenario, you're the only undrafted free agent rookie to make the club. That's a near-lock, by the way. Hector is in.

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

There are no surprises here, with Corey Nelson having already been cut.

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

No team around the league is going to see De'Vante Bausby's preseason tape and say, "We have to have that guy." The Eagles can safely stash him on the practice squad once again, in my view. Otherwise, the five corners making the roster are obvious.

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

Sullivan is clearly the fourth safety over the other guys on the roster, and I can't see the Eagles going light there with Chris Maragos looking unable to return anytime soon.

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

The punter is going to make it!

Reserve/Suspended

  1. LB Nigel Bradham

PUP/NFI list 

  1. DT Timmy Jernigan (NFI)
  2. S Chris Maragos (PUP)

Injured reserve

  1. LB Paul Worrilow
  2. CB Elie Bouka

Practice squad

  1. RB Josh Adams
  2. WR DeAndre Carter
  3. WR Rashard Davis
  4. TE Billy Brown
  5. OT Toby Weathersby
  6. OL Aaron Evans
  7. DT Aziz Shittu
  8. CB Chandon Sullivan
  9. CB De’Vante Bausby
  10. S Jeremy Reaves


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