July 28, 2021   4 MIN READ

’21 Training Camp Pre: Survival Of The Fittest


[Editor’s Note: This is the 13th and final in a series of stories from Andrew DiCecco and Geoff Mosher previewing the Philadelphia Eagles as they head into training camp July 27. In this story, Mosher projects the 53-man roster. DiCecco gave his projection on Monday].

Here’s how Mosher sees it:

Team chairman Jeffrey Lurie, left, and top executive Howie Roseman have eyes on 2021 – and beyond.

Offense (23)
Quarterback (2)

Jalen Hurts, Joe Flacco
Can I put DeShaun Watson here? No need to have more than two. Can keep a developmental QB on the practice squad if Nick Mullens is claimed after being cut.

Running Back (4)

Miles Sanders, Jordan Howard, Kenneth Gainwell, Boston Scott
Got a sneaky suspicion Howard will make the most of his last chance and edge Kerryon Johnson for RB2. Gainwell has the chance – emphasis on “chance” – to see the field early as a multi-dimensional weapon who can also return kicks.

Wide Receiver (5)

DeVonta Smith, Jalen Reagor, Travis Fulgham, Greg Ward, Quez Watkins
There’s room for a sixth wide receiver but it should be earned, not given. John Hightower can stake his claim if he shows maturity and improvement this summer. Special teams will be a factor for the final spot or two, which is why J.J. Arcega-Whiteside faces an uphill climb.

Tight End (3)

Dallas Goedert, Richard Rodgers, Jack Stoll
Still don’t think Zach Ertz is on the 53 coming out of camp. The team like Stoll, who should outlast Jason Croom and some of the projects – Hakeem Butler, Tyree Jackson – for the No. 3 job.

Offensive Line (9)

Jordan Mailata, Isaac Seumalo, Jason Kelce, Brandon Brooks, Lane Johnson, Jack Driscoll, Andre Dillard, Landon Dickerson, Nate Herbig
Hard to know what to make of Le’Raven Clark, whose status should be more known when camp begins today. But the Eagles are already deep on the line, with Dickerson added to a mix that includes backups who all have starting experience. Dickerson and Herbig can play multiple positions, and Driscoll will probably be cross-trained at guard at some point.

Fletcher Cox, 91, and Brandon Graham lead a veteran D-line.

Defense (27)
Defensive End (5)

Brandon Graham, Derek Barnett, Josh Sweat, Ryan Kerrigan, Tarron Jackson
No real surprises here. Jackson is probably a long shot but Sweat is a situational pass-rusher and Kerrigan has also played a situational role his last two seasons so there’s room for Jackson to make the club with an impressive camp.

Defensive Tackle (5)

Fletcher Cox, Javon Hargrave, Milton Williams, Marlon Tuipulotu, Hassan Ridgeway
Depth is surely an issue as the Eagles have two blue-chip starters but nothing near the No. 3s they’ve had in the past (Beau Allen, Haloti Ngata, Malik Jackson) unless one or both of the rookies exceeds their Year 1 expectations. Might be an area the the Eagles try to upgrade after cut-down day.

Linebacker (5)

Eric Wilson, Alex Singleton, T.J. Edwards, Davion Taylor, JaCoby Stevens
Edwards probably makes the team just to have a role as the MIKE in base formations and for special teams. Taylor really needs to show improvement but probably makes it on draft status alone. I can see the team giving Stevens the nod over Shaun Bradley but trying to bring back Bradley on the practice squad.

Cornerback (6)

Darius Slay, Steven Nelson, Avonte Maddox, Zech McPhearson, Craig James, Josiah Scott
Look for the team to go heavier here because Maddox can also play safety and because James and Scott could have important roles on special teams. Michael Jacquet needs work, so look for the team to bring him back on the practice squad. Same for Kevin Seymour.

Safety (6)

Rodney McLeod, Anthony Harris, K’von Wallace, Marcus Epps, Elijah Riley
Another area where the Eagles aren’t as deep as they’ve been in the past but have some young prospects who’ll have a chance to get meaningful reps this summer.

Specialists (3)

K: Jake Elliott
H: Rick Lovato
P: Arryn Siposs

– Geoff Mosher (@geoffmoshernfl) is co-host of the “Inside the Birds” podcast and staff writer for InsideTheBirds.com.

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