August 28, 2022
The Philadelphia Eagles have wrapped up their preseason and have to cut down to 53 players by Tuesday at 4:00 p.m. Let's go ahead and update our 53-man roster projections one last time.
Quarterback (2): Jalen Hurts, Gardner Minshew
Cuts (2): Reid Sinnett, Carson Strong
The Eagles under Howie Roseman's watch like to keep three quarterbacks.
• 2016: The Eagles were set to enter the season with Sam Bradford as the QB1, Chase Daniel as the QB2, and Carson Wentz inactive on gameday, when Teddy Bridgewater snapped his leg and the Vikings made a panic trade for Sammy Sleeves. Wentz then went from QB3 to QB1, and the Eagles added Aaron Murray to the practice squad.
• 2017: The Eagles entered the season with Wentz and Nick Foles. I believe they viewed Matt McGloin as a possible QB3, but he was awful in camp and did not make final cuts. They then added Nate Sudfeld to the practice squad and paid him like a rostered player. Sudfeld was eventually added to the active roster later in the season.
• 2018: Wentz, Foles, and Sudfeld.
• 2019: Wentz, Josh McCown, and Sudfeld.
• 2020: Wentz, Jalen Hurts, and Sudfeld.
• 2021: The Eagles started the season with Hurts, Joe Flacco, and Gardner Minshew. They later traded Flacco to the Jets, while concurrently claiming Reid Sinnett off of waivers from the Dolphins.
In the COVID era, keeping a third quarterback is more important than ever. By my count, 11 NFL teams needed to play their QB3 in 2021. Beyond the short-term need for a third quarterback just generally speaking, the Eagles specifically have good reason to keep one because Minshew is in the final year of his deal, and he thinks he's a starter. He'll be eager to test the free agent market next offseason, and even if he doesn't find a starting job, he's still highly likely to get a substantial bump in pay. The Eagles could use a third guy to potentially grow into a No. 2 role.
Sinnett has tools worth developing and the team should look to bring him back to the practice squad if they can, but he did not play well enough in the Eagles' three preseason games to warrant a spot on the 53.
I would also look for the Eagles to explore other outside third quarterback options.
Running back (3): Miles Sanders, Kenny Gainwell, Boston Scott
Cuts (2): Jason Huntley, Kennedy Brooks
Huntley and Brooks each had nice TD runs on Saturday (Brooks' got called back), but neither player did enough over the course of the summer to secure a roster spot. The Eagles could look to add a power back at some point.
Wide receiver (5): DeVonta Smith, A.J. Brown, Quez Watkins, Zach Pascal, Jalen Reagor
Cuts (5): Devon Allen, Britain Covey, Greg Ward, Deon Cain, John Hightower
The Eagles can probably add Covey and Cain back to their practice squad if they want to. It's Allen have that have to worry about. I strongly considered putting him on my final 53 because he has pure athletic talent, which translated into a big play on offense in the Browns game as well as a few impressive plays on special teams against the Dolphins. My fear would be that some garbage team with like 7 roster spots to fill might poach him, but ultimately he's probably not a great fit for a rebuilding team since he'll turn 28 in December. I think the Eagles will cut him and hope that nobody claims him.
Otherwise, the top five receivers here are set. On a side note, if Reagor is traded, my guess is that the Eagles would use that open roster spot to keep a player at another position, not keep a fifth receiver. If they need to call up Covey, Cain, or Ward from the practice squad due to an injury, they could certainly do that, but it's not imperative that they keep a fifth receiver at final cuts.
Tight end (3): Dallas Goedert, Grant Calcaterra, Jack Stoll
Cuts (3): Richard Rodgers, Noah Togiai
The Eagles didn't draft Calcaterra just to cut him because he missed some time in practice. When he was able to play, he showed enough to stick as a receiving tight end, but he has a long way to go as a blocker.
Offensive line (10): Jordan Mailata, Landon Dickerson, Jason Kelce, Isaac Seumalo, Lane Johnson, Andre Dillard, Cam Jurgens, Jack Driscoll, Sua Opeta, Jack Anderson
Cuts (5): Kayode Awosika, Le'Raven Clark, Josh Sills, Cameron Tom
I struggled with whether the Eagles would keep nine or 10 offensive linemen, with Anderson squarely on the bubble. In the Eagles' meaningless Week 18 against Dallas last season, I liked what I saw from Anderson, and it's also worth noting that he got work in the preseason games at LG, C, and RG. That kind of versatility is valuable.
Edge defenders (4): Brandon Graham, Josh Sweat, Derek Barnett, Tarron Jackson
Cuts (1): Matt Leo
Interior defensive line (5): Javon Hargrave, Fletcher Cox, Jordan Davis, Milton Williams, Marlon Tuipulotu
Cuts (3): Marvin Wilson, Renell Wren, Kobe Smith
I think Big Marv might've made the final 53 in past Eagles camps, but the interior defensive line depth is too crowded for him to stick this year. He's a waiver claim candidate.
SAM (3): Haason Reddick, Patrick Johnson, Kyron Johnson
Cuts (0): None
I wondered for a bit if Kyron Johnson had done enough to make the team, but he flashed enough near the end of camp to solidify his spot.
Linebacker (5): T.J. Edwards, Kyzir White, Nakobe Dean, Shaun Bradley, Davion Taylor
Cuts (2): Jacoby Stevens, Christian Elliss
The "Does Howie keep players because they're recent high-ish picks" debate is gonna be put to the test this year with Taylor and K'Von Wallace below.
In the preseason games, Taylor may have played his way deep onto the bench, but as a recent third round pick I think he'll get another developmental season on the roster.
Cornerback (5): Darius Slay, James Bradberry, Avonte Maddox, Zech McPhearson, Josh Jobe
Cuts (5): Kary Vincent, Tay Gowan, Mac McCain, Mario Goodrich, Josh Blackwell
Of the assorted young cornerbacks Howie threw against the wall to see which ones would stick, it appears that Jobe is the one that the coaching staff likes best. The other guys didn't show much of anything.
Safety (5): Marcus Epps, Anthony Harris, K'Von Wallace, Reed Blankenship, Josiah Scott
Cuts (4): Andre Chachere, Jaquiski Tartt
Like Taylor above, I believe Wallace will stick because he is a recent draft pick. Howie probably thinks more highly of him than you do.
From start to finish throughout camp, Blankenship showed good instincts, he was generally where he needed to be, and was a sure, physical tackler. I believe that he played his way onto the roster.
And then at the final spot, for me it's a toss-up between a pair of versatile players who play both slot corner and safety, and who are both currently injured in Scott (hamstring) and Chachere (groin). The Eagles don't share the extent of injuries freely, even if they're minor, so I simply don't know who is healthier, which could be a factor.
Not knowing the severity of their injuries, my decision on who to keep comes down to the question, "Who is more likely to be claimed off of waivers," and to me that's Scott, who is three years younger. Chachere is on his sixth team since entering the league as an undrafted player in 2018. I'm sure the Eagles would like to keep him for his special teams contributions, but this is the type of player the Eagles should be OK with losing should he get claimed by another team. It's not like he's Steve Tasker or Bill Bates or something.
Specialists (3): Jake Elliott, Arryn Siposs, Rick Lovato
Cuts (0): None
Siposs probably solidified his roster spot with a good performance Saturday night.
PUP (2): TE Tyree Jackson, OL Brett Toth
Jackson and Toth will miss at least the first four games of the regular season.
Like us on Facebook: PhillyVoice Sports
Add Jimmy's RSS feed to your feed reader