Eagles training camp is now just over a week old, with six practices in the books.
Where does the roster stand?
Here is version 1.0 of my 53-man roster prediction:
Quarterback (2): Jalen Hurts, Gardner Minshew
The debate will continue for months (if not years) about Jalen Hurts, but one thing is clear — he is the best quarterback on the roster. Minshew has not had a good camp. Carson Strong has had an awful camp. Reid Sinnett has had some moments, and his arm does stand out at times, but he still looks far away from being able to take meaningful snaps. The Eagles could keep Sinnett, but as of now, chances are they cut both and bring one back to the practice squad.
Running Back (3): Miles Sanders, Kenny Gainwell, Boston Scott
The Eagles aren’t that deep at running back. Backups Jason Huntley and Kennedy Brooks have had quiet camps, working exclusively with the third-string offense. The chances of either making the roster are slim, but Brooks could potentially sneak on with an outstanding showing in the preseason games. The Eagles have interest in a bigger running back, so look for them to add one as the 4th running back on the roster either before camp ends or after final cuts.
Wide Receiver (6): AJ Brown, Devonta Smith, Quez Watkins, Zach Pascal, Jalen Reagor, Greg Ward
The top four at this position are set — Brown, Smith, Watkins and Pascal. The question is how many stay after that. Reagor has had a strong camp so far, and he is close to a lock to make it, but a trade shouldn’t be ruled out. It’s fair to wonder if the team would even trust him as a top backup. Ward hasn’t practiced much so far in camp, which isn’t helping his chances, but he seems to be thought highly of by both the coaching staff and Hurts. Britain Covey has improved as camp as gone on and is the wild card at this position. If he shines as a punt returner in preseason, and also shows potential at receiver, he could earn a roster spot. As of now, however, he is behind Reagor and Ward. The other receivers on the roster are just fighting for spots on the practice squad.
Tight End (3): Dallas Goedert, Jack Stoll, Grant Calcaterra
Calcaterra was on the bubble heading into camp but his strong play before going down with a hamstring injury probably moved him towards a lock. The Eagles have a lot of tight ends in camp (8), and so far, they have to like what they see. Noah Togiai has had a strong camp so far, Richard Rodgers is back practicing and even JJ Arcega-Whiteside has become more of a factor in the passing game (with backups) as camp has gone on. Add in Tyree Jackson, who will likely start season on PUP, and the Eagles have lots of options. As of now, however, it looks like they will be keeping only Goedert, Stoll and Calcaterra on the 53-man roster.
Offensive Line (10): Jordan Mailata, Landon Dickerson, Jason Kelce, Isaac Seumalo, Lane Johnson, Andre Dillard, Cam Jurgens, Jack Driscoll, Sua Opeta, Kayode Awosika
The strongest unit on the team with plenty of depth. Cam Jurgens looks ready to start if needed, an extremely encouraging sign for the team. The Eagles go four deep at both guard and tackle, with Kelce and Jurgens forming a very strong duo at center. Le’Raven Clark is on the bubble, but after a terrible practice with the starters on Thursday, he might be heading to the practice squad.
Defensive Line (9): Hasson Reddick, Fletcher Cox, Javon Hargrave, Brandon Graham, Milton Williams, Josh Sweat, Derek Barnett, Jordan Davis, Marlon Tuipulotu
Yes, Reddick is with the defensive line, as realistically he is a pass rusher as opposed to competing with true linebackers like Kyzir White or TJ Edwards for snaps. The Eagles pass rusher has been impressive so far in camp, which is a positive sign considering they aren’t even tackling yet. The one surprise addition to the roster is Tuipulotu, who was a long shot coming in, but has been getting pretty consistent work with the first-team defense. One player to keep an eye on for a roster spot is Tarron Jackson, who has a good chance of playing his way onto the roster by the time camp is over.
Linebacker (7): Kyzir White, TJ Edwards, Davion Taylor, Nakobe Dean, Shaun Bradley, Kyron Johnson, Patrick Johnson
The Eagles have to be thrilled with what they have seen from their linebackers so far in camp. The top three — White, Edwards and Taylor — are all having strong camps. They have played so well that there doesn’t seem to be any rush to force Dean on the field, instead giving him the time he deserves to adjust to the NFL. Bradley is close to a lock if he continues to be a strong special teams player. Rookie Kyron Johnson and second-year player Patrick Johnson both make the roster as young players with potential.
Cornerback (5): Darius Slay, James Bradberry, Avonte Maddox, Zech McPhearson, Tay Gowan
The Eagles have plenty of young cornerbacks, but as of now, none have really stood out in training camp. Slay, Bradberry and Maddox, obviously, are locks. McPhearson hasn’t been great in camp but will get another year with the team to try to make good on his potential. Gowan has something not many on the roster do — great size for the cornerback position — and is likely first up among the young corners. Josiah Scott has a chance to sneak on as the sixth cornerback considering he has started to take snaps at safety as well, giving him position versatility in the secondary.
Safety (5): Marcus Epps, Anthony Harris, Jaquiski Tartt, Andre Chachere, K’Von Wallace
Five feels like too many at safety and a surprise cut (Harris?) shouldn’t be ruled out. Considering there aren’t many sure things at the position, however, the Eagles might go deep just to be safe. Epps has had a strong camp, leaving Harris, Tartt and Wallace left to compete for snaps next to him.
Special Teams (3): Jake Elliott, Rick Lovato, Arryn Siposs
The Eagles still haven’t brought in another punter, which means as of now Elliott, Lovato and Siposs will be back for another season.
You can reach Eliot Shorr-Parks on Twitter at @EliotShorrParks or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org