Early Eagles 53-man roster projection after 2023 NFL Draft

Early Eagles 53-man roster projection after the draft originally appeared on NBC Sports Philadelphia

It’s way too early for a 53-man roster projection but that’s never stopped us before.

The Eagles have made it past the draft and will kick off OTAs later this month before the layoff leading into training camp. The summer is where we will really see jobs be won and lost.

But here’s a quick Eagles’ 53-man roster projection for 2023 after the draft:

Quarterback (3): Jalen Hurts, Marcus Mariota, Tanner McKee

The top two spots are locked in and it’ll be the draft pick McKee battling against incumbent third-stringer Ian Book for that final job. I’ll give the edge to McKee but that will need to show up in training camp.

Out: Ian Book

Running back (4): D’Andre Swift, Rashaad Penny, Kenny Gainwell, Boston Scott

The Eagles lost Miles Sanders in free agency but they have brought in Swift and Penny this offseason to replace him. They still have Gainwell and Scott as well. Trey Sermon could end up being the odd man out unless the Eagles want to keep five running backs, which seems unlikely.

Out: Trey Sermon, Kennedy Brooks

Receiver (5): A.J. Brown, DeVonta Smith, Quez Watkins, Olamide Zaccheaus, Britain Covey

This is one position where the Eagles are still al little light. Zach Pascal left in free agency and the Eagles brought in Zaccheaus. That’s the only change here. Could Quez Watkins get traded? Maybe, but it’s not like the Eagles have a ton of talent waiting in the wings at this position. Joseph Ngata is the UDFA to watch but he might be tabbed for the practice squad to start.

Out: Tyree Cleveland, Greg Ward, Devon Allen, Joseph Ngata, Jadon Haselwood

Tight end (3): Dallas Goedert, Jack Stoll, Grant Calcaterra

The Eagles brought in some competition with veteran Dan Arnold and maybe he could crack the roster. But they used a draft pick on Calcaterra last year and he was fine in a very minimal role. Where the Eagles might really need an upgrade is at TE2 but Arnold hasn’t proven himself to be a good enough blocker to take the job from Stoll.

Out: Dan Arnold, Tyree Jackson, Dalton Keene, Brady Russell

Offensive line (9): Jordan Mailata, Landon Dickerson, Jason Kelce, Cam Jurgens, Lane Johnson, Tyler Steen, Jack Driscoll, Brett Toth, Sua Opeta

The Eagles kept 10 offensive lineman in their initial 53-man roster in 2022 but they carried just two quarterbacks and just three running backs. So if they go heavier at those positions this year, which they may need to do, the Eagles could settle on less than 10. And last year, the Eagles were impressed enough by UDFA Josh Sills to keep him around. This year’s UDFA to watch is Trevor Reid … but I have him off the roster for now.

Out: Cameron Tom, Roderick Johnson, Fred Johnson, Tyrese Robinson, Trevor Reid, Julian Good-Jones, Chim Okorafor

Defensive tackle (6): Fletcher Cox, Jalen Carter, Jordan Davis, Milton Williams, Marlon Tuipulotu, Moro Ojomo

This is a tad heavy at interior defensive line but I couldn’t chose between Tuipulotu and Ojomo so I just kept them both. There’s a chance the Eagles will have to decide and keep just one. If that happens, maybe they’ll go with Tuipulotu, who has more experience and might be a better fit to take some snaps at the nose. The Eagles don’t have a ton of defensive tackles but it should be a good competition for that last spot or two. They signed Kentavius Street as a free agent and Noah Elliss is a UDFA from last year who we never really got to see but has the size to be a backup nose.

Out: Kentavius Street, Noah Elliss

Edge (6): Haason Reddick, Josh Sweat, Brandon Graham, Nolan Smith, Patrick Johnson, Janarius Robinson

The surprise omission here is Derek Barnett. He’s under contract for this upcoming season but I’m not sure he’s really in the Eagles’ plans as a potential fifth edge rusher. He could possibly be cut or traded after June 1 as long as he’s healthy. I’m going out on a limb here and saying that happens. If not, then Robinson is probably the odd man out.

Out: Derek Barnett, Kyron Johnson, Tarron Jackson, Matt Leo

Linebacker (4): Nakobe Dean, Nicholas Morrow, Shaun Bradley, Christian Elliss

For now