In just a week, the Philadelphia Eagles will have to finalize their 53-man roster and prepare for Week 1 of the regular season. Philadelphia has a talented roster, yet there are still spots on this squad that are up for grabs.
The second preseason game against the Cleveland Browns added a little more intrigue to the roster bubble. There are still open spots available at wide receiver and safety, along with the question of how many players at certain positions the Eagles keep on the initial roster.
Things can change in a week as the Eagles head to Miami for joint practices with the Dolphins, followed by the final preseason game Saturday. After the preseason finale, there will be some tough decisions to make at the NovaCare Complex.
Here's the initial 53-man roster projection after observing training camp and two preseason games. Let's see if things can change in a week.
Quarterback (3): Jalen Hurts, Gardner Minshew, Reid Sinnett
Sinnett had an impressive start in training camp, yet failed to seize the No. 3 quarterback job in game one of the preseason. Game 2 was a different story, as the veteran warranted he's worth keeping around behind Hurts and Minshew on the roster.
Carson Strong should end up on the practice squad, if the Eagles feel he's worth developing. Philadelphia needs a developmental quarterback somewhere, but he may not be on the 2022 roster.
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Running Back (3): Miles Sanders, Boston Scott, Kenny Gainwell
Whether the Eagles actually bring in another running back is up for debate, but Scott and Gainwell stated their cases why they should be the No. 2 options to Sanders. Scott showcased his power as a short-yardage back despite his small frame, while Gainwell demonstrated he's a prolific third down option.
The Eagles could keep four running backs, but Jason Huntley or Kennedy Brooks would have to showcase their skills in the return game for roster consideration. Huntley hasn't showed much in that department and Brooks isn't really a return specialist. He may have a spot on the practice squad.
Wide Receiver (6): A.J. Brown, DeVonta Smith, Quez Watkins, Zach Pascal, Jalen Reagor, Deon Cain
The top four spots at wide receiver are roster locks, giving the Eagles one of the deeper groups in the league. There still is a roster spot to be determined, but we're going with six because of Reagor. For salary cap purposes, it costs the Eagles significantly more to cut Reagor than to keep him.
The sixth spot is a tightly contested battle between Cain, Britain Covey, and Greg Ward. While Ward and Covey add value in the return game, so does Reagor. Covey and Ward haven't separated themselves from the pack, leaving Reagor in line to return kicks and punts in his new role.
Cain adds valuable roster depth and is a reliable pass catcher that this offense will probably rely on at some point this year. He's worth keeping around.
Tight End (3): Dallas Goedert, Jack Stoll, Grant Calcaterra
Goedert and Stoll are roster locks, but the Eagles do have some question marks at the position. Calcaterra missed soem time in camp, but the Eagles invested a sixth-round pick in him. There's upside toward a pass-catching specialist, which is why he's worth keeping on the roster.
Noah Togiai has been impressive in camp and will be tough to cut. The Eagles need a blocking tight end, so Stoll may be the player Togiai will have to beat out.
Offensive Line (9): Jordan Mailata, Landon Dickerson, Jason Kelce, Isaac Seumalo, Lane Johnson, Andre Dillard, Sua Opeta, Jack Driscoll, Cam Jurgens
The Eagles starting offensive line is set in stone and the second team is very good -- but also in flux. Dillard could be traded, but the Eagles aren't just going to give a valuable left tackle away for a day three pick. Philadelphia has more value keeping Dillard and having excellent depth at tackle.
Driscoll can play guard and tackle while Opeta gives the Eagles added depth on the interior of the line. Of course, Jurgens is the heir apparent for Kelce at center (was cross-trained at guard this summer before the Kelce injury).
This is the deepest group on the roster.
Defensive End/Edge Rusher/SAM Linebacker (6): Brandon Graham, Haason Reddick, Josh Sweat, Derek Barnett, Tarron Jackson, Kyron Johnson
Grouped these positions together because these players will be primarily rushing the passer in Jonathan Gannon's defense, although he'll have Reddick and Johnson back in coverage. Johnson is also a good special teamer and has value in kickoff and punt coverage -- plus the Eagles used one of their five draft picks on him.
Patrick Johnson is a tough cut, but someone will be left out if the Eagles go three quarterbacks or six wide receivers. Philadelphia also has a safety issue that needs to be figured out. Johnson is one of the toughest cuts to make.
Defensive Tackle (5): Fletcher Cox, Javon Hargrave, Jordan Davis, Milton Williams, Marlon Tuipulotu
The Eagles are deep at defensive tackle with the top three positions, and Williams adds value lining up inside and outside. Those four are roster locks and Tuipulotu has earned a roster spot based on his development and how well he's looked this summer.
Sunday's win over the Browns was discouraging from the defensive tackles, but this is a very good group.
MIKE and WILL Linebacker (5): T.J. Edwards, Kyzir White, Nakobe Dean, Davion Taylor, Shaun Bradley
This is the Eagles best linebacker group since Super Bowl LII, as Edwards and Dean continue to fight for the starting job at the MIKE. White will start at the WILL while Taylor provides valuable depth -- even if he struggled in the second preseason game. Bradley adds excellent value on special teams, which is why he makes the roster.
The battle is between Edwards and Dean for a starting job, with Edwards having the edge heading into the final week of the preseason.
Cornerback (5): Darius Slay, James Bradberry, Avonte Maddox, Zech McPhearson, Josh Jobe
The top four spots at cornerback are roster locks, but the Eagles had a crowded room heading into camp as Tay Gowan, Mac McCain, Kary Vincent, and Jobe battled for a roster spot. Jobe has emerged above all the cornerbacks the Eagles brought in over the past year with his play at outside cornerback, a position the Eagles could use some quality depth.
Jobe has value on this team and is showcasing why it's good to bring in Alabama players. He edges out Gowan for the fifth cornerback spot.
Safety (5): Marcus Epps, Anthony Harris, K'Von Wallace, Andre Chachere, Josiah Scott
The Eagles have a lot of question marks at safety and could add to this position after finalizing their initial 53-man roster. Epps earned a starting spot in training camp while Harris is projected to start at the other safety spot.
Chachere can find his way into playing for defensive snaps and is already a good special teamer. Scott can play both cornerback and safety, which is how he finds his way into the roster. He adds depth in the nickel while outplaying Jaquiski Tartt -- who has struggled in camp -- at safety.
Reed Blankenship is still in the mix for a roster spot, but he'll have to unseat Scott or Wallace to do it. With Jobe playing his way onto the roster, that hurts Blankenship's chances. Wallace is still fighting for his spot, but he's had a good camp. He's worth keeping around.
Specialists (3): Jake Elliott (K), Arryn Siposs (P), Rick Lovato (LS)
Nothing will change here. These are the three that will have those spots for Week 1.