QB (3): Carson Wentz, Nate Sudfeld, Cody Kessler

  • The only intrigue here is what the Eagles do with their 3rd QB spot. Nate Sudfeld’s broken wrist throws a wrench into things, but luckily he is only expected to be out 6 weeks so he should avoid the IR. With the 3rd QB being one snap away until Sudfeld comes back, the Eagles cannot justify keeping Clayton Thorsen over Kessler given how dreadful Thorsen was against the Titans. They could keep him as a 4th QB, but with so much depth elsewhere, the Eagles should just go with 3 QBs and hope they can sneak Thorsen onto the practice squad.

RB (4): Jordan Howard, Miles Sanders, Darren Sproles, Corey Clement

  • The Eagles decision to bring back Sproles probably spelled the end of Wendell Smallwood’s tenure with the Eagles. They have needed him at some point each of the last 3 seasons, but he has a limited skill-set and does not offer much in explosiveness. The Eagles can probably stash Josh Adams and Boston Scott on the practice squad. Clement hasn’t been able to participate much this off-season, but there is little doubt the Eagles would give up on him yet. He had a down year in 2018, but showed so much potential in 2017 that he should stick around at least one more year. Sanders has a chance to become the bell-cow back as soon as Week 1. He just needs to prove to the coaching staff that he can protect the ball and the QB via blitz pickup, but he has already showed that he is the most talented back on the team. 

WR (5): Alshon Jeffery, DeSean Jackson, Nelson Agholor, JJ Arcega-Whiteside, Mack Hollins

  • The first 4 are locks, and Hollins is close to one as well. Similar to Clement, Hollins will need to prove he can stay healthy as he has missed time this off-season after missing all of 2018. Still, the team loves his special teams ability and he has flashed as a receiver too. There is a chance the Eagles decide to go with 6 WRs here, which would open a spot for Marken Michel, who had a 75 yard TD in the Titans game, or Greg Ward who the team loves. Overall, this is a talented and deep position group for the Eagles, easily the best WRs that Wentz has had in his career thus far.

TE (3): Zach Ertz, Dallas Goedert, Richard Rodgers

  • Goedert’s minor calf injury could leave the Eagles to decide to keep a 4th TE here, which would most likely put Josh Perkins on the roster. Goedert is expected to be back by Week 1, but calf injuries can be tricky so if it lingers this prediction might change at the end of the preseason. As of right now, though, with so much depth along the offensive and defensive line, it makes sense for the Eagles to stick with 3. Especially since Ertz and Goedert paired together is the best 1-2 TE punch in the league. Goedert stated that he believes he would start on all NFL teams except for 3 (Chiefs, 49ers, and Eagles), a statement in which he will find no arguments here. 

OL (10): Jason Peters, Isaac Seumalo, Jason Kelce, Brandon Brooks, Lane Johnson, Andre Dillard, Halapoulivaati Vaitai, Stefen Wisniewski, Matt Pryor, Jordan Mailata

  • The one player on this list that should be the most nervous of his roster spot is Matt Pryor. He followed the same pattern this year as he did in 2018 where he looks great in training camp, but not so great during the actual games. Pryor struggled mightily last preseason and followed suit in the Eagles first game against the Titans. He is still projected to make the roster as of now since the Eagles have put a lot of effort into cross-training him at multiple positions. He has played every position except for center, so they most likely won’t give up on him yet. Vaitai and Wisnewski are in the most danger of being traded since the Eagles have so much depth here, but the Eagles value their versatility so they are projected to stay put.
  • The most intriguing name on this list is Andre Dillard. The Eagles traded up to take him in the first round of the 2019 draft, and he has looked nothing short of spectacular ever since. He stood out in the first preseason game, where he played left tackle and continually stone-walled the pass rush. As long as Jason Peters stays healthy Dillard won’t get on the field, but should Peters get hurt the Eagles have comfort knowing that Dillard looks the part. Mailata is another intriguing name here; he was listed as a stock-down player as he had been struggling in training camp, but he looked good in the preseason. He played most of the game and stayed at right tackle the entire time. 

