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The NFL season is almost here after a strange offseason due to COVID-19. NFL Cut Day kind of snuck up on us with no preseason games this year which makes the coaching staff decisions even more difficult. Training Camp is about finish which means the Eagles and the rest of the NFL must get their roster down to 53 players by this Saturday Sept 5th at 4pm And with it on the horizon I think it's time for my one and only Eagles 53 Man Roster Prediction(unlike my co host Johnny that has one on the podcast almost every week). Here is how I see it shaping out after Saturday's roster cuts.
Quarterbacks(3)- Keep: Carson Wentz, Nate Sudfeld, Jalen Hurts (3) Cut: None -There really isn't much debate here. Wentz is your starter barring injury. The only real question is by mid season who will be the Eagles backup. I think after Hurts' decent camp and picking up the offense, I see him overtaking Sudfeld as the Eagles #2 before season end.
Running Backs(4)- Keep: Miles Sanders, Boston Scott, Corey Clement, Adrian Killins Jr; (7) Cut: Elijah Holyfield, Michael Warren
-Miles Sanders will obviously be your lead back and take on the heavy workload. I think with the lack of offseason and no preseason, Scott and Clement are locks since they bring that familiarity and veteran presence to the backfield. What some might ask is why Killins over Michael Warren or Elijah Holyfield? I feel the back the Eagles are using Killins not only as a back but as wide out and on special teams in the return game makes me think they have some role for him this season. Holyfield and Warren if pass waivers will be put on the practice squad.
Wide Receivers(6)- Keep: Desean Jackson, Jalen Reagor, J.J Arcega-Whiteside, Greg Ward, John Hightower, Deontay Burnett; (13)
IR: Alshon Jeffery Cut-Quez Watkins, Manasseh Bailey, Travis Fulgham, Marcus Green
-This was surprisingly difficult since all have impressed this Training Camp and with the Eagles lack of experience on the roster at the position besides starter Desean Jackson and no tape besides practice it's difficult. Jackson Reagor and Ward are your starters. and I don't see the Eagles giving up him yet on last year's 2nd round selection Arcega-Whiteside. The last spot I feel comes down to Burnett and Watkins. I know Howie usually doesn't go against his draft picks but feel Burnett and Hightower have shined better in camp which leaves Watkins out and likely picked up by another team or practice squad. However with Jeffery not coming back until likely October and Reagor is out a few weeks with a torn labrum injury, it wouldn't surprise me if the Eagles might keep one extra wideout.
Keep: Zach Ertz, Dallas Goedert, Noah Togiai (16) Cut: Caleb Wilson, Tyrone Swoopes
-With the amount of wide outs I expect the Birds to keep, im surprised I have them keeping 3 tight ends but Noah Togiai has really come along this camp after the injury to TE Josh Perkins. And Doug Pederson did discuss about them using 13 Personnel in their offensive scheme which makes me think they keep an extra tight end.
Keep: Matt Pryor, Isaac Seamulo, Jason Kelce, Jason Peters, Lane Johnson, Jack Driscoll, Prince Tega Wanogho, Nate Herbig, Jordan Mailata (25) IR: Brandon Brooks, Andre Dillard Cut- Julian Good-Jones, Luke Juriga, Sua Opeta,
-Eagles already down two starters from the projected Day 1 lineup and a lot of uncertainty on who will starting at Left Tackle week 1. It looks like with Peters reportedly unwilling to move from right guard to his natural position at LT, that Matt Pryor will be out their week 1 blocking Carson Wentz's blindside. If he struggles, they could look at Driscoll or Mailata who I think sneaks his way onto the roster after the Dillard injury, to fill that role.
Defensive Line(10)- Keep: Brandon Graham, Derek Barnett, Josh Sweat, Vinny Curry, Casey Toohill, Fletcher Cox, Javon Hargrave, Malik Jackson, Hassan Ridgeway (35) Cut: Shareef Miller, Genard Avery, Anthony Rush, Raequan Williams, T.Y. McGill
-The Eagles d-line is not only the strength of their defense but arguably the team especially with that interior rush from Hargrave and Cox along with Jackson providing depth. Jim Schwartz always like keeping his defensive lineman fresh with a rotation so they have a history of going heavy on cut day with this group. Unfortunately former 4th round pick Shareef Miller who didn't dress his rookie season hasn't been able to get on the field and Gernard Avery who they traded a 4th rounder for, has been plagued by injuries this camp. Rush and Williams along with Miller could be candidates for the practice squad.
Keep: Nathan Gerry, T.J. Edwards, Duke Riley, Davion Taylor, Shaun Bradley (40) Cut: Alex Singleton
-A real concern on the defensive is the unknown with the linebacking core. They go with Nathan Gerry, T.J Edwards and Duke Riley likey as their starters. They drafted Taylor and Bradley and with the Eagles likely playing quite a bit of nickel and dime sets with only two linebackers on the field unfortunately means Singleton is likely the odd man out.
Cornerback(5)- Keep: Darius Slay, Avonte Maddox, Nickell Robey-Coleman, Cre'Von LeBlanc, Rasul Douglas (45) Cut: Sidney Jones, Craig James, Trevor Williams
-Slay, Maddox and Robey-Coleman are your locks as your starters in nickel. I think the Sidney Jones experiment needs to end since he continues to show he can't stay healthy but wouldn't surprise me if Howie is too stubborn to move on. As much as Douglas has struggled this camp, the Eagles don't have players besides him with his size to play outside if in a bind and brings versatility to play safety if needed. Good friend of AATBirds Podcast Craig James is on the bubble but due to the numbers game he will be practice squad bound.
Keep: Rodney McLeod, Jalen Mills, Will Parks, K'Von Wallace, Marcus Epps; (50)
Cut: Rudy Ford, Elijah Riley, Michael Jacquet
-McLeod and Mills are your starters and Will Parks was expected to see significant playing time in the Eagles 3-safety scheme but will be missing some time according to reports he will be sidelined for '4-6 weeks'. This year's 4th round pick K'Von Wallace has seen reps in practice but Doug Pederson has said before that safety and linebacker are the two of the harder positions to transition to from college to the Pros so I see them easing him into the defensive gameplan. The last spot came down to Epps and Ford and I gave Epps the edge because of special teams. Ford struggled lasted season in that role.
Kicker(1)-Jake Elliott (51)
Punter(1)- Cameron Johnston(52) Long Snapper(1)- Rick Lovato(53)
-Nothing to really debate here....
There you have it! The Eagle Jeff 1.0 and only 53 man Eagles Roster prediction... We will see come Saturday if the Eagles Brass agrees. This year is a 16 man practice squad so expect some of these cuts to make their way back if they squeak through waivers... All About the Birds! Where to Find us: Facebook- Click Here! Twitter- Click Here! Listen to the Podcast here