Here we are. After a month of Eagles training camp, the team closed out their preseason with the annual matchup with the New York Jets.
Several players needed to have solid outings in this final preseason game to ensure a roster spot. Some of them showed up, while the others failed to meet expectations, which could ultimately cost them a spot on the 53.
Howie Roseman and the front office have until Tuesday to cut the roster down to 53 players.
Here’s our final 53-man roster predictions of the year.
Late addition: The Eagles traded for Jaguars quarterback Gardner Minshew, he’ll be included here.
Quarterback (3): Jalen Hurts, Joe Flacco, Gardner Minshew
The recent trade for Gardner Minshew throws a bit of a wrench into things, but it doesn’t change a whole lot. Nick Mullens is now gone, meaning Minshew will man the QB3 spot behind Hurts and Flacco. It’ll be interesting to see if he ends up being the backup at some point. Minshew certainly has more upside than Flacco and is probably a better overall quarterback as well.
Running Back (4): Miles Sanders, Jordan Howard, Boston Scott, Kenny Gainwell
Like quarterback, this position will remain unchanged as well. Kenny Gainwell has been fantastic throughout the preseason, and Boston Scott reminded us that he can still make people miss in the open field with his touchdown Friday night. The odd men out here are Jason Huntley and Elijah Holyfield. Holyfield saw a lot of action in the final two preseason games, but Huntley was sidelined with injury. One of them will end up on the practice squad most likely. My bet is on Huntley.
Wide Receiver (6): DeVonta Smith, Jalen Reagor, Quez Watkins, Greg Ward, J.J. Arcega-Whiteside, John Hightower
This may come as a surprise to some, but Travis Fulgham doesn’t make the cut here. He’s been a disappointment all throughout training camp, and on the lone reception he made in the preseason, he fumbled the ball away. JJAW, Hightower, and Ward all deserve roster spots over him at this point. Fulgham was supposed to be the starting X heading into camp, giving the Eagles a good mix of skill sets at the wide receiver position. But, he just never seized the opportunity.
Tight End (3): Dallas Goedert, Zach Ertz, Jack Stoll, Tyree Jackson (IR)
With the injury to Tyree Jackson, the battle for the third tight end spot opened up again. Veteran Richard Rodgers would be a safer choice here, but UDFA Jack Stoll outplayed Rodgers in the preseason. Stoll is a solid blocker too, which gives him the upper hand on Rodgers, who isn’t much of a blocker at all. Stoll should be a good developmental piece behind Goedert and Ertz in 2021, along with Jackson — whenever he’s healthy.
Offensive Line (10): Jordan Mailata (LT), Isaac Seumalo (LG), Jason Kelce (C), Brandon Brooks (RG), Lane Johnson (RT), Andre Dillard, Jack Driscoll, Nate Herbig, Le’Raven Clark, Brett Toth, Landon Dickerson (NFI)
The starting offensive line has been set for some time now — regardless if the coaching staff is reluctant to call the left tackle battle. Mailata, Seumalo, Kelce, Brooks, and Johnson will man the starting five positions. Dillard is still the best backup left tackle on the team, despite having a disappointing camp. Driscoll and Toth can backup the right tackle position, along with either guard spot when need be. Clark has great versatility as well, as he’ll backup both tackle positions. And that leaves Herbig as the backup center to Kelce. Second-round pick Landon Dickerson will start the year on the NFI list, meaning he’ll miss at least half of the season.
Defensive End (4): Brandon Graham, Derek Barnett, Josh Sweat, Ryan Kerrigan
The Eagles defensive ends have been set for awhile now. And it doesn’t seem like they’ll carry anymore than the four main rotational pieces. Tarron Jackson may get a spot here, but he’s better off on the practice squad for the time being. UDFA JaQuan Bailey is an intriguing prospect as well, but he didn’t do enough in the preseason to earn a roster spot. Milton Williams’ versatility will allow the Eagles to only carry four true edge rushers into the season.
Defensive Tackle (4): Fletcher Cox, Javon Hargrave, Milton Williams, T.Y. McGill
The depth along the Eagles defensive line is really impressive, especially along the interior. Both Cox and Hargrave should have solid seasons. Williams proved he belongs through training camp and the preseason, along with McGill, who was disruptive all throughout the preseason. His two sack performance against the Jets all but guaranteed his roster spot.
Linebackers (6): Alex Singleton, Eric Wilson, T.J. Edwards, Davion Taylor, Patrick Johnson, Shaun Bradley
The big addition here is seventh-round pick Patrick Johnson, who’s done very well in the preseason this year. He beats out Genard Avery, who has had trouble staying healthy and making an impact on the field. Johnson has much more upside than Avery and is worth keeping on the 53. Aside from the addition of Johnson, the rest of the linebacking corps remains the same. Singleton and Wilson will be the two main starters, followed by a combination of Edwards, Taylor, and Bradley.
Cornerbacks (6): Darius Slay, Steven Nelson, Avonte Maddox, Zech McPhearson, Josiah Scott, Craig James
No major changes here from the previous roster predictions. Michael Jacquet had an opportunity to solidify a roster spot in the final preseason game, but he played poorly and allowed a handful of receptions in coverage, including one touchdown.
Safeties (4): Rodney McLeod, Anthony Harris, K’Von Wallace, Marcus Epps
While Rodney McLeod probably won’t start the season on the PUP list, it remains unclear if he’ll be able to suit up Week 1. With that in mind, carrying an extra safety here makes sense. Wallace or Epps will step up in McLeod’s absence and start opposite of Harris.
Specialists (3): Jake Elliot, Arryn Siposs, Rick Lovato
There hasn’t been any movement on the Eagles specialists all year. What you see is what you get.