By: Steve Johnson
The Eagles are coming off the first Super Bowl Championship in franchise history. They return 17 of 22 starters and a plethora of role players. In Free agency, the Eagles lost LeGarrette Blount to Detroit, Vinny Curry to Tampa Bay, Patrick Robinson to New Orleans. They also traded Torrey Smith to Carolina and they cut Mychal Kendricks. In free agency, the Eagles added WR Mike Wallace who should get a shot at starting opposite Alshon Jeffery. Haloti Ngata was added in free agency and traded for Michael Bennett, for defensive line depth. Sidney Jones, returns from injury and will get every shot to start on the outside. In the draft the Eagles selected TE Dallas Goedert, DE Josh Sweat, CB Avonte Maddox, and 2 OT in Matt Pryor and Jordan Mailata.
QB (3)- Carson Wentz, Nick Foles, Nate Sudfeld
Wentz is looking good in OTAs, maybe good enough to start week 1. The Eagles will be cautious though and keep 3 QBs on the roster. Unless a team came along and made them an offer they can’t refuse, they love Foles as a backup and Nate Sudfeld as a developmental QB.
RB (4)- Darren Sproles, Jay Ajayi, Corey Clement, Donnell Pumphrey
Running Back By Committee again for the Eagles. They get Sproles back for another year, as well as Ajayi on a contract year. Pumphrey didn’t show anything, and I’m not a big fan of his, but he will get every opportunity to make the roster as they spent a rather high pick on him.
WR (5)- Alshon Jeffery, Mike Wallace, Nelson Agholor, Mack Hollins, Shelton Gibson
Jeffery is rehabbing from surgery to repair a torn rotator cuff, but I think the Eagles only keep 5 WRs. Wallace was a big free agent signing and should be an upgrade over Torrey Smith, who was inconsistent last season. Agholor should get even more targets this year. Hollins and Gibson provide depth and are key special teamers.
TE (3) – Zach Ertz, Richard Rodgers, Dallas Goedert
The Eagles let veteran and fan favorite Brent Celek go, as well as let Trey Burton walk. Rodgers was a good signing and should add more than Celek could. Goedert is extremely talented but still somewhat raw. They’ll work him in, and he’ll make a lot of great plays.
OL (9) – Jason Peters, Lane Johnson, Brandon Brooks, Stefan Wisniewski, Jason Kelce, Isaac Seumalo, Chance Warmack, Halapoulivaati Vaitai, Matt Pryor
The Eagles return all 5 starters on the line, including Vaitai and Warmack who got a lot of playing time. Peters returns from injury, and is 36, who knows how much he has left in the tank. Luckily, the Eagles are deep and selected 2 young tackles late. Mailata makes the practice squad, but if another team tries to snag him, I bet they’ll make room.
DL (10)- Derek Barnett, Brandon Graham, Fletcher Cox, Timmy Jernigan, Chris Long, Michael Bennett, Elijah Qualls, Josh Sweat, Haloti Ngata, Bruce Hector
The Eagles stack their D-Line again, keeping 5 DEs and 5 DTs. Jernigan could end up on the PUP list to start the season, leaving another roster spot open. The Eagles gave a lot of money to Bruce Hector as an UDFA to leave him off the roster.
LB (6)- Nigel Bradham, Jordan Hicks, Nathan Gerry, Kamu Grugier-Hill, Joe Walker, Corey Nelson
The Eagles re-signed Bradham and get Hicks back from injury. Gerry will get the opportunity to play a bigger role this year. Grugier-Hill is one of the better special teams players in the league. The Eagles signed Corey Nelson to contribute on special teams and add depth. Walker gets the last nod here, due to Worrilow going down with a knee injury.
S (4)- Malcolm Jenkins, Rodney McLeod, Jeremy Reaves, Tre Sullivan
The starters in Jenkins and McLeod return from last years active secondary. They added Reaves as an UDFA, and they really like his ability to box around on the defense. Sullivan was on and off the practice squad last year and earns himself a spot this year. I left Maragos off the roster, because he’s getting up there in age for a special teams player that doesn’t provide anything defensively.
CB (6)- Jalen Mills, Ronald Darby, Sidney Jones, Rasul Douglas, Avonte Maddox, De’Vante Bausby
The Eagles let Patrick Robinson walk in free agency, because they have Jones in the waiting. Don’t forget Jones was considered the top cornerback prospect last year, a likely high first round pick. They took Maddox with their 4th round pick. Bausby is my surprise pick, as he’s been lighting it up early in OTAs. Jim Schwartz was hyping him up, and it doesn’t hurt to have some depth at a position they’re very young at.
STs (3)- Jake Elliott, Cameron Johnston, Rick Lovato
Johnston takes over for Jones as the Punter position.
Practice Squad (10)- OT Jordan Mailata, QB Jeremiah Briscoe, DE Joe Ostman, RB Josh Adams, TE Billy Brown, CB Randall Goforth, LB Asantay Brown, OL Jon Toth, S Stephen Roberts, WR Rashard Davis