June 24, 2021   4 MIN READ

Inside The Birds: 53-Man Roster Projection, Defense Edition


With a new scheme in place, it’s time to examine who’ll be suiting up for coordinator Jonathan Gannon’s defense when the Eagles take the field in Atlanta to open the season.

On the latest Inside The Birds podcast, Geoff Mosher and Adam Caplan wrap up their 53-man roster preview and take an analytical look at the defensive rookies.

Trevon Grimes

Geoff Mosher: “The Eagles waived Trevon Grimes, the rookie free agent wide receiver, off IR with an injury settlement. So what happens from here?”

Adam Caplan: “The reason why they do this now instead of doing it later is because they know he will be able to come back. This is not a four-month rehab from his knee surgery. He should be back. I don’t know when in August, but I believe he’ll be available in August at some point, but with the injury settlement he cannot come back before the agreed upon time even if physically he’s ready to go. He cannot come back until the agreed time. That’s just the way the rules are. Let’s say this settlement is for eight weeks but he’s ready in six, he cannot come back before eight weeks no matter what happens. The Eagles gave him fully-guaranteed money so they have an interest in bringing him back to give him a look. So hopefully, he gets on the practice field in August, and they can assess him before they set the 53.”

Eagles 6th-rounder DT Marlon Tuipulotu is vying for a spot in the wide open DT rotation.

Marlon Tuipulotu

Mosher: “I know when I asked which Day 3 guy is likely to make the 53, some of the feedback I got was watch for Marlon Tuipulotu, because as you mentioned he had a higher grade than a sixth. He’s a versatile, strong guy, and you always need run-stoppers.”

JaCoby Stevens

Mosher: “Are they really going to keep [T.J.] Edwards and Shaun Bradley, a guy who was a rookie free agent and a guy who was a seventh-round pick? They already drafted JaCoby Stevens and I’m sure they’re gonna want to give him a good look here.”

Caplan: “[Stevens] is a project. He is absolutely a project. You’re gonna want to keep him because they want to develop him. They made this decision that he’s gonna play linebacker not safety. You might as well see it through and not waive him.”

Mosher: “Yeah, and if you think he can compete on special teams while he’s being developed then he’s in the conversation with Edwards and Bradley. But you might think that you need somebody like Edwards or Bradley, who has played because after [Eric] Wilson and [Alex] Singleton, you’ve got so much uncertainty [at linebacker].

No. 2 CB

Caplan: “I can’t tell you it’s gonna be a lock by training camp that they’re gonna add a corner. They’ve done this before, and other teams do it as well, final cut downs to 53, then they claim a guy off waivers they like, and that guy may be playing early. If they don’t get Steven Nelson who, quite frankly, if you look at it out there, is the only guy worth signing, I don’t know where they’re going here. Unless they trade for a guy and you and I’ve said this throughout, the Ronald Darby situation, you can’t count on that. It’s just total luck, a starting corner being available. If you look at transactions over the last five years show me how many starting corners got traded in August”

Safety Outlook

Caplan: “So we don’t know and we won’t know this until training camp, if [Rodney] McLeod is not ready [to start the season], who is starting next to Anthony Harris?”

Mosher: “It’s K’Von Wallace. Well, I think it’s K’Von Wallace, I mean if Marcus Epps is the guy I said to keep your eye on because there was a time last year that they thought he could really progress and he knows the defense. I wouldn’t be beating my chest over starting Marcus Epps, it’s still not an ideal position for the team. If the roster stays the same, basically this is the easiest position to predict. It’s McLeod, Harris, Wallace Epps and Adams, that’s five safeties and I don’t see anybody else making it.”

– Justin Morganstein (@jmotweets_) is a staff contributor to InsideTheBirds.com

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