After Saturday’s cut day, the Eagles now have their official 53-man roster going into the season. There were some surprises, as always, but this team is now ready to get back preparing for their week one matchup against the Atlanta Falcons.
General manager Howie Roseman also completed a trade Saturday. He acquired safety Deiondre’ Hall from the Bears for a conditional seventh-round pick. Hall is suspended for the first week for PED’s so he will not count against the roster for week one.
Eagles Offense (27)
Analysis: This group was pretty much set in stone the whole preseason. The Eagles have a quality group here that ranks among the tops in the league. Nick Foles was announced as the starter for week one against the Falcons. With Carson Wentz still recovering from the torn ACL/MCL, Foles can get possibly get another start or two after this week.
Running Back (4)
Analysis: The running back cuts gave Eagles fans a bit of a head-scratcher. Undrafted free agent, Josh Adams, was cut in favor for veteran Wendell Smallwood. Lots of insiders for the Eagles thought there was no way the Eagles could’ve cut Adams since he had a great preseason. And that another team would try to snatch him off waivers.
Last year’s fourth-round pick, Donnell Pumphrey, was also cut. This one wasn’t as surprising as Adams as Pumphrey had limited playing time in the preseason. He battled injuries this year and was unable to adjust to the NFL last year. The talent might still be there, but the Eagles just didn’t have enough certainty about it to give him a roster spot. Maybe a change of scenery will do him well.
Wide Receiver (6)
Analysis: Shelton Gibson and DeAndre Carter are the two that many didn’t think would make it at the start of preseason. Gibson and Carter both stamped their tickets to the roster with their great preseason. Some experts even think that Gibson has a real chance to make an impact with the team this year.
Gibson might be getting some time as Alshon Jeffery will be out for the first two weeks. He is recovering from a torn rotator cuff.
Tight End (4)
Analysis: The Eagles decided to go with four tight ends to at least start out the year. Joshua Perkins makes it as some depth for a couple of weeks. Richard Rodgers is expected to miss at least a couple weeks.
Offensive Lineman (10)
Analysis: The lineman that got everyone talking here is Jordan Mailata. The Australian pro rugby player gave the Eagles no chance but to keep him. Mailata went from not knowing how to put pads on to some saying he will be an All-Pro in a couple of years. His play this preseason just made Joe Douglas and Howie Roseman look even more like geniuses. They took this kid in the seventh round and his potential is through the roof.
There was also someone who had a nightmare of a preseason. That is Halapoulivaati Vaitai. He came in 20 pounds overweight, admitted to being complacent because of the Super Bowl, and his play was dreadful. A lot of Eagles fans were calling for his head and wanted him cut. But his play last year kept him on the roster as with confidence, he can be an NFL tackle.
With the starting line intact from last year, there are still a few more stragglers backing them up that made the roster. That is Chance Warmack and Matt Pryor. Warmack was a former first-round pick who just hasn’t panned out in the NFL. He was on the Eagles last year as a backup and struggled when given the time. Matt Pryor, on the other hand, was a sixth-round pick in this past year’s draft. He is a versatile player who can play both tackle and guard.
Eagles Defense (23)
Defensive Line (9)
Analysis: The biggest surprise of this group is not about who made it, but who didn’t make it. That would be the veteran defensive end, Steven Means. Means has shown he deserves to be in this league. His play plus his lockerroom presence made him seem like a no-brainer to make the roster a week ago. But rumors did surface that Means was on the trade block a couple days before Saturday and no suitors were found. Roseman did come out and say that Means was the hardest guy to cut but who knows. He can always come back for non-guaranteed money in week two if he doesn’t find a team before then.
Other than that, there really were no surprises. This team is loaded on the defensive line and should dominate as they did last year.
An injury note concerning this group. Defensive tackle Tim Jernigan does not appear on this list as he was placed on the NFI. He will miss the first six weeks at least after he had surgery in the offseason to repair a herniated disk.
Joe Walker D.J Alexander
Analysis: Back in May, the Eagles releasing Mychal Kendricks through some fans in a loop. Many thought the Birds were too weak at linebacker without Kendricks in Philly. But that proved to be the right move as the California linebacker was cut last week by the Browns since he was caught by the federal government doing inside trading. Oof.
To add on the departure of Kendricks, stud linebacker Nigel Bradham was suspended the first week of the season. Which is why he does not appear on the roster right now.
There is also D.J. Alexander who was picked up by the Eagles after being dropped by the Seahawks. He was a pro bowler in 2016 with the Chiefs as a special teamer. The addition of Alexander meant the departure of Joe Walker.
LaRoy Reynolds is not a household name to many. He always struggled to make rosters but it looks like he might’ve found his place. Reynolds will prove quality depth for the Eagles.
Analysis: This group has had a lot of turnover over the last couple of years and have had a dramatic increase in talent. The corners for the Eagles are now one of the deepest groups on the team and look to solidify a top-five defense of the league.
Analysis: Malcolm Jenkins and Rodney McLeod have been one of the best safety tandems since joining forces a couple of years ago. They are two tough players that embody what it means to play in Philly.
With those two, Corey Graham was also added back to the Eagles after spending most offseason as a free agent. He will be joined by Tre’ Sullivan as the backups.
Newly acquired Deiondre’ Hall might bump Sullivan off the roster when he comes back. There is also veteran safety and special teams ace, Chris Maragos. He is on the P.U.P list right now and is expected back by week seven.
Special Teams (3)
Long Snapper (1)
Analysis: The best group of them all. The special teamers.
There is one newcomer here, Cameron Johnson. He is looking to replace the punts that the G.O.A.T Donnie Jones has been booming for the last five years.
Jake Elliott and Rick Lovato are both going into their second season as starters. Elliott’s miscues have been well noted by Eagles fans as he struggles to make extra points. He does nail 50-yarders with ease though. Lovato played good last year for long-time Eagles Jon Dorenbos, who retired due to a heart condition.