Finally! Football is on the horizon! The dead-zone of sports is beginning to end as teams head into training camp. With that, excitement in the city is rising and I don’t remember a team in this city having as high of expectations as this Eagles team since the 2011 Phillies.
Nether-less, with training camp right around the corner it’s time to publish my 53-man roster prediction!
Cuts: Cody Kessler
Note: Nate Sudfeld is going to be QB2 baring anything drastic. Wouldn’t rule out them getting a more experienced QB2, but it’s unlikely. The Eagles used a fifth round pick on Clayton Thorson. I don’t see them risking losing Thorson if they cut him. Cody Kessler isn’t the worst backup quarterback in the world, maybe the Eagles could flip him for a pick if a team is desperate for a backup. Once again, that’s unlikely.
Running Backs: 4
Cuts: Wendell Smallwood, Josh Adams, Boston Scott and Donnel Pumphrey
Note: I’m excited to see a Jordan Howard/Miles Sanders backfield with a healthy Corey Clement as the changeup back. I think Jordan Howard/Miles Sanders will be better than the Blount/Ajayi backfield from 2017. Corey Clement as RB3 is more ideal. Darren Sproles will mostly only be seeing the field as the punt returner. As for the cuts, the Smallwood era in Philly is probably over. You might see him back here during the season if there’s an injury. Josh Adams gets cut after being the Eagles leading rusher last year, and Pumphrey and Scott were prayers to make the roster from the beginning.
Wide Receivers: 5
Cuts: Shelton Gibson, Marken Michel, Charles Johnson, Greg Ward, DeAndre Thompkins, Braxton Miller and Carlton Agudosi.
Note: Alshon, DeSean, Nelson and JJ are all locks. WR5 comes down to special teams and Mack Hollins is the ace there. Marken Michel is a prime candidate for the preseason crush by the fans. He’s going to catch a bunch off balls from Thorson and Kessler and people will be calling WIP saying he should be on the team over Mack. It’s not going to happen. As for practice squad guys, DeAndre Thompkins seems fitting. I watched him the last few years at Penn State. I can say with 100% confidence that his hands are awful, but when he has the ball in his hands he’s electric. He’s a fantastic returner, I want him on the practice squad for sure.
Tight Ends: 3
Cuts: Joshua Perkins and Will Tye
Notes: Richard Rodgers just seems like a boring guy to have on the roster. I don’t even know if he’s a good blocking tight end, but the Eagles signed him to a two-year extension so it feels like he’s safe. Granted the deal only had $500k guaranteed. I don’t want to see Joshua Perkins on the roster again especially after the Tampa Bay game last year where Nick Foles was forcing passes to him every play it felt like. Will Tye is an interesting name. I remember him being decent for the Giants for a couple years, but I guess Richard Rodgers is better.
Offensive Linemen: 10
Cuts: Ryan Bates, Casey Tucker, Nate Herbig, Keegan Render, Anthony Fabiano and Sua Opeta.
Notes: Keeping 10 offensive linemen might seem like a ton, but I really think these 10 guys are really good players. I could see them maybe trading Big V if a team wants a depth guy. I don’t really see that happening though. Pryor might be a shock since we never saw him play. I think he could be a sneaky “watch out” starter next year if Brandon Brooks looks rusty when he comes back. As for the guys they cut, I want to see Ryan Bates on the practice squad. My Penn State biased is showing here obviously but aside form that I think he could be a nice depth tackle next year.
Defensive Linemen: 10
Cuts: Daeshon Hall, Anthony Rush, Kevin Wilkins, Bruce Hector and Joe Ostman
Notes: Jim Schwartz loves his defensive linemen and I have them keeping 10. I think the Eagles will add another defensive end to the roster if Josh Sweat or Shareef Miller disappoint in training camp. Treyvon Hester is one the last additions to the roster so he’s on the bubble with guys like Tre Sullivan, TJ Edwards and Daeshon Hall for the defensive side of the ball. As for practice squad guys, maybe they put Joe Ostman back on there? Anthony Rush is also a great football name so I’m pulling for that guy to be good.
Cuts: TJ Edwards, Paul Worrilow, Alex Singleton and Joey Alfieri
Notes: Don’t be shocked if LJ Fort is traded before final cuts. After the Eagles signed UDFA TJ Edwards, I started thinking about him making the roster. There’s two reasons to this though. Being able to keep that 2020 fourth-round comp pick if they were to trade LJ is one. TJ Edwards being good and a real middle linebacker is the second. I think LJ Fort is a good player don’t get me wrong it’s just trading him for like a 2020 seventh-round pick would basically be like getting two picks back and saving some room on the cap. The Eagles shouldn’t do this unless they think TJ Edwards is good enough to compete right away though. It’s just my Madden Franchise Mode brain kicking in right now… lol. If they don’t do this maybe you can sneak TJ on the practice squad.
Cuts: Josh Hawkins, Jay Liggins and Jeremiah McKinnon.
Notes: There’s a bunch of things going on with the cornerbacks on this team. Between Jalen Mills maybe being on the PUP list to start the year to Sidney Jones or Rasul Douglas maybe getting traded. I think one of those three things will happen. Darby and Maddox will probably be the starters outside. In the nickel it’s between Cre’Von and Sidney and I’m picking Cre’Von to win that. Then Rasul and Jalen are your red zone corner backs and boom that leaves you with Sidney Jones. I hope I’m wrong about Sidney, but I don’t think he’s good. It hurts to say because I wanted him so bad out of Washington. I loved the pick in the second round. The move has just backfired completely. I don’t know if you trade him or just keep on to him and make him your starter next year when Darby walks if that happens? I don’t know. I’m happy I don’t have to make that decision. As for practice squad guys I like Jay Liggins a ton. He responded to my DM on twitter, I’m a biased guy.
Cuts: Tre Sullivan, Trae Elston, Godwin Igwebuike and Deiondre’ Hall
Notes: Tre Sullivan is a good player. It sucks having to cut him because he will get picked up. He is the 54th man for me and having 5 safeties isn’t the smartest thing to have. If the Eagles were to put Mills on the PUP or they trade one the guys I mentioned they could sneak him on here. Tre has been coached up by Malcolm Jenkins and Cory Undlin for two years. If I were the Eagles I’d keep Sullivan and cut/trade Sendjio just because of the other fourth-round comp they would gain. It probably won’t happen though. I’ll miss the hard hits he put on people, but the reality is Blake Countless is a better player and a pretty good kick returner. He’s a better special teams player as well.
Notes: This is what it will be. Jake Elliott is making the Pro Bowl this year.
(Pro Credits: BILL STREICHER/USA TODAY SPORTS)
Currently a junior at Penn State. Broadcast Journalism Major. Processor enthusiast, Carson Wentz is my dad.