Following the NFL draft, it’s time for the first 55 man roster projection for the Philadelphia Eagles. With rosters expanding by two spots, it will be interesting to see who makes the week one team. Undrafted rookies will likely have a tougher time as well, given that OTAs and training camps are in doubt. With that being said, here is my first edition of the Eagles 55-man roster prediction for the 2020 season.
Quarterback (3): Carson Wentz, Jalen Hurts, Nate Sudfeld
These three are practically locked to make the roster. The bigger question surrounding the quarterback room is: what will Jalen Hurts’ role look like? If the coaching staff doesn’t think Hurts is ready to play quarterback, it’s possible the team could have three quarterbacks active on game day as well. Kyle Lauletta is a candidate to make the practice squad for the second year in a row.
Running Back (3): Miles Sanders, Boston Scott, Corey Clement
With Jordan Howard gone, Miles Sanders will be the Eagles’ starting running back in 2020. Boston Scott and Corey Clement both add value in the passing game as well. It will be interesting to see if the Eagles try to acquire another running back, particularly a goal-line back.
Elijah Holyfield, Adrian Killins Jr., and Michael Warren are the other three running backs on the roster. None of them has an NFL carry to his name, but any of them could earn a roster spot if the Eagles don’t sign another running back and decide to keep a fourth running back at the start of the season. However, as of now, I’m only projecting three running backs to make the team.
Wide Receiver (7): DeSean Jackson, Jalen Reagor, Marquise Goodwin, Greg Ward Jr., John Hightower, JJ Arcega-Whiteside, Quez Watkins
Out of every position on the team, the wide receiver was easily the most difficult to project. If healthy, DeSean Jackson is the Eagles’ number one wideout, while first-round rookie Jalen Reagor is their number two. Now the decision becomes much tougher.
Should JJ Arcega-Whiteside make this team? No, he proved he doesn’t have a ton of talent in his rookie year. Is he going to make this team? Yes, Howie Roseman likely doesn’t want to give up on a former second-round pick so easily.
The Eagles swapped sixth-round picks with the 49ers to acquire Marquise Goodwin. While Goodwin is far from a lock to make the team, it would take him having a horrible preseason for that to be the case.
Greg Ward Jr. made the most of his opportunity to play last season alongside an abysmal Eagles’ receiving corps. His spot on the team should be safe.
The Eagles took John Hightower in the fifth round, and Quez Watkins in the sixth round. It’s tough to project a rookie getting cut, but if either one struggles during the preseason, their job is far from safe, especially if the Eagles decide to keep only seven receivers.
The Eagles have seven other receivers on the team, but six of them are likely camp bodies. If Alshon Jeffery isn’t traded, he’ll likely start the year on the PUP list.
Tight End (3): Zach Ertz, Dallas Goedert, Joshua Perkins
Zach Ertz and Dallas Goedert are one of the best tight end tandems in the NFL, and that should be no different in 2020. The bigger question here is who will earn the third tight end spot. The competition would be between Joshua Perkins and Alex Ellis.
Perkins made some encouraging plays down the stretch of last season, so I’ll give him the slight nod over Ellis. However, Ellis is the better blocker, so Philly may want to keep four tight ends at the start of the year.
Offensive Line (9): Andre Dillard, Isaac Seumalo, Jason Kelce, Brandon Brooks, Lane Johnson, Jack Driscoll, Matt Pryor, Jordan Mailata, Nate Herbig
The bigger question surrounding the offensive line is whether or not the team will re-sign Jason Peters. While Andre Dillard projected to be the starting left tackle, there have been reports the team isn’t sure if he is ready to be the starter. Other reports have said it’s “only a matter of time” until the team re-signs Peters. However, for the moment, I’ll leave him off the team.
Isaac Seumalo, Jason Kelce, Brandon Brooks, and Lane Johnson should start across the offensive line from left guard to right tackle, barring a preseason injury.
Jack Driscoll was a fourth-round pick by the team and should help replace Halipoulivaati Vaitai as a swing tackle.
Matt Pryor filled in nicely late in the season for an injured Brandon Brooks land should be a solid backup guard.
Jordan Mailata and Nate Herbig have each played limited numbers of snaps in the NFL, but should make the team for 2020. Herbig’s spot may not be as safe if the Eagles bring back Jason Peters.
Defensive Line (10): Brandon Graham, Fletcher Cox, Javon Hargrave, Malik Jackson, Derek Barnett, Josh Sweat, Hassan Ridgeway, Genard Avery, Shareef Miller, Casey Toohill
Quietly, Javon Hargrave was an excellent signing at defensive tackle for the Eagles. Having Hargrave will take some of the pressure off of Fletcher Cox, who had a down year in 2019. Malik Jackson will return from a Lisfranc injury that cost him all but two quarters of football last season.
Brandon Graham and Derek Barnett project to be Philly’s week one starting defensive ends. The Eagles picked up Barnett’s fifth-year option, so it will be interesting to see if he can take that next step forward in his game in 2020.
As of right now, Vinny Curry remains a free agent, so I’m leaving him off the roster. If he re-signs, he will be their third defensive end.
Josh Sweat made some nice plays in 2019 and is a lock to make the team. Genard Avery made little to no impact for the team after they acquired him at the trade deadline. However, he should make the team as a depth defensive end in 2020. Shareef Miller, despite being a fourth round rookie in 2019, did not play a single defensive snap for Philly last season. It will be interesting to see if he can get some looks on the field for next season.
Hassan Ridgeway is solid as a fourth defensive tackle on the roster. Ridgeway filled in nicely for Malik Jackson last season, before suffering a season-ending injury.
The Eagles selected Casey Toohill out of Stanford late in the seventh round. For the moment, I’ll put him on the roster, but he’ll likely be a practice squad guy if Philly re-signs Vinny Curry.
Linebacker (6): Nate Gerry, Jatavis Brown, T.J. Edwards, Duke Riley, Davion Taylor, Shaun Bradley
Along with the receiver position, the linebacker group is definitely a weak spot for the Eagles. After the team lost Kamu Grugier-Hill and Nigel Bradham, Nate Gerry projects to be their top linebacker.
Jatavis Brown is not a lock to make the team after he had a down year with the Chargers in 2019. However, he’s shown he can be productive at the NFL level, having played well for San Diego in 2017 and 2018.
T.J. Edwards was an undrafted free agent last year and showed some flashes of potential. He may be Philadelphia’s second linebacker for next season.
The Eagles acquired Duke Riley from Atlanta midway through last season. He’s a lock to make the team for his value on special teams.
Davion Taylor felt like a reach for the Eagles in the third round. It will be interesting to see what he can bring to the table for the team next season, although I suspect his playing time will be limited.
Shaun Bradley was a sixth-round pick out of Temple. He’ll likely see the field as a special teamer, and could be forced into action on defense for Philly in 2020.
I left Alex Singleton off the roster, but he has a chance to make the team as a special teamer in 2020 as well.
Cornerback (7): Darius Slay, Avonte Maddox, Cre’Von LeBlanc, Sidney Jones IV, Nickell Robey-Coleman, Rasul Douglas, Craig James
Arguably the Eagles’ most important offseason acquisition was acquiring Darius Slay from Detroit to be their shutdown corner. The Eagles cornerbacks struggled mightily last season, so Jim Schwartz will be relying heavily on Slay to perform well in 2020.
Despite some struggles last season, Avonte Maddox projects to be the Eagles’ other starting cornerback alongside Slay. Hopefully, having Slay on the other side will take some of the pressure off Maddox.
The Eagles signed Nickell Robey-Coleman to a one-year deal, and he projects to be their starting nickelback. He’s been a solid nickelback for the Rams since 2017.
Cre’Von LeBlanc is a fan favorite and has played well in limited action the past two seasons. Through three seasons, Sidney Jones IV looks like another second-round bust made by Howie Roseman. Hopefully, he can turn that around in 2020.
Rasul Douglas will likely be traded by week one of the 2020 season, but for the moment, I’ll leave him on the roster.
Craig James likely won’t play at corner much next season but brings a lot of value as a special teamer.
Safety (4): Rodney McLeod Jr., Jalen Mills, K’Von Wallace, Will Parks
Rodney McLeod Jr. had his worst season as an Eagle in 2019 but got a one year contract in the offseason. Hopefully, he can return to form now that he’s two years removed from the torn MCL that cost him most of the 2018 season.
At the moment, it appears the Eagles are planning on having Jalen Mills move to safety, replacing Malcolm Jenkins for the 2020 season. Mills has an infinite amount of confidence, and it will be interesting to see how he performs at the new position next season.
K’Von Wallace projects to be the third safety after the Eagles selected him in the fourth round of the draft. He had a great season in 2019 at Clemson.
Hometown kid Will Parks signed with the Eagles on a one year deal after he spent the first four years of his career on the Broncos. He is also a lock to make the team.
If the Eagles choose to carry five safeties, Marcus Epps, and Rudy Ford will likely battle for that final spot.
Kicker (1): Jake Elliott
Jake Elliott connected on 22 of 26 attempts last season and signed a five-year extension at the end of the year.
Punter (1): Cameron Johnston
Cameron Johnston averaged 46.4 yards per punt last year, ranking ninth in the NFL. Philly doesn’t have another punter on their team right now.
Long Snapper (1): Rick Lovato
Rick Lovato is the only long snapper on the Eagles roster and has done a solid job for the team since 2017. Not much else to say here.
PUP (2): Alshon Jeffery, Daeshon Hall
It’s unclear if Alshon Jeffery has any trade value left. If the Eagles can’t find a suitor, he’ll likely begin the year on the PUP list as he recovers from the Lisfranc injury he suffered towards the end of last season.
Daeshon Hall was never a lock to make the roster. He suffered a torn ACL in week 17 last year, so the Eagles will likely stash him on the PUP for the start of 2020.
Injured Reserve (1): Prince Tega Wanogho
Prince Tega Wanogho was a sixth-round pick by the Eagles, but he isn’t fully recovered from a knee injury he suffered in college. Most likely, the Eagles will choose to stash him on IR for 2020.
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