The 2022-2023 season is quickly approaching, with the final roster deadline looming on Tuesday, August 30. Teams across the league must cut their roster down from 80 players to 53, leaving one preseason game left for players to pull out all the stops.
Last season the Philadelphia Eagles finished with a 9-8 record, advancing to the playoffs and are hoping for a repeat performance this season. After revamping their roster throughout the offseason, below are my 53-man roster predictions.
PHILADELPHIA EAGLES ROSTER PREDICTIONS
Quarterback (3): Jalen Hurts, Gardner Minshew, Reid Sinnett
Jalen Hurts is our guy and has shown tremendous improvement compared to last season. His decision making is faster, his passes are more concise, and his targets are clearer. Hurts played for a short time in the Eagles’ first preseason game against the New York Jets, finishing six for six and a 158.3 quarterback rating.
Despite Minshew trying to become Philadelphia’s starting QB last season, he is a reliable backup. He’s had the opportunity to play in both preseason games so far, completing 22 of 29 passes for 223 yards. Sinnett had a good training camp, throwing a 55-yard touchdown in Philadelphia’s second preseason game.
Running back (4): Miles Sanders, Boston Scott, Kenneth Gainwell, Jason Huntley
Four running backs may be one too many, but with Miles Sanders’ recent injury, the Eagles can’t be too sure he’ll be around for the entire season. Though it’s predicted he’ll be back by Week 1, he’s missed two weeks of practice already.
In Sanders’ absence, Boston Scott and Kenneth Gainwell have seen their fair share of the field. Huntley has played in both preseason games as well, rushing for 70 yards and one touchdown. He may not receive a lot of actual playing time in the regular-season, but he’s a reliable back-up in the event he’s needed.
Wide receiver (6): A.J. Brown, DeVonta Smith, Quez Watkins, Zach Pascal, Deon Cain, Jalen Reagor
I don’t like the fact that Jalen Reagor is on this list, but for whatever reason, I don’t see the Eagles parting ways with him. Though there’s been trade rumors, Reagor hasn’t proved himself enough for another team to want him. I think his time will be limited to special teams because the Eagles can’t afford to take any chances on dropped passes this season.
A.J. Brown, DeVonta Smith, Quez Watkins, and Zach Pascal are locks. Brown and Smith have been go-to targets for quarterback Jalen Hurts and should prove to be one of the top receiving corps in league this season. Watkins adds speed and Pascal has made a handful of nice plays this offseason despite missing a series of practices due to illness.
Deon Cain has given the wide receiver group a run for their money. Despite players like Devon Allen and Britain Covey playing well, Cain brings a veteran presence. He led the Eagles with five receptions for 66 yards in their second preseason game and he should see more playing time this weekend against the Miami Dolphins.
Tight end (3): Dallas Goedert, Jack Stoll, Grant Calcaterra
Dallas Goedert is certainly TE1, becoming one of the best tight ends in the league.
Stoll has been with the Eagles since last season, and though he hasn’t played much, he will be a reliable back-up. Grant Calcaterra joined Philadelphia this season, and despite missing some time in training camp, he could be worth keeping around since the Eagles invested in him as a draft pick.
Offensive line (9): Jordan Mailata, Landon Dickerson, Jason Kelce, Isaac Seumalo, Lane Johnson, Andre Dillard, Sua Opeta, Cam Jurgens, Jack Driscoll
Philadelphia’s starters are undoubtedly Jordan Mailata, Landon Dickerson, Jason Kelce, Isaac Seumalo, and Lane Johnson. The offensive line is one of the best, if not the best offensive line in the league. They are a powerhouse individually, and together, they blow other O-lines around the league out of the water.
Despite mediocre performances since Dillard was drafted in 2019, he has shown improvements this offseason. Opeta and Driscoll bring a veteran presence, and are already familiar with their respective positions.
Creating a massive reputation for himself is Cam Jurgens. In two preseason games he has already proven to the Eagles that he was worth his draft pick. Some critics are calling him ‘Jason Kelce 2.0’ and though Kelce’s talent is untouchable, Jurgens will be a heck of a replacement when Kelce decides to retire. Jurgen is expected to play in the Eagles’ last preseason game against the Miami Dolphins as Kelce is still out following his elbow injury.
