Eagles 53-Man Roster Predictions and Analysis
3 September 2020 Opinion
As the NFL’s 53-man roster deadline quickly approaches, the Eagles coaching staff and front office are going to have make some tough decisions to make by Saturday at 4:00pm. Whether it be planning around ample amounts of injuries or giving some UDFA’s a chance, there will be some unexpected faces that make the final cut come this weekend.
QB (3) – Carson Wentz, Nate Sudfeld, Jalen Hurts 
Nate Sudfeld and Jalen Hurts have been battling for the backup QB role to Carson Wentz during camp. Sudfeld seems to have the upper hand as of now, but Hurts is starting to push Nate for the job. In recent practices Hurts has been been rewarded more and more reps with the second group. If Carson were to get injured this season, we will see #2 enter the game instead of #7.
RB (4) – Miles Sanders, Boston Scott, Corey Clement, Elijah Holyfield 
Clement and Holyfield have been receiving a lot of praise from both the media and the coaching staff throughout camp. However, there are two young guns that will be waiting to be called up from the practice squad, whether it be for an injury replacement or because one of the above backs is not holding up their end of the bargain: Michael Warren and Adrian Killins.
WR (6) – Desean Jackson, Greg Ward Jr., J.J. Arcega-Whiteside, Jalen Reagor, John Hightower, Quez Watkins 
The three rookies: Reagor, Hightower, and Watkins, have been proving themselves throughout the duration of camp. Many believe that they should keep seven receivers, but with the way other positions are starting to shape up, the final few roster spots will be focused elsewhere. Being that Alshon Jeffery will most likely be activated from the PUP list come Week 7 and minor injuries to other positional players are healed, that is when the Eagles can decide whether or not they need a crowded room of wideouts.
TE (3) – Zach Ertz, Dallas Goedert, Noah Togiai 
Ertz (upper body) and Goedert (thumb hairline fracture) have garnered some bumps and bruises throughout training camp. As both continue to heal, Noah Togiai will serve as a solid insurance option on Sundays. A lot of the Eagles offense is predicated on the success in 12-man packages, a scheme in which two Tight Ends are on the field. Togiai is an UDFA out of Oregon State where he was a phenomenal pass catcher both in tight and as a split end. He may even be able to contribute on Special Teams given his plentiful athleticism.
OL (10) – Jason Peters, Jason Kelce, Lane Johnson, Isaac Seumalo, Matt Pryor, Jordan Mailata, Nate Herbig, Sua Opeta, Jack Driscoll, Prince Tega-Wanogho 
As of right now, the starters are Matt Pryor, Isaac Seumalo, Jason Kelce, Jason Peters, and Lane Johnson. As for the others, they have a combined two NFL regular season game appearances. Opeta and Herbig are both former UDFA, while Mailata was a 7th Round pick in 2018. Driscoll and Tega-Wanogho, both former Auburn Tigers, are headed into their Rookie years after being drafted by the Eagles in 2020. Four out of five of them have held their own at camp with Mailata being the odd man out. The former rugby star’s clock is ticking as he’s the oldest member of this young bunch, if there were any suprise cuts or practice squad assignments here, it’d be Mailata or Opeta.
DL (9) – Fletcher Cox, Brandon Graham, Javon Hargrave, Malik Jackson, Derek Barnett, Josh Sweat, Vinny Curry, Hassan Ridgeway, Casey Toohill 
Josh Sweat has quite possibly been the most consistent performer throughout all of camp. Every day there is a new report about Sweat and how impressive he’s been. Hassan Ridgeway will be slated to take on a decent role this season. The dark horse is the Rookie 7th rounder, Casey Toohill, out of Stanford. Not only could Toohill provide a spark in the pass rush, but he’d also be a great special teams player which is sometimes a make or break aspect of having your name on the 53-man roster. Toohill has had a tremendous camp, and has given other Rookies a run for their money for best Camp Rookie.
LB (5) – Nate Gerry, Duke Riley, T.J. Edwards, Davion Taylor, Shaun Bradley 
Fifth rounder, Shaun Bradley, is a literal menace to the Eagles offense. He was delivering such heavy blows to offensive players that Doug Pederson had to ask him to tone down the physicality in practice. On the other hand, Taylor is still trying to find his niche as a “project 4-3 backer”. Bradley seems more ready to play on the defensive side of the ball than Davion, but both will absolutely contribute in one way or another. As for the starters, this group is a big ole’ question mark. Jim Schwartz’s defense is specifically designed to take the pressure off of the backers, and allow them to utilize their athleticism in the pass game.
CB (5) – Darius Slay, Avonte Maddox, Nickell Robey-Coleman, Cre’von Leblanc, Rasul Douglas 
Avonte Maddox has situated himself into becoming the Corner opposite of Slay while NRC will play mostly in the slot. Cre’von and Rasul have had solid training camps after a slow start. Being that the Eagles have so much talented depth, expect Rasul to play a big role on special teams, maybe as a gunner on the kick off. Douglas proved his worth during camp, unlike another Corner Back that has all but ruined his chances at a roster spot. This is the year that the Eagles cut ties with Sidney Jones, or at least put him on the NFL’s newly ruled practice squad. Jones had barely practiced throughout training camp and that’s not a great recipe to progression.
SFTY (5) – Jalen Mills, Rodney Mcleod, Will Parks, Kvon Wallace, Grayland Arnold 
Unfortunately the Eagles third Safety on the depth chart, Will Parks, was recently injured and the severity is not known. This opens the door for Fourth Round draft pick, K’Von Wallace and UDFA Grayland Arnold. Jim Schwartz recently said that, “There are going to be some tough decisions this weekend,” and he was alluding to Arnold’s future. I think the Eagles keep one of three Safeties: Grayland Arnold, Marcus Epps, or Rudy Ford, to be big contributors on special teams. There’s just not enough room for all of them, and Arnold is the best defensive option out of the group.
Specialists (3) – K Jake Elliot, P Cameron Johnston, LS Rick Lovato 
Hate it or not, the Specialists are the most underappreciated groups on the team, while they continue to produce year in and year out. Elliot is one of the NFL’s best young kickers, while Cameron Johnston is known for his momentum swinging bombs in the field position game. Lastly, Rick Lovato gets the job done, and isn’t afraid to get a head of steam and successfully cover a punt.
The NFL has modified the 2020 practice squad rules. Teams are now allowed to keep 16 total practice squad members. Each week four players can be protected at 4pm EST on Tuesday and their call up window is now just 90 minutes before game time. This is in case a group of players happens to test positive for Covid-19 during pre-game, and a team needs to make an abrupt change to the 53-man roster.
DE Joe Ostman, DE Shareef Miller, DE Genard Avery, DT Anthony Rush, CB Michael Jacquet, CB Craig James, RB Adrian Killins, RB Michael Warren, QB Kyle Lauletta, WR Deontay Burnett, WR Travis Fulgham, TE Caleb Wilson, S Marcus Epps, S Elijah Riley, C Luke Juriga, and LB Alex Singleton.
Physically Unable to Perform List (PUP) – RG Brandon Brooks and WR Alshon Jeffrey
The players on the PUP list are eligible to be activated following games in Week 6; they do not count against the 53-man roster until they are activated. Once Week 6 passes, the Eagles will have to decide whether the player returns to play, is placed on Injured Reserve, or released within five weeks.