10 takeaways from the Eagles’ initial 53-man roster

NFL rosters are always fluid, so things will change over the next week, even after the Eagles unveiled an initial 53-man roster at the deadline.

Philadelphia made some tough cuts, and went light at critical spots, choosing to release punter Arryn Siposs.

The team will watch the waiver wire, and construct the remaining roster and 16-man practice squad ahead of Thursday’s practice.

Here are ten takeaways from the 53-man roster with the moves now complete.

Eagles keep 3 quarterbacks

(Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images)
(Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images)

As expected, the Eagles have three quarterbacks on the 53-man roster, as sixth-round draft pick Tanner McKee earned a roster spot with a strong Training Camp and preseason.

Marcus Mariota will be the backup to All-Pro quarterback Jalen Hurts.

Trey Sermon is out

Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

After weeks of speculations and rumors, Rashaad Penny, Kenneth Gainwell, D’Andre Swift and Boston Scott are the Eagles four running backs.

Trey Sermon had plenty of opportunity to snatch a spot away, but struggled to produce behind second and third team offensive line.

Penny has averaged 5.7 yards in his five-year career, while D’Andre Swift and Kenneth Gainwell are dynamic dual-threats.

Eagles 4-some

Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

A.J. Brown

DeVonta Smith

Quez Watkins

Olamide Zaccheaus

After predicting that Philadelphia might carry five or six players at the position, Philadelphia jumped out the game with just four wide receivers in A.J. Brown, DeVonta Smith, Quez Watkins and Olamide Zaccheaus.

Even somewhat surprising, the Eagles cut Britian Covey, Devon Allen, and Joseph Ngata.

Arryn Siposs cut

(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

After two-years of subpar production, Siposs is out as the Eagles punter. Philadelphia GM Howie Roseman explained the thought process.

“Well, a lot of these guys that we brought that we cut today, we’re interested in bringing back. We have a practice squad.” “We’ve talked about the roster being 69 guys as opposed to 53 and having flexibility in those spots. I think when you look at Sip [Siposs] obviously the season didn’t end for us the way that we wanted to, and he would say the same thing, but also have confidence in his abilities.”

“We’ll just see what happens here in the next 24 hours with him and a bunch of these other guys. You know, try to bring some of these guys back and give them a chance to continue to compete for spots.”

“We got the activations there on the practice squad as well for other guys too.”

SEC Flavor

Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

A couple of guys transferred in, but the Eagles have six players from Alabama and six players from Georgia on the 53-man roster.

That’s 10% of the roster having championship and big-game pedigree.

Eli Ricks a gem

(Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
(Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)

Ricks is probably one-year away from being able to efficiently contribute in the secondary, but Philadelphia couldn’t risk allowing the former Alabama cornerback to hit the waiver wire after a strong preseason.

Eagles acquire a tight end

We didn’t have Philadelphia keeping four tight ends, but the Eagles swung a late Tuesday afternoon trade and land Albert Okwuegbunam.

Grant Calcaterra

Dallas Goedert

Albert Okwuegbunam

Jack Stoll

A former fourth-round pick, Okwuegbunam adds athleticism, and has more production than Jack Stoll and Grant Calcaterra combined.

Eagles GM Howie Roseman talked abut that athleticism.

“Yeah, first thing you talk about Albert, you talk about the physical ability. He is 6’5″. He is almost 260 pounds. He runs a 4.4. He’s got a huge wing span. He has really good lower body flexibility for a big guy.”

“We had a chance to watch him together, and obviously Coach has had tremendous success with that position and some guys who look like this. So, bring him in here. He is 25 years old. We have some people in the building who were with Denver when they drafted him and give him an opportunity.”

In his first three seasons, Okwuegbunam posted 54 catches for 546 yards and four touchdowns.

Eagles elite at offensive line

(Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
(Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)

Landon Dickerson

Jack Driscoll

Fred Johnson

Lane Johnson

Cam Jurgens

Jason Kelce

Jordan Mailata

Sua Opeta

Tyler Steen

The starting lineup could have any combination of three All-Pros and multiple Pro Bowlers with – Jordan Mailata at left tackle, Landon Dickerson at left guard, Jason Kelce at center, Cam Jurgens at right guard, and Lane Johnson at right tackle.

Philadelphia decided to keep nine players along the offensive line, and outside of Sua Opeta, every player is above average and would be a starter on another team.

Fred Johnson’s two year deal left no available roster spots with rookie Tyler Steen and Jack Driscoll as roster locks.

That left Sua Opeta to compete for the final spot, with Josh Sills getting cut.

Zach Cunningham snatched a spot

Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

Zach Cunningham

Nakobe Dean

Christian Elliss

Nicholas Morrow chose the Eagles and a non-guaranteed deal with the idea that he’d start next to Nakobe Dean at linebacker.

After logging every snap in 2022, and leading the Bears in tackles, Morrow is out at the roster deadline, losing a battle with Christian Elliss and the late-arriving, Zach Cunningham.

Philadelphia GM Howie Roseman gave insight into the roster decision.

“I think when you talk about Zach Cunningham, obviously a productive player in the National Football League, and he came here a little bit late in camp and had an opportunity, and he continues to have an opportunity. I don’t know that it’s so much about what Nick did as opposed to being really heavy at some other positions here.”

“Again, as we look at the roster, we’re looking at it through the lens of having 69 guys and knowing that there’s some fluid processes on some players and some things. So, we’ll do whatever we can to put the best possible guys on the field for New England and through the rest of the season.”

Eagles lights out at Edge Rusher

(Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
(Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)

Derek Barnett

Brandon Graham

Patrick Johnson

Haason Reddick

Nolan Smith

Josh Sweat

Philadelphia can break the 70 sack mark from 2022 if this talented group can stay healthy. There were no surprise additions or cuts as the Eagles have six edge rushers on the roster, with Derek Barnett, Brandon Graham and Josh Sweat as the only true defensive ends.

Patrick Johnson, Haason Reddick and Nolan Smith are listed as linebackers, but will rush the edge, and up the middle.

Defensive tackle improvment

Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

Jalen Carter

Fletcher Cox

Jordan Davis

Moro Ojomo

Kentavius Street

Marlon Tuipulotu

Milton Williams

Philadelphia lost Javon Hargrave, Ndamukong Suh and Linval Joseph, and somehow improved at the position.

Kentavius Street and Moro Ojomo held strong all summer long despite talk of their demise.

Eagles heavy at cornerback

James Bradberry

Mario Goodrich

Josh Jobe

Avonte Maddox

Eli Ricks

Kelee Ringo

Darius Slay

With all eyes pointed towards the future, Philadelphia kept seven cornerbacks on the roster, with four being first or second year players.

Comeback story at safety

Reed Blankenship

Sydney Brown

Terrell Edmunds

Justin Evans

After initially looking like a player that might be one of the final cuts, Justin Evans is looking like he’ll start opposite Reed Blankenship at the safety position.

Philadelphia gave K’Von Wallace ample opportunity to make the roster, but went with Terrell Edmunds.

Story originally appeared on Eagles Wire