Projecting how things might turn out.
Now that the Philadelphia Eagles are done with their offseason spring workout program, the team will able to enjoy some time off before players start to report for training camp in late July. But while the teams rests, Bleeding Green Nation does not.
It’s time for an updated Eagles 53-man Roster projection. The last time we did one of these was back in mid-May. We’ve learned a lot about the Eagles’ roster since then. Philadelphia’s OTAs and minicamp practice sessions helped clear up some question marks on the depth chart. A lot of position battles are still yet to be won, but this activity will give us a general sense of what the final roster should look like. We’ll update these projections multiple times throughout the summer.
QB: Carson Wentz, Nick Foles, Nate Sudfeld (3) 
Wentz looks great. Barring any unforeseen setbacks, I fully expect him to start Week 1. Wentz’s health potentially makes Foles expendable if another team wants to trade for him. Otherwise, the Super Bowl MVP is a good insurance policy to have around if something happens to Wentz again. Sudfeld’s spring performance was very encouraging and I think he’s ready to be a No. 2 if needed. Joe Callahan looks better than Matt McGloin, so he’ll at least make preseason more watchable than last year.
RB: Jay Ajayi, Darren Sproles, Corey Clement, Matt Jones (4) 
Doug Pederson and Duce Staley have both acknowledged that Ajayi is their lead guy. With that said, the running back rotation isn’t going away. Sproles and Clement figure to be very much in the mix; they can both contribute in the passing attack. The fourth running back spot is still up for grabs. I’ll put Jones in the lead there because, as John Barchard mentioned on BGN Radio Episode 318, we overheard the Eagles coaching staff has liked what they’ve seen out of him. I wouldn’t entirely write off Donnel Pumphrey just yet but he’s far from a lock.
WR: Alshon Jeffery, Mike Wallace, Nelson Agholor, Mack Hollins, Shelton Gibson, Markus Wheaton (6) 
It remains to be seen exactly when Jeffery will return from his torn rotator cuff injury. With Jeffery out, the first team receivers have largely been Wallace and Hollins on the outside with Agholor working in the slot. Those top four guys are locked in. After that, there is some real competition for the fifth and sixth spots. I think the Eagles keep six because the talent warrants it. Gibson gets the nod for now because the 2017 fifth-round pick looks improved from last year. Wheaton has quietly been solid and offers proven NFL experience. Greg Ward, Bryce Treggs, and Rashard Davis aren’t too far behind Gibson and Wheaton. They’ve looked good as well.
TE: Zach Ertz, Dallas Goedert, Richard Rodgers (3) 
Ertz has been virtually unguardable in spring drills. Goedert has dominated the red zone. This year’s second-round pick figures to offer some kind of immediate offensive impact. Rodgers has gotten some first team reps and is fine enough for a third tight end. I didn’t see much from Billy Brown, Adam Zaruba, or Joshua Perkins that makes me think they’re seriously pushing for a roster spot right now.
OL: Jason Peters, Stefen Wisniewski, Jason Kelce, Brandon Brooks, Lane Johnson, Halapoulivaati Vaitai, Chance Warmack, Isaac Seumalo, Matt Pryor (9) 
The Eagles are one of only five NFL teams to return all five starters from last season. That continuity figures to serve them well, especially with Peters looking healthy. Big V is, at worst, a really solid swing tackle. He could also see some snaps as a sixth offensive lineman/blocking tight end. Warmack took first team reps ahead of Seumalo at one point this spring. I don’t think the Eagles are going to cut Seumalo but I wouldn’t be shocked if they traded their 2016 third-round pick. Pryor got looks at both second team right guard and third team right tackle. He’s going to make the roster. I’d put Taylor Hart on the bubble at this position. I’m keeping Jordan Mailata off because he’s just not ready to play any kind of meaningful snaps. I don’t think you have to worry about losing him on waivers because who is going to roster a guy who is so unready to play?
