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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
Thinking the Eagles will carry 4 RBs and 6 WRs with Jeffery’s status for week 1 in question. Assuming AJ, Agholor, Wallace, Hollins &Shelton are on the roster.. what WR do you think is 6th on the #Eagles 53 man roster’s depth chart:
— Kelly (@football_Kelly) August 19, 2018
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.
Pup maragos. Lb Nelson will get cut too
— Michael Baranowski (@BaranKKZ) August 19, 2018
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.
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.
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.