Predicting the 53-Man Roster

As we near the NFL’s “cut-day”, Holden and I take a crack at projecting the 2017 Super Bowl Champion Philadelphia Eagles 53-man roster.  What’s on the line?  Pride.  Maybe lunch.  Probably just pride.

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Holden

Quarterback (2) – Carson Wentz, Nick Foles

Come on everybody, make some noise!

Running Back (4) – LeGarrette Blount, Darren Sproles, Wendell Smallwood, Corey Clement

I’m pretty sure Pumphrey is going to go on the IR, so that cleared up the running back battle. Corey Clement makes the team.

Wide Receiver (6) – Alshon Jeffery, Torrey Smith, Nelson Agholor, Mack Hollins, Marcus Johnson, Bryce Treggs

A lot of others think Greg Ward makes the team, but there is a case to be made for stashing him on the practice squad. Treggs was very impressive in the preseason, and has the speed to make him worth keeping on the roster. Shelton Gibson was a fifth round pick, but I think he’d be best served on the practice squad or on IR.

Tight End (3) – Zach Ertz, Trey Burton, Brent Celek

No real surprises here, either.

Offensive Line (9) – Jason Peters, Dillon Gordon, Isaac Seumalo, Jason Kelce, Stefen Wisniewski, Brandon Brooks, Chance Warmack, Lane Johnson, Halapoulivaati Vaitai

I think the Eagles would be best served trading Jason Kelce, but that probably won’t happen, so this is the Offensive line as currently constructed.

Defensive End (5) – Brandon Graham, Vinny Curry, Derek Barnett, Chris Long, Steven Means

Nothing to see here.

Defensive Tackle (5) – Fletcher Cox, Timmy Jernigan, Beau Allen, Destiny Vaeao, Elijah Qualls

Five defensive tackles is a lot, but the team is thin at linebacker, so I think they keep an extra tackle.

Linebacker (6) – Jordan Hicks, Nigel Bradham, Najee Goode, Nate Gerry, Kamu Grugier-Hill, Joe Walker

It is public information that Mychal Kendricks doesn’t want to be with the Eagles this year, and he played pretty well during the preseason. I think that there will be a willing trade partner before the regular season.

Cornerback (6) – Ron Darby, Jalen Mills, Patrick Robinson, Rasul Douglas, Dexter McDougle, Jaylen Watkins

Jaylen Watkins is a surprise to me, but he had a good preseason and provides good depth at corner and safety.

Safety (4) – Malcolm Jenkins, Rodney McLeod, Corey Graham, Chris Maragos

No surprises here.

Kicker (1) – Caleb Sturgis

Punter (1) – Donnie Jones

Long Snapper (1) – Rick Lovato

Bet the house.


Matt’s Picks

Quarterback (3) – Carson Wentz, Nick Foles, Pat McGroin Matt McGloin

I don’t buy all of the talk about Nick Foles being 100% healthy.  I’d expect them to keep McGloin for a week or two and then cut him once the former Pro-Bowl MVP gets healthy.

Running Back (4) – LeGarrette Blount, Darren Sproles, Wendell Smallwood, Corey Clement

Perfect time for a head injury!  Thanks Donnel!  Clement wouldn’t have made the team, but if Pumphrey does indeed go on IR, he’ll have a spot on the roster.

Wide Receiver (6) – Alshon Jeffery, Torrey Smith, Nelson Agholor, Mack Hollins, Marcus Johnson, Shelton Gibson

I’d love to see the Eagles do something innovative and keep Greg Ward as a 6th WR/3rd QB, but I doubt they do it.  Shelton Gibson makes the cut as the Eagles brass tries to save face and not cut too many of their own draft picks.  Treggs has flashed in a Paul Turner role (read: dump passes underneath) but I think they see the bigger picture with Gibson and are willing to keep him inactive on game-day as he adjusts to the NFL.

Tight End (3) – Zach Ertz, Brent Celek, Trey Burton

Yawn.  Maybe some of you want Billy Brown on here.  I don’t see it.

Offensive Line (9) – Jason Peters, Isaac Seumalo, Jason Kelce, Brandon Brooks, Lane Johnson, Halapoulivaati Vaitai, Stefen Wisniewski, Dillon Gordon, Chance Warmack

Easy group to predict.  Warmack has been a disappointment but the legendary, infallible Jeff Stoutland will fight to keep his prized Tuscaloosan mammoth.  Don’t be shocked if Dallas Thomas takes his spot or is kept around to start the season – he’s been extremely solid throughout camp and preseason.

Defensive End (5) – Brandon Graham, Vinny Curry, Derek Barnett, Chris Long, Steven Means

I had the Eagles keeping six ends before Alex McCalister went down with a hamstring injury.  Jim Schwartz gets what he wants simply because he’s a louder voice in the room versus Jeff, Howie, and Doug.  If McCalister is 100% healthy and Jim wants him, Jim will get him.

Defensive Tackle (5) – Fletcher Cox, Timmy Jernigan, Beau Allen, Destiny Vaeao, Elijah Qualls

Welcome back Beau!  Another seemingly easy group.

Linebacker (5) – Jordan Hicks, Nigel Bradham, Mychal Kendricks, Najee Goode, Kamu Grugier-Hill

Nate Gerry doesn’t make the cut – another Day 3 whiff by Howie.

Cornerback (6) – Ronald Darby, Jalen Mills, Patrick Robinson, Rasul Douglas, Dexter McDougle, Jaylen Watkins

Jaylen Watkins sneaks in after a strong preseason; his flexibility to line up anywhere in the secondary helps him out immensely.

Safety (4) – Malcolm Jenkins, Rodney McLeod, Corey Graham, Chris Maragos

Don’t expect anything earth-shattering here.

Kicker (1) – Caleb Sturgis

Punter (1) – Donnie Jones

Long Snapper (1) – Rick Lovato

Rick Lovato follows the footsteps of prior long snapping legends Mike Bartram and Jon Dorenbos.  I hope Philadelphians cry when we trade him in 2026.

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