DT (5): Fletcher Cox, Malik Jackson, Timmy Jernigan, Treyvon Hester, Hassan Ridgeway

  • The first 3 are locks, while Hester and Ridgeway have looked good in the preseason. 5 DTs is a lot, but Jernigan struggled with a back injury in 2018 so it would make sense to have depth here. Schwartz also loves to rotate his defensive linemen to make sure they have fresh legs. Cox has missed training camp thus far, but he is not in any danger of missing Week 1. With him and Jackson, the Eagles have two high-end starters, and if Jernigan can return to form from before his back injury then the Eagles might have the deepest DT rotation in the NFL.

DE (5): Derek Barnett, Brandon Graham, Vinny Curry, Josh Sweat, Daeshon Hall

  • 10 total DL is definitely overboard, but the Eagles can afford it with their talent at other positions. The first 4 are locks, while Hall has played his way onto the roster with his performance this off-season. He was extremely disruptive in their first preseason game against the Titans and has received heavy praise from the coaching staff. Shareef Miller has not shown much so far, but as a 4th round pick the Eagles won’t release him. So, with that said, he is a projected to be placed on IR with a phantom injury so he can spend the year in the weight room. He has flashed athleticism during camp, but does not yet have an NFL ready body. Sweat is the ultimate wild-card of this group, though. He has the athletic profile to be a dominant pass-rusher, but needs to show consistency. He was up and down during the Titans game, but flashed enough for the Eagle to be encouraged. 

LB (5): Nigel Bradham, Kamu Grugier-Hill, Nate Gerry, Zach Brown, LJ Fort

  • This is probably the weakest group on the Eagles roster. With the emphasis they place on the lines and skill positions, that left LBs out as the odd position out. Bradham is their best LB, but he has yet to practice with a toe injury. Kamu has really stepped up in Bradham’s absence, but he had an unfortunate injury with a Grade 3 MCL sprain which should sideline him for 8 weeks. Between Gerry, Brown, and Fort, the Eagles should be able to weather the loss of Kamu for the first couple weeks of the season. Fort especially played well in the Titans game, which is good for him because the Eagles would gain a 4th round pick if they cut him or Sendejo. He showed good coverage ability and was stout against the run too. Gerry and Brown offer differing skill-sets, with Gerry good in coverage and Brown being known as a run defender. 

CB (6): Ronald Darby, Sidney Jones, Avonte Maddox, Rasul Douglas, Cre’von LeBlanc, Orlando Scandrick

  • One thing to note for this position group is that Jalen Mills is projected to start the season on PUP with a foot injury, which opens up a roster spot for another CB. In this case, Scandrick is the one who benefits from Mills’ injury. The Eagles are banged up at the CB position in general. On top of Mills’ foot injury, both Darby and LeBlanc are not healthy. Darby tore his ACL in November 2018, but he expects to be back by Week 1 or close to it, while LeBlanc has a Lisfranc injury and a murky timeline. Reports state that he could come back in September or that he could be out all the way until November. 
  • As far as the healthy players are concerned, the CBs are the most underrated position group on the Eagles. Every national reporter names the Eagles secondary as the one part of their defense that could hold the team back from a Super Bowl birth. Jones is the one that could turn that around. He has the talent to be a shut-down corner, but he has been unable to stay healthy his first two years in the league. Finally healthy now, Jones is playing the best football of his career. Maddox has flashed elite ability in the slot, giving the Eagles two potential high-end starters. Douglas played well to end 2019 and has continued that momentum into the off-season thus far. 

S (4): Malcolm Jenkins, Rodney McLeod, Andrew Sendejo, Johnathan Cyprien

  • Originally Blake Countess was on track to make the team as the 4th safety and core special-teamer, but he hurt his hamstring against the Titans and is expected to be out for several weeks. Unfortunately for Countess, this injury likely cost him a roster spot. McLeod is starting to participate in team drills which is huge for the team as they struggled to replace his spot when he originally hurt his knee in Week 3 last year. Assuming he can return to that same level of play, him and Jenkins give the Eagles one of the better safety tandems in the NFL. Sendejo has played his way onto the roster with a great off-season, which he continued in the Eagles game against the Titans. Cyprien projects as more of a safety/linebacker hybrid at this point in his career. He is a liability in coverage, but could play closer to the box and help out on running downs. 

Specialists (3): Jake Elliot (kicker), Cameron Johnston (punter), Rick Lovato (long snapper)

  • Not much to say here. Johnston had a great season after a rough start, Elliot is solid but a little inconsistent, and the less you hear Lovato’s name the better

    Featured Photo: DAVID MAIALETTI/Philly Inquirer
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