It’s officially training camp week ladies and gentleman. The Eagles will report for camp on Thursday and we’ll be sure to keep you updated on all the happenings from the NovaCare Complex.
Although camp is just days away, the finalization of the roster is not. We’ll still have to wait a few weeks before the team announces the final roster but we have an idea of who will or will not make the cut.
Let’s breakdown each position and predict how the roster will shape up once the final cuts roll around.
Quarterback (3): Jalen Hurts, Gardner Minshew, Carson Strong
The quarterback position is pretty self explanatory. Jalen Hurts is the starter, Gardner Minshew will be the backup, and the battle for the third spot will be between undrafted rookie Carson Strong and Reid Sinnett. Both Strong and Sinnett are undrafted players, but it’s safe to say if Strong didn’t have serious knee concerns, he likely would have been a day two or three selection this year. The Eagles handed Strong a pretty hefty pay day despite being an UDFA, guaranteeing the Nevada product $320,000. Given the lofty price the team paid for him and his outstanding production at Nevada, Strong should easily beat out Sinnett here. If Strong manages to stay healthy, he could find himself as the team’s primary backup down the line.
Running Back (4): Miles Sanders, Kenneth Gainwell, Boston Scott, Kennedy Brooks
The top-three backs have been set in stone for awhile now. Miles Sanders, Kenneth Gainwell, and Boston Scott are all locks for the final roster. Assuming the Eagles retain four backs, which is a distinct possibility considering how much Nick Sirianni’s offense relies on the rushing attack, the final roster spot will come down to Jason Huntley and UDFA Kennedy Brooks. Huntley has been fighting for a roster spot for the past few years and unfortunately, I think he’ll be on the outside looking in once again. Unless he can earn the punt/kick returning job, Huntley doesn’t bring enough nuance to the backfield to justify keeping him on the roster. With Jordan Howard no longer on the team, the offense will look to replace that bruising, north-south running style. Kennedy Brooks has that.
Wide Receiver (5): DeVonta Smith, A.J. Brown, Quez Watkins, Jalen Reagor, Zach Pascal
With the additions of A.J. Brown and Zach Pascal this offseason, the Eagles suddenly have a crowded wide receiver room. Rarely has the team kept more than five receivers and I don’t see them bucking the trend this time around. The point of contention here will likely be Jalen Reagor; a guy most fans wants off the team yesterday. But the fact of the matter is, Reagor will be given at least one more season to prove himself. Howie Roseman rarely gives up on his draft picks until it’s crystal clear they’re not cut out for the job. With just five receivers making the roster, guys like Greg Ward, John Hightower, Devon Allen, Deon Cain, and Britain Covey will either be cut or designated to the practice squad.
Tight End (3): Dallas Goedert, Jack Stoll, Grant Calcaterra
Tight end is another pretty straight forward position group. Dallas Goedert will be the TE1 and both Jack Stoll and Grant Calcaterra will split duties as his backup. Stoll will likely be utilized on early downs in running situations, whereas Calcaterra brings more to the table on the receiving end. Tyree Jackson has an outside shot to make the cut, but given his injury history, it’s hard to say whether he’ll even be ready to go by the start of the season or not.
Offensive Line (10): Jordan Mailata (LT), Landon Dickerson (LG), Jason Kelce (C), Isaac Seumalo (RG), Lane Johnson (RT), Jack Driscoll, Andre Dillard, Cam Jurgens, Sua Opeta, Le’Raven Clark
The offensive line is the unquestioned strength of the Eagles offense. The starters are all set in stone with Jordan Mailata, Landon Dickerson, Jason Kelce, Isaac Seumalo, and Lane Johnson making up the starting five. Behind them, there are a handful of guys who could start down the line. Jack Driscoll, Andre Dillard, and Sua Opeta have all started games for the Eagles here and there. From top to bottom, the Eagles offensive line is stacked.
Defensive End (4): Josh Sweat, Brandon Graham, Derek Barnett, Tarron Jackson
Philly’s defensive end position will look relatively similar to how it did entering the 2021 season. Josh Sweat and Brandon Graham will likely be the main starters, with both Derek Barnett and Tarron Jackson rotating in when need be. For depth sake, the team could opt to keep one more defensive end around, but with the addition of Haason Reddick — who will be primarily used as a pass rusher — it’s not a necessity.
Defensive Tackle (4): Fletcher Cox, Javon Hargrave, Jordan Davis, Milton Williams
All four of the Eagles defensive tackles this season should get solid playing time. Fletcher Cox and Jordan Davis can eat up blocks on the early downs, while Javon Hargrave and Milton Williams feast on the quarterback in passing situations. How Jonathan Gannon utilizes each of these big guys will be interesting to watch throughout the season.
MIKE Linebacker (3): T.J. Edwards, Nakobe Dean, Shaun Bradley
Howie made a handful of additions to his linebacking corps this season, which made it pretty difficult to figure out which ones ultimately make the roster. At the MIKE spot, it’s relatively easy to dwindle it down to the three who will make the cut. T.J. Edwards had a breakout season last year and should be the Week 1 starter. Nakobe Dean should get ample playing time as well as the future leader of this defense. And Shaun Bradley has been a stout special teams player over the past few years. If any other backers managed to make the roster here, I’d be pretty shocked.
WILL Linebacker (2): Kyzir White, Davion Taylor
Kyzir White and Davion Taylor are really the only two WILL backers on the team worthy of a roster spot. JaCoby Stevens is a converted safety and barely played as a rookie. He’d need to have an outstanding camp to even be in the discussion for a spot here.
SAM Linebacker (2): Haason Reddick, Patrick Johnson
I would have loved to keep rookie Kyron Johnson on the roster here, but with the added talent throughout the roster I had to go with just two guys here at the SAM spot. Reddick will be the primary starter as the big free agent get of the offseason for the Birds. Patrick Johnson showed some solid qualities as a rookie last season. It’ll be exciting to see how he fares when substituted in for Reddick.
Cornerback (6): Darius Slay, James Bradberry, Avonte Maddox, Zech McPhearson, Tay Gowan, Jimmy Moreland
Much like the revamped wide receiver room in Philly, the Eagles have an abundance of cornerbacks entering camp. They have several young corners who find themselves on the practice squad or looking for a new team once camp wraps up. The starting trio of Darius Slay, James Bradberry, and Avonte Maddox is one of the better CB trios in the entire league. Behind them, I have faith in both Zech McPhearson and Tay Gowan as suitable backups. Jimmy Moreland rounds out the group as a jack of all trades corner who can fill in on the outside or at the nickel.
Safeties (4): Anthony Harris, Jaquiski Tartt, Marcus Epps, K’Von Wallace
No real surprises here. Anthony Harris and Jaquiski Tartt will be the likely starters, with Marcus Epps settling in as the third safety. K’Von Wallace has a lot to prove this season and I’ll be anxiously waiting to watch his reps during the preseason. Of course, there’s still an outside chance the team acquires Jessie Bates before the start of the season. But we’ll cross that bridge when we get to it.
Specialists (3): Jake Elliot (K), Arryn Siposs (P), Rick Lovato (LS)
It’s pretty surprising that the team hasn’t brought in any competition for Arryn Siposs yet. That will probably change during camp but it’s not a guarantee. He was downright putrid down the stretch last season, proving to be a complete liability on special teams. If he ends up being the starting punter again this year, it will be out of pure necessity. Aside from him, Jake Elliot will remain the starting kicker along with Rick Lovato as the long snapper.
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