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With Philadelphia Eagles players scheduled to report to training camp on Tuesday, perhaps it makes some sense to project the final 53-man roster for the purpose of showing which players have work to do, and which ones will hope to hold onto their spots?
Yes? No? Whatever, let’s just do this.
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Quarterback (2): Jalen Hurts, Joe Flacco
Cuts (1): Nick Mullens
Hurts will start, and while I believe that Nick Mullens is just as good as Flacco, Flacco has a fully guaranteed $3.5 million contract, so he’s going to be the backup, barring an absolutely atrocious camp.
Because Mullens was still looking for a job deep into June, the Eagles can probably safely stash him on the practice squad for a rainy day.
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Running back (5): Miles Sanders, Boston Scott, Kenny Gainwell, Kerryon Johnson, Jason Huntley
Cuts (3): Jordan Howard, Adrian Killins, Elijah Holyfield
Running back is one of the Eagles’ deeper positions, so they may as well keep a surplus of them. In my opinion, Johnson is a more effective player in pass protection and even as a short-yardage runner than Howard, and that he’s beat Howard out for a backup spot, as long as he’s healthy (which remains in question). I also like Huntley’s chances of sticking because of his speed.
Wide receiver (6): DeVonta Smith, Jalen Reagor, Travis Fulgham, Greg Ward, Quez Watkins, J.J. Arcega-Whiteside
Cuts (3): John Hightower, Jhamon Ausbon, Michael Walker
The ages of the six receivers we have making the cut? 22, 22, 25, 26, 23, and 24. There were some who believed that the Eagles should add a veteran receiver to that group, and if this were a season in which the Eagles were considered a Super Bowl contender, I’d agree. Since they’re not, just go young!
I believe that Howie Roseman will hold onto hope that Arcega-Whiteside can begin to produce under a new offensive staff, so he’ll get one last shot to show something in real games this season. I’m not quite as high on Hightower’s chances on getting a second chance.
Tight end (3): Dallas Goedert, Richard Rodgers, Jack Stoll
Cuts (4): Caleb Wilson, Jason Croom, Hakeem Butler, Tyree Jackson
Traded (1): Zach Ertz
The Ertz situation still has to play out, but I remain unsold that he will be back with the team this season. DickRod is back for a another season, and take your pick between Stoll, Wilson, Croom, Butler, and Jackson on who will be the third tight end.
We’ll take Stoll for now, with very little confidence, and based on little more than that he received the highest amount of guaranteed money and the most lucrative signing bonus among the team’s undrafted free agents.
Offensive line (9): Jordan Mailata, Isaac Seumalo, Jason Kelce, Brandon Brooks, Lane Johnson, Landon Dickerson, Andre Dillard, Jack Driscoll, Nate Herbig
Cuts (8): Sua Opeta, Matt Pryor, Brett Toth, Luke Juriga, Kayode Awosika, Casey Tucker, Ross Pierschbacher, Harry Crider
PUP (1): Le’Raven Clark
There’s an outside chance the Eagles trade Dillard, but I wouldn’t hold your breath. I also wouldn’t be surprised if the Eagles kept 10 linemen, in which case I would have Opeta making the team over Pryor.
The offensive line is a rare spot where the Eagles have a surplus of depth, so look for Roseman to try to deal a backup lineman for either a pick or another player.
Defensive line (9): Brandon Graham, Fletcher Cox, Javon Hargrave, Derek Barnett, Josh Sweat, Ryan Kerrigan, Milton Williams, Marlon Tuipulotu, Tarron Jackson
Cuts (7): Hasson Ridgeway, T.Y. McGill, Joe Ostman, Raequan Williams, Willie Henry, Matt Leo, JaQuan Bailey
The first seven guys above are locks, while Tuipulotu, Ridgeway, and Jackson will compete for roster spots and playing time. Here we have two of those three guys sticking, with Ridgeway landing on the practice squad.