Mosher's Too-Early 53-Man Eagles Roster Projection
On Monday, Andrew DiCecco gave his too-early Eagles 53-man roster projection. Here’s my stab at predicting the Eagles’ 2020 roster:
(Is second-year linebacker T.J. Edwards ready to step into a starting role in 2020 after playing in all 16 games as a rookie?)
QUARTERBACK (3) Carson Wentz, Josh McCown, Jalen Hurts Where’s Nate Sudfeld and how’d Josh McCown get here? I don’t think the Eagles need to carry four quarterbacks, two of them being developmental. The 1-year deal Sudfeld signed this offseason came with just $500,000 guaranteed, so the Eagles can save more than a million by releasing or trading him. They’d only cut him if they’re able to bring in a veteran. Enter McCown, who should be healthy by June. Just my hunch: Look for the Eagles to bring McCown back and ultimately transition him into a coaching role after 2021. RUNNING BACK (4) Miles Sanders, Carlos Hyde, Boston Scott, Corey Clement Adam Caplan reported on the latest Inside the Birds that the Eagles were interested in veteran Carlos Hyde, who’d fit nicely as a backup in Doug Pederson’s offense and could be the primary ball carrier if Sanders were to suffer an injury. Scott as the No. 3 is the perfect, Darren Sproles-ian role for him. WIDE RECEIVER (6) DeSean Jackson, Jalen Reagor, J.J. Arcega-Whiteside, Marquise Goodwin, Greg Ward, John Hightower (PUP: Alshon Jeffery) Should be a nice training camp battle between John Hightower and Quez Watkins for the bottom-roster spot at wideout. Greg Ward is interesting because he’s the only receiver made for the slot but he lacks versatility otherwise. If the coaches plan to integrate Reagor into the slot for the first year, with Jackson and Arceage-Whiteside as outside receivers, would that male Ward expendable and open the door for Watkins or someone else? TIGHT END (2) Zach Ertz, Dallas Goedert In his projection, Andrew made a good point about expanded practice squad rosters and the ability to flex two for the active roster on game day. That’ll help the Eagles stash backups outside of the 53-man, but don’t be surprised if the Eagles look to add another veteran.
OFFENSIVE LINE (9) Andre Dillard, Lane Johnson, Brandon Brooks, Isaac Seumalo, Jason Kelce, Jordan Mailata, Jason Peters, Jack Driscoll, Matt Pryor.
The elephant in the room here is Jason Peters, who isn’t back yet but will probably return, so I've got him on the 53. It’ll be interesting to see how is role is spelled out. As for the final spot, do the coaches go with a pure center to back up Kelce (Nate Herbig or rookie free agent Luke Juriga) or do they figure on Seumalo as the backup center and go with another backup interior lineman (Matt Pryor, Sua Opeta). For the sake of this projection, I went with Pryor. DEFENSE (26) DEFENSIVE END (6) Brandon Graham, Derek Barnett, Josh Sweat, Vinny Curry, Genard Avery, Shareef Miller (PUP: Daeshon Hall) Like I did with McCown and Peters, I’m putting Vinny Curry here even though Curry remains a free agent. He’s the veteran backup the Eagles need for their D-end rotation, which should include Avery and Sweat unless Miller can beat one them out for playing time.
DEFENSIVE TACKLE (5) Fletcher Cox, Javon Hargave, Malik Jackson, Hassan Ridgeway, Anthony Rush No real surprises here. The Eagles like to go heavy on the D-line and rotate. Keeping 11 defensive linemen altogether would be typical for them. LINEBACKER (6) T.J. Edwards, Nate Gerry, Jatavis Brown, Davion Taylor, Duke Riley, Alex Singleton. The top four are fairly set here. The Eagles could still add another veteran, like Paul Worrilow, who wouldn’t be a sure-shot to make the team. That veteran would compete with Shaun Bradley, Alex Singleton and rookie free agent Dante Olson. Keep an eye on Olson, from Wyoming. He’s been described as a “tackling machine.” The Birds like him. For now, we’ll go with Singleton.
Darius Slay, Avonte Maddox, Nickell Robey-Coleman, Sidney Jones, Prince Smith The Eagles are really high on their undrafted rookie class, especially Prince Smith and Grayland Arnold. Figure on one of those two edging out Cre’Von LeBlanc for the final spot – maybe even pushing Jones out the door. I suspect Rasul Douglas will be traded (for very little) or cut before the season. SAFETY (4) Rodney McLeod, Will Parks, Jalen Mills, K’von Wallace The Eagles are thin here but can move Maddox if they need reinforcements, especially if someone other than Maddox can seize hold of the outside corner position opposite Slay. Parks, Mills and Wallace all have position versatility can move around. SPECIALISTS (3) Kicker-Jake Elliott, Long Snapper-Rick Lovato, Punter-Cam Johnson.
The usual suspects. - Geoff Mosher (@geoffmoshernfl) is a longtime Philadelphia Eagles and NFL reporter and co-host of Inside the Birds.
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