DE: Brandon Graham, Michael Bennett, Derek Barnett, Chris Long, Steven Means, Josh Sweat (6) 
The hope is that Graham will be ready for Week 1. We’ll have to see how the Super Bowl hero progresses in training camp. When healthy, the foursome of Graham, Bennett, Barnett, and Long is pretty fearsome. I’m especially looking forward to seeing the jump that the 21-year-old Barnett makes in Year 2. Means is a favorite of the coaching staff. I could see him getting traded if some team is desperate for pass rush help. Sweat has shown potential but he doesn’t really have a path to playing time right now with so many vets ahead of him. Rich man problems.
DT: Fletcher Cox, Haloti Ngata, Elijah Qualls, Aziz Shittu (4) 
Cox said he wants to be Defensive Player of the Year this year. It’d be pretty great if that happens. Ngata has sat out for the entirety of spring drills. Maybe the Eagles are just taking it easy on the 34-year-old defenive lineman, but hopefully he’s ready to go for camp. Qualls offers some juice as an interior rusher, as does Shittu. The latter was specifically praised by Pederson for having a good spring. I’m leaving Destiny Vaeao off here because he just doesn’t do a ton for me. With that said, he did take a lot of the first team reps with Ngata out, so clearly the coaching staff still likes him.
LB: Jordan Hicks, Nigel Bradham, Corey Nelson, Nate Gerry, Kamu Grugier-Hill (5) 
Hicks hasn’t participated in team drills but he’s done position work. If he can stay healthy, it’ll likely be him and Bradham who dominate the playing time at linebacker in 2018. There’s a good competition going for the WILL spot right now. Nelson, Gerry, and Grugier-Hill have all split time with the first team. Anyone could step up and win that job in training camp. LaRoy Reynolds or Joe Walker could end up on the 53-man roster, but they weren’t able to practice this offseason, which isn’t helping their case.
CB: Ronald Darby, Jalen Mills, De’Vante Bausby, Sidney Jones, Rasul Douglas, Avonte Maddox (6) 
Darby and Mills have done nothing to suggest they won’t be the starting boundary corners in 2018. They both look good. Speaking of looking good, Bausby was one of the top performers over the last month. He racked up a lot of picks and interceptions while getting significant reps at first team nickel corner. At the very least, it seems like he’s going to find a spot on this roster. Pederson singled out Douglas as someone who had a good spring. I thought Sul was more up and down, but who am I to question Super Bowl winning head coach Dougie P. I have to say that Jones’ stock is down after watching spring practices. He showed some good flashes during the two practices I got to watch him but then he missed the rest of OTAs and minicamp. There’s still plenty of time for Jones to rebound this summer but for now I don’t see him getting a lot of playing time. Maddox has some talent but mental errors should prevent could prevent him from playing much as a rookie.
S: Malcolm Jenkins, Rodney McLeod, Tre Sullivan, Chris Maragos (4) 
Jenkins and McLeod are locked in as the starters. Who is behind them? It’s entirely possible the Eagles re-sign Corey Graham before the regular season starts. For now, I’m keeping him off because he’s not officially on the roster (yet) and I really like what I’ve seen out of Sullivan. Sullivan isn’t just a big hitter; I like what I’ve seen out of his coverage ability as well. I feel weird about cutting Maragos since he’s the special teams captain and he’s working his way back from injury. Maybe I’m being too sentimental here.
K: Jake Elliott (1) 
Elliott looks good. Nothing to worry about here.
P: Someone not currently on the roster (1) 
Cameron Johnston is currently running unopposed but I don’t know how much longer that will last. The team’s official site is even questioning his performance, which doesn’t seem like a great sign for him. Donnie Jones is still out there, you know.
LS: Rick Lovato (1) 
Lovato got the Vince Lombardi trophy tattooed on his body so he can stay.
Tim Jernigan will likely begin the 2018 season on the non-football injury list. That means he’ll miss the first six weeks ... at least.
PRACTICE SQUAD (10): RB Josh Adams, WR Greg Ward, WR Rashard Davis, TE Billy Brown, OT Jordan Mailata, C Jon Toth, DE Joe Ostman, DT Bruce Hector, CB D.J. Killings, S Jeremy Reaves
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