By Connor Thomas
Today marks the deadline for the NFL’s final preseason roster cuts to get down to the 53 man opening day roster. With the preseason officially over, the Eagles will join the rest of the NFL in the mass cuts that will occur over the course of the day on their way to building out the 2021-22 birds. Some positions are more set than others, but there are still plenty of questions surrounding some of the bubble players at certain positions. To avoid getting to caught up in the weeds, it’s not worth it to guess on each individual player’s fate, but what we can do is have a general idea of how many players the Eagles will decide to keep at each position. It isn’t the full picture, but let’s at least guess at the outline of the puzzle, shall we? Here’s my prediction for how many players are on the roster for each position group by the time 4pm rolls around today:
This is one of the more concrete positions. With Nick Mullens no longer with the team in favor of the newly acquired Gardner Minshew, it’ll be Minshew, Joe Flacco, and Jalen Hurts on the roster. Jamie Newman will almost certainly be released.
Last year the Eagles only kept 3 RBs, but I think that with Boston Scott and Kenneth Gainwell’s smaller stature, the birds could benefit from a 4th RB in case injuries pop up. Jordan Howard, Miles Sanders, Scott, and Gainwell all make the team.
The WR battle will be an interesting one. DeVonta Smith, Jalen Reagor, Quez Watkins, and Greg Ward are locks. The final 2 will be a combination of Travis Fulgham, JJ Arcega-Whiteside, and John Hightower. Arcega-Whiteside saved himself with a big TD against the Jets and Fulgham’s upside is still too high to just cut. Hightower is on the outside looking in.
Zack Ertz could still be moved, so carrying 3 TEs is prudent. Dallas Goedert and Richard Rodgers should both be on the team.
The starting 5 combination of Mailata, Seumalo, Kelce, Brooks, and Johnson will all obviously make the team, joined by Landon Dickerson and Andre Dillard for sure. It will help the Eagles to have another versatile backup due to the injury history of this unit. Jack Driscoll fills that position in my mind.
The birds keep one less DE than last year in my opinion. Brandon Graham, Derek Barnett, Josh Sweat, and Ryan Kerrigan are all locks, and Genard Avery slides in as well thanks to his ability to play LB as well.
Shockingly Fletcher Cox will probably make the team this year at the DT spot. I think he should also be joined by Javon Hargrave, Milton Williams, T.Y. McGill, and Hassan Ridgeway
Alex Singleton is the returning leader of the LB room, joined by new acquisition Eric Wilson. That room should be rounded out by Davion Taylor, Shaun Braldey, T.J. Edwards, and one of the surprises of camp, 6th rounder Patrick Johnson.
Darius Slay and Steven Nelson are your starters at corner this year, with Zech McPhearson, Avonte Maddox, and either Kevon Seymour or Josiah Scott filling out the last position. My money is on Seymour.
Rodney McLeod is back, and he is joined by Anthony Harris in the starting safety pairing. Add in K’Von Wallace, Marcus Epps, and Grayland Arnold, and you have your defensive backfield filled out.
Jake Elliott will be the kicker again for the birds this year
Arryn Siposs will be the Eagles punter in his first year with the team
LS: Rick Lovato
The best long snapper in football will be back again, rounding out the 2021-22 roster
Hopefully however the Eagles’ roster shakes out, they’ll be a little more competitive than their 6.5 wins line suggests. We’ll know for sure by 4pm today exactly how the Eagles’ 53 man roster will look, and then all the work that’s left is on the field for Nick Sirianni’s squad.