philadelphia eagles Never thought last year’s team would be a one-hit-wonder. He believed he had assembled an assembly line of impressive talent that could churn for years. Whatever players they lost, they were sure they could adequately replace.
And they did so through the draft, through free agency and from within, complementing a strong returning core from last year’s NFC championship team. The result is an impressive roster that should once again compete for a Super Bowl championship.
But it also means that during training camp, no more roster spots are at stake.
So here’s a look at their projected 53-man roster after their second of three preseason games. Only a small number of players are sitting on the bubble, and there aren’t many open spaces for surprises:
The Eagles did not draft Tanner McKee out of Stanford in the sixth round to draft him. There’s no way that general manager Howie Roseman would waste a pick – any pick – if he felt he was already established in the position. book on third-stringers Ian Book Maybe it was closed then. But McKee has played extremely well this summer and is now 20 of 38 for 295 yards and a touchdown through parts of two preseason games.
He has performed well enough to earn an emergency spot between the two giants. He’s actually outdone Mariota as well, though the No. 2 spot is probably out of his reach — at least for now.
Eagles lists those four backs and tray sermon as co-first-team on his official preseason depth chart. That’s good, but there’s no doubt about the rotation they plan to use. Swift and Penney are 1-2 and Gainwell and Scott will be in the mix abundantly. There isn’t enough room for Serman, a former 49ers player they like and could try to get back on the practice squad. He helped his goal with a 33-yard touchdown run on Thursday night, making up for an earlier fumble.
With a chance to make another Super Bowl run, and a $255 million quarterback, they’re going to look to make a difference in what they did last season. They are going to retain their veterans, including Zacchius, who they signed from Atlanta in the offseason. Ward is the clear favorite for the fifth spot, especially since he can double as an emergency returner.
unpublished newbie Joseph Nagata (4 catches, 43 yards in two games) has also played well and could stick around as the sixth receiver. ex-bronco Tyree Cleveland Led the Eagles with five catches for 68 yards in the opening game before exiting Thursday night with a neck injury.
There are three other tight ends in camp, but none of them have a chance to rise above the top three on the roster. The Eagles were comfortable with Stoll and Calcatra when Goedert was injured last year. Ideally, they would perform a bit more in the passing game, but the Eagles seem to have that ability in both of them if needed.
They are deep and talented and have plenty of backups who can step into the starting lineup if needed. There will probably be competition for one of the bottom two spots. Josh Sills, an undrafted free agent last year, struggled in his Thursday night start against the Browns. And Kelly, the Eagles’ fifth-round pick in 2012 who was re-signed last month, struggled in the opener. If either of them continues to falter, it could make room for Julian Good-Jones Joe is back in Philly after two years in the Canadian Football League.
The Eagles are so ridiculously loaded on the interior defensive line that they may have to cut good players who should be quickly snapped up by other teams. There might – just might – be competition for fifth place. However, Tuipulotu has been impressive this summer. The other contender is veteran Kendall Street, who had 6 ½ sacks and a seventh-round pick over the past two seasons with the 49ers and Saints. moro ojomo Who impressed the Eagles on Thursday night before leaving the field with a neck injury. If he’s healthy, they’ll definitely try to get him on the practice squad.
This is as strong an edge-rusher rotation as there is in the NFL, and it’s pretty much a lock. The only question is whether they risk trading former first-rounder (2017) Barnett for a future draft pick. Whatever they do with him, they will likely find room for Johnson, who played well for the Eagles on special teams last season.
When the Eagles signed veterans Myles Jacks and Zack Cunningham two weeks ago, it was because they were concerned about the unit behind Nakobe Dean. This basically set up competition for a spot between Christian Ellis and veteran Nicolas Morrow, Had they been happy with Morrow – the seventh-year vet they signed in March – they would not have signed Jack and Cunningham, therefore giving Ellis the edge going into the last game.
zake mcpherson Would have been one of the Eagles’ top backups here, but he tore his Achilles on Thursday night in Philly’s preseason game against the Browns. That’s terrible news for McPherson and the Eagles’ depth at the position. But it potentially opens up a roster spot for Eli Ricks, an undrafted free agent out of Alabama. It was probably a long shot for him to make it to the roster before the injury. He looked great with his pick-6 in the preseason opener, but then ran for a touchdown on Thursday night. However, he has played well overall.
Eagles have very little depth here. Ricks will likely be joined by Josh Jobe, an undrafted free agent from last year, and Kelly Ringo, a Georgia fourth-rounder who has been impressive so far.
There is no drama here after the Eagles signed veterans Edmonds and Wallace in the offseason to help Blankenship, who played very well for them last season. As for Brown, the rookie has been stellar this summer and the Eagles are so impressed that it’s possible he’ll land a starting job by the end of camp. If nothing else, expect the “heat-seeking missile,” as cornerback Avonte Maddox calls him, to be a big contributor on defense. seasoned justin evans Possibly the strangest man.
There’s no drama here, and really no competition either. They have a second speculator in Ty Zentner’s camp. But heading into his third season, Sipos has given the Eagles no reason to consider moving on from him.
Ralph Vacchiano is the NFC East reporter for Fox Sports, covering the Washington Commanders, Philadelphia Eagles and New York Giants. He spent the last six years in New York covering the Giants and Jets for SNY TV, and before that, spent 16 years covering the Giants and the NFL for the New York Daily News. follow him on twitter @ralphvacchiano,
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