Real football begins in just about four months. Today we look forward and consider who will be playing once the preseason is over and the games start to matter.
There is a lot of speculation involved with projecting a roster from this far out. Even Eagles general manager Howie Roseman does not know exactly who will be on the roster after final cuts are made.
Let’s break down the roster by position groups to show exactly who could be left on the roster. There will be two parts, offense and defense. The first is offense. Next week, we will look at predictions on the defense. Only players on the Eagles official roster on their website will be listed.
Quarterback – (3)
Make the roster: Carson Wentz, Nick Foles, Nate Sudfeld
Cuts: Joe Callahan
Barring a surprise trade of Nick Foles, Philadelphia seems to have this position group settled. Joe Callahan would have to outplay Nate Sudfeld substantially for them to put him on the roster. The Eagles have been very vocal in their praise for Sudfeld, and it seems they truly like him and his potential.
Although the signing of Callahan to a two-year contract is interesting, Sudfeld still holds a large edge over Callahan. He even has an extra year of learning the offense on his side.
Running back – (4)
Make the roster: Jay Ajayi, Corey Clement, Darren Sproles, Josh Adams
Cuts: Donnel Pumphrey, Wendell Smallwood, Matt Jones
Jay Ajayi, Corey Clement and Darren Sproles are locks to make the roster. Adams will have to fight for his spot against the remaining three running backs.
Donnel Pumphrey seems like he has not put on enough weight yet to contribute at the running back position. Wendell Smallwood has a history with injuries and fails to make a big enough impact when he does play.
Finally, Matt Jones has a problem with fumbling. The Eagles are a ball control offense, and turning the ball over is not acceptable for their running backs.
Offensive line – (9)
Make the roster: Jason Peters, Stefen Wisniewski, Jason Kelce, Brandon Brooks, Lane Johnson, Chance Warmack, Halapoulivaati Vaitai, Matt Pryor, Isaac Seumalo
Cuts: Taylor Hart, Aaron Evans, Darrell Greene, Jordan Mailata, Jon Toth
The starting offensive line is the best in the whole NFL. The possibility of a starter being unseated is unlikely. Therefore, it is really a battle for the backup roles.
Halapoulivaati Vaitai played well as the season came to a close last year and should be the primary backup to Jason Peters and Lane Johnson. Chance Warmack is the Eagles best backup interior lineman and has a year left on his contract. Matt Pryor should make the roster because he was just drafted and has some good potential. Isaac
Seumalo is on the fence. He was terrible last season, but the year before the future looked bright for him. Hopefully there is a good battle for the ninth spot and the best player makes the roster regardless of age or size.
Recievers – (5)
Make the roster: Alshon Jeffery, Mike Wallace, Nelson Agholor, Mack Hollins, Bryce Treggs
Cuts: Marquess Wilson, Markus Wheaton, Shelton Gibson, Greg Ward, Rashard Davis
Alshon Jeffery, Nelson Agholor and Mack Hollins are locks. Wallace is a near lock and will be on the roster unless two of the other six receivers have amazing camp, practice and preseason performances. For now, the final spot will probably be Bryce Treggs because he knows the offense and he has coveted speed at the position.
Shelton Gibson and Markus Wheaton are his biggest challengers for the roster spot. Gibson could not catch last year and had trouble learning the playbook. After a full year, he should look much better. Wheaton spent last season injured, so his performance will be a mystery until we see it.
Tight Ends – (3)
Make the roster: Zach Ertz, Dallas Goedert, Billy Brown
Cuts: Adam Zaruba, Richard Rodgers, Josh Perkins
Zach Ertz and Dallas Goedert are obvious locks. Billy Brown is a young tight end the Eagles think has a bright future. His main problem is poor blocking. Unfortunately for him, blocking is very important in Philadelphia’s diverse offensive attack. Hopefully a year on the practice squad has helped him improve his blocking. If not, it could be Richard Rodgers who earns the third tight end spot.
Adam Zaruba is a former rugby player and a long shot for the 53-man roster. Josh Perkins was released by the Atlanta Falcons in January after spending a couple seasons on their team. He has a career total of three catches and 42 yards, so he should be considered another long shot for the position.
That is a total of 24 players on offense. After taking out three spots for the special teams positions, that leaves 26 open for a deep defense to retain as much talent as possible.
Featured image from Al Bello/Getty Images
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