Prediction for Eagles 53 man roster

19 August 2018 Opinion

Cutting players from the 90-man roster will be tough but those decisions are coming soon. The Eagles organization has a lot of expectations to live up to after winning the Super Bowl last season. Who are the players who will help them get it done again?

You’ve got to sacrifice a bit by balancing depth and talent when making these tough decisions.

Here is my prediction for how the Eagles roster will look to start the 2018 football season:

QB (3)

Carson Wentz
Nick Foles
Nate Sudfeld

With Sudfeld largely taking most of the snaps so far this preseason, he has shown he can be a quality backup in the league and potentially the answer at that spot when Nick Foles becomes a free agent. In a QB-needy league the Eagles would be wise to hold onto both Nick Foles and Nate Sudfeld behind the franchise QB Carson Wentz.

OL (8)

Jason Kelce
Stefen Wisniewski
Brandon Brooks
Matt Pryor
Isaac Seumalo
Big V
Jason Peters
Lane Johnson

Although a guy like Chance Warmack have more playing experience, he just doesn’t meet the Eagles expectations. In my opinion, Warmack will be traded or cut before the start of the season. Rookie Jordan Mailata is hard to risk on the wires but he isn’t ready to step into game action even if he is on the 53 man roster. He is still learning the game of football and is ultimately a practice squad guy for this season.

RB (4)

Jay Ajayi
Corey Clement
Darren Sproles
Josh Adams

I made the decision that Wendell Smallwood and Donnell Pumphrey have to send a message to the players on this roster… by being cut. No longer should guys just get a free pass just for being drafted. Smallwood and Pumphrey have proven they cannot stay healthy. Whether Pumphrey ends up on IR again this season remains to be seen but for the purposes of the 53 man roster, I don’t see him making it. Pederson has praised Smallwood’s contributions on special teams during this offseason and that may end up bumping him ahead of Adams.

Matt Jones has made more errors than positive plays in his one preseason performance. I’ve written him off. He isn’t good enough to make this roster.

TE (3)

Zach Ertz
Dallas Goedert
Richard Rodgers

I think it’s pretty clear that these 3 will be the TEs for the Eagles. I’m not sure how serious the injury Rodgers sustained in the game against the Patriots was but if it isn’t severe, he should be solid depth at the position.

WR (6)

Alshon Jeffery
Nelson Agholor
Mike Wallace
Mack Hollins
Shelton Gibson
Markus Wheaton

I’m holding 6 wide receivers largely because of the unknown status of Alshon Jeffery for the start of the season. I wanted to say Bryce Treggs but with his injury, he isn’t guaranteed to be healthy by week 1 either. Overall, I think the Eagles will keep Markus Wheaton and have him inactive once the core wide receivers are healthy. A lot of you tend to agree with my thinking as well:

DB (9)

Ronald Darby
Jalen Mills
De’Vante Bausby
Sidney Jones
Avonte Maddox
Rasul Douglas
Corey Graham
Malcolm Jenkins
Rodney McLeod

I had to cut Chris Maragos. Great player and person and we really need safety depth but he isn’t healthy right now. I think the Eagles will need to address the depth at the safety position but initially they’ll only hold 3 and cross-train the other defensive backs on the roster.

UPDATE: After this story was posted on Twitter, I received a no-brainier response to my decision cutting Maragos. Start him out on PUP. That is exactly what Eagles should do and I’m ashamed I didn’t come up with it myself.

LB (7)

Nigel Bradham
Jordan Hicks
Joe Walker
Kamu Grugier-Hill
Nate Gerry
LaRoy Reynolds
Corey Nelson

Holding 7 spots for linebackers might confuse you but a lot of these guys also can contribute on special teams as well. Overall, the young guys are still developing and with Bradham out week 1 due to suspension, they need to have veteran depth from guys like Reynolds and Nelson.

DL (10)

Brandon Graham
Michael Bennett
Derek Barnett
Chris Long
Steven Means
Josh Sweat
Haloti Ngata
Fletcher Cox
Timmy Jernigan
Destiny Vaeao

The defensive line is where the Eagles won a lot of games last season. They need a strong rotation. Although they’ll be carrying 6 defensive ends, Bennett and Graham can move inside to contribute at the defensive tackle position. It would not surprise me if a guy like Steven Means was traded for safety depth or value.

ST (3)

Jake Elliott
Cam Johnston
Rick Lovato

Overall, Johnston has his ups and downs but I think he’s leg is powerful and his accuracy will improve with time. I wouldn’t be mad if the Eagles ended up working out a deal to bring Donnie Jones back instead though.

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