We're under two weeks from cut-down day where all NFL teams must cut down their rosters from 90 to 53. That process almost always includes tough cuts & tough moments but it has to happen. So here is my 53-man prediction after two weeks of preseason.
Reminder: * = Practice Squad candidate
QB: Jalen Hurts, Marcus Mariota, Tanner McKee
Cut: Ian Book
I doubt this will surprise many people. The QB room is all but set in Philadelphia as Tanner McKee has balled out & Ian Book has struggled. Book didn't find the field on Thursday. While Marcus Mariota has struggled, he's their backup QB whether it's popular or not. He's an expierenced veteran who resembles a similar ability to use his legs like Jalen Hurts. The Eagles would also never have a rookie QB be the backup.
HB: D'Andre Swift, Rashaad Penny, Kenny Gainwell, Boston Scott
Cut: Trey Sermon*, Kennedy Brooks
This one is a little tougher. Trey Sermon is a player the Eagles really like. This isn't a given, either. Sermon has gotten first team reps in camp. He definitely has a shot at a roster spot but I just don't see it happening. D'Andre Swift is a guy the team is really high on as a weapon out of the backfield, Rashaad Penny is too talented to cut & Kenny Gainwell provides some stability.
So the real discussion to me is between Trey Sermon & Boston Scott. Although I think they'll end up keeping Scott & his fully guaranteed salary would be tough to cut. But with Trey Sermon returning kicks in preseason & that being Boston Scott's job, could it be something they think about? Maybe, but probably not.
WR: AJ Brown, DeVonta Smith, Quez Watkins, Olamide Zaccheaus, Britain Covey
Cut: Greg Ward*, Deon Cain, Joseph Ngata*, Devon Allen,
The Eagles WR room will look very similar to last year. I think you're just replacing Zach Pascal with Olamide Zaccheaus. Different play-styles but same role as 4th WR. As for British Covey, I thought he did well down the stretch of last season. He's a guy who I assume will continue to improve & get better. Not much else to really talk about here.
TE: Dallas Goedert, Grant Calcaterra, Jack Stoll
Cut: Dan Arnold, Tyree Jackson*, Brady Russell
I think, like WR, the Eagles' TE room will look very similar to last season. Calcaterra & Stoll are young guys who have been here for multiple years now so I think the Eagles lean towards them as the two backup TEs. Tyree Jackson is a fun story but he's never found his footing. I think he's a practice squad candidate at most.
OT: Lane Johnson, Jordan Mailata, Dennis Kelly, Jack Driscoll
IOL: Landon Dickerson, Jason Kelce, Cam Jurgens, Tyler Steen,
Cut: Sua Opeta Josh Sills*, Josh Andrews, the field
I think this can be debated. Maybe Opeta or Sills make the team. Driscoll & Steen are both flexible & can play both guard & tackle so they were obvious choices. As for everything else, maybe a Kelly/Driscoll gets cut? Possible but doubt it.
IDL: Fletcher Cox, Jalen Carter, Jordan Davis, Milton Williams, Marlon Tuipulotu
Cut: Moro Ojomo*, Kentavius Street, the field
DE: Haason Reddick, Josh Sweat, Brandon Graham, Derek Barnett, Nolan Smith, Patrick Johnson
Cut: Tarron Jackson*, Janarius Robinson*,
I think the defensive line is just about set. The only questions are the fifth DT spot, assuming they keep 5 & if they keep two on the practice squad. I would've leaned Moro Ojomo over Marlon Tuipulotu but I think the injury Ojomo suffered Thursday night changes things.
LB: Nakobe Dean, Zach Cunningham, Christian Elliss, Nicholas Morrow, Myles Jack
Cut: Ben VanSumeren*, Kyron Johnson*
This is where things get tough. With Shaun Bradley out for the season with an achilles injury it opens another spot. I think that spot goes to Myles Jack. I don't think he'll be a starter but I think he makes the roster. If I were to predict, we see Dean/Cunningham start week 1.
CB: Darius Slay, James Bradberry IV, Avonte Maddox, Josh Jobe, Kelee Ringo, Mario Goodrich
Cut: Eli Ricks*, Mekhi Garner*, Josiah Scott
Well this might stir the pot. With Zech McPhearson going down, it leaves the Eagles with no backup slot CB with experience. Enter Mario Goodrich & you have a player who's played there at the college level. As for Eli Ricks, I think he's too raw a player right now to make the initial 53-man. But if he clears waivers he'll almost certainly be brought back on the practice squad.
S: Reed Blankenship, Terrell Edmunds, Sydney Brown, K'Von Wallace
Cut: Justin Evans
This is probably what everyone thinks will happen. Only question is who'll start alongside Reed Blankenship. My prediction is there'll be a rotation mainly consisting of Edmunds & Wallace.
K: Jake Elliott
P: Arryn Siposs
LS: Rick Lovato
With Ty Zentner getting cut there is nothing to discuss. This will how their special teams will look like.
We will revisit this August 29th as it'll give all of you an opportunity to clown me for my misses.