Defensive end (4): Brandon Graham, Josh Sweat, Tarron Jackson, Derek Barnett
Brandon Graham is back after a 2021 season-ending injury, and he’s been playing like a young star again. As the longest-tenured athlete in Philadelphia, he brings an undeniable energy to the Eagles and is a massive asset to the team.
Sweat has been with the Eagles since 2018, playing his best season in 2021. He had a career-high 45 total tackles, 7.5 sacks, and four passes defended. Sweat will complement Graham well, and hopefully fans will see another stellar performance out of him in 2022.
Despite the highest number of penalties last season, Barnett had an equally high number of quarterback hits. The Eagles signed him to a two-year contract extension so he will definitely make the active roster. Jackson hasn’t played much since joining the Eagles, but he has three veterans to learn from.
Defensive tackle (5): Fletcher Cox, Javon Hargrave, Jordan Davis, Milton Williams, Marlon Tuipulotu
Veteran Fletcher Cox had a very slow start last season and many fans thought his time was coming to and end. Despite the Eagles releasing him, he was signed one day later and hopefully will have a stronger showing this time around.
Opposite of Cox, Hargrave had a great season last year. He finished with a career-high 63 tackles and 7.5 sacks. He was also selected to the Pro Bowl for the first time. As Cox nears retirement, Hargrave should give the Eagles something great to fall back on.
Jordan Davis is making waves already. The Eagles traded up for him in this year’s NFL Draft and he adds speed, talent, and athleticism to his massive size. In both of Philadelphia’s preseason games thus far, multiple players have been needed to take him down, creating a gap on the opposing teams’ offense for the Eagles to take control.
Both Williams and Tuipulotu were drafted last season, and though they haven’t been completely impressive, they will be solid back-ups to the line.
Linebacker (7): Kyzir White, T.J. Edwards, Haason Reddick, Davion Taylor, Shaun Bradley, Nakobe Dean, Kyron Johnson
These players are one of Philadelphia’s best linebacker groups in years. White and Reddick are returning back to their hometown, as they look to impress the Philadelphia Eagles.
Edwards is one of Nick Sirianni’s favorite players, and became a crucial part of the defense last season after Eric Wilson was waived in Week 8. In the latter half of the year, he recorded 44 tackles, three tackles for a loss, one interception, and a fumble recovery.
Taylor hasn’t played much with the team, and he didn’t have the best preseason performance last week, but he adds depth. Bradley adds value on special teams, and though Johnson and Dean are fresh out of their collegiate career, they should find their footing fairly quickly.
Cornerback (4): Darius Slay, James Bradberry, Avonte Maddox, Zech McPhearson
Philadelphia fans should see an immense performance out of this cornerback group. Slay was named a NFL Top 100 Player this year and last season, he pulled out an unforgettable appearance with three interceptions (one for a touchdown), and two fumble recoveries for 116 yards and two touchdowns. The four-time Pro Bowler will stand opposite of another Pro Bowler — James Bradberry.
Maddox and McPhearson are also locks. It’s possible the Eagles alter their roster and sign a fifth cornerback. It would make sense given their crowded group, but no one has made significant waves in training camp.
Safety (5): Marcus Epps, Anthony Harris, K’Von Wallace, Andre Chachere, Josiah Scott
Epps and Harris are projected to start on opposite sides.
Though there were high hopes for Wallace since he was drafted in 2020, he has struggled a bit. However, his ability to play on special teams will be the indication he stays. Chachere also adds value on special teams.
Scott can play both safety and cornerback which essentially fills the fifth spot in the cornerback group if needed.
Kicker (1): Jake Elliott
Jake Elliott had a massive 2021 season. He completed 30 of 33 field goals for a 90.9% success rate, ranking 7th-best in the NFL and setting an Eagles’ franchise record. Last season he was selected to his first Pro Bowl.
He will entering 2022, building on his 118 career field goals, as he trails David Akers for the most in Eagles’ history.
Punter (1): Arryn Siposs
Siposs started the 2021 season off strong with a crazy kicking leg, but as the season kept progressing, his accuracy decreased. Out of 29 qualifying punters, he ranked 24th in the league, and only 17 of his 55 punts landed inside of the 20-yard line.
The Eagles originally signed him to a three-year deal so he will definitely be around another season.
Longsnapper (1): Rick Lovato
Lovato has been with the Eagles for six seasons and will certainly return for 2022. He was selected for the Pro Bowl in 2019 for the first time.