The Eagles will take the field for the first full-team practice of their 2019 training camp on Thursday afternoon.
Football season is here!
Over the next month, the Eagles will observe practices and games to determine which players will make their 53-man roster. Final cuts are due by 4 p.m. on Aug. 31.
Here's my last guess at the roster before training camp begins:
QB (3): Carson Wentz, Nate Sudfeld, Clayton Thorson
Sorry, Cody Kessler. I guess there's a scenario where the Eagles could try to save a roster spot by keeping just two quarterbacks and then attempting to sneak Thorson to the practice squad. But then they expose him to waivers and run the risk of another team taking their fifth-round developmental quarterback. That's a little too risky for me.
TE (3): Zach Ertz, Dallas Goedert, Richard Rodgers
Unless we see an incredible camp from Josh Perkins or Will Tye, I think Rodgers is safe as the third tight end. The Eagles liked Rodgers enough to bring him back from IR last year and then re-sign him this offseason. Don't know how much he'll play, but I think he'll be on the roster.
WR (6): Alshon Jeffery, DeSean Jackson, Nelson Agholor, JJ Arcega-Whiteside, Mack Hollins, Marken Michel
Based on the depth here, I think the Eagles will keep six receivers. They haven't kept five since 2016, when they were very light at the position. For now, I have Michel as the last man in, but there are plenty of other options, including roster holdover Shelton Gibson. Hollins gets in based on his ability as a special teamer, but those last two spots are up for grabs.
OL (9): Jason Peters, Isaac Seumalo, Jason Kelce, Brandon Brooks, Lane Johnson, Andre Dillard, Stefen Wisniewski, Halapoulivaati Vaitai, Jordan Mailata
How many offensive linemen will the Eagles keep? If they keep 10, then Matt Pryor is back for his second season. But if Big V and Wiz are here as backup guards, even if Brooks isn't ready for the opener, do the Eagles need Pryor? I'm not sure about that now, so I have him off the 53. But the Eagles will try to sneak him to the practice squad.
RB (4): Jordan Howard, Miles Sanders, Corey Clement, Darren Sproles
When the Eagles brought Sproles back, it was probably bad news for Boston Scott. Really, it was bad news for all four backs (Wendell Smallwood, Josh Adams and Donnel Pumphrey too) who we thought were going to fight for that last running back spot. The Eagles didn't re-sign 36-year-old Darren Sproles to make him compete for a job. He's going to be on the roster. Maybe the Eagles keep five running backs. They did that in 2017, but they stashed Pumphrey on the IR not long after.
DE (5): Brandon Graham, Derek Barnett, Vinny Curry, Josh Sweat, Shareef Miller
I'm not confident about this group because there's a chance there could be another veteran added to this list or perhaps Daeshon Hall wins a job. Miller might not be ready to contribute this year. This will be a big camp for Sweat to prove he can be a real rotational player.
DT (4): Fletcher Cox, Malik Jackson, Tim Jernigan, Hassan Ridgeway
This group is so much deeper than what the Eagles came out of camp with last year. For now, I have Treyvon Hester as the odd man out. There's a possibility he could beat Ridgeway for that last spot or the Eagles could keep five tackles. But with Graham and Curry's ability to move inside, I don't think the Eagles need to go heavy at defensive tackle.
LB (6): Nigel Bradham, Kamu Grugier-Hill, Zach Brown, L.J. Fort, Nate Gerry, T.J. Edwards
A little bit of a surprise with that last spot. First, it might be a little surprise to see six linebackers after they kept five out of camp in 2018, but I think Edwards might surprise some folks this summer. The undrafted kid from Wisconsin can play and I even have him beating out Paul Worrilow, who is 29 and coming off that ACL tear last spring. If Edwards proves he can play special teams, why wouldn't the Eagles keep a guy who could be an ascending player?
CB (6): Ronald Darby, Rasul Douglas, Avonte Maddox, Sidney Jones, Jalen Mills, Cre'Von LeBlanc
The last time I left Jalen Mills off the list because of his health. I'm not totally convinced he'll be ready for Week 1, but this NJ.com story at least let me know he's been working out and is on the mend. So I have him back on the list. Keeping six corners isn't guaranteed and I still think one of them could be traded (LeBlanc to the Jets anyone?) but after last year's injuries, the coaching staff shouldn't mind keeping a bunch of guys.
S (4): Malcolm Jenkins, Rodney McLeod, Andrew Sendejo, Tre Sullivan
I think there's value in keeping Sendejo if he is clearly the third-best safety, especially as McLeod comes off an ACL injury. Sendejo has plenty of experience and might need to play a significant role in 2019. I have Sullivan beating out Blake Countess for that final spot. Sullivan has come a long way, but his job isn't totally secure either.
ST (3): Jake Elliott, Cameron Johnston, Rick Lovato
With zero competition on the roster, these three are safe unless there's an injury or Doug decides, "screw it, we're not punting anymore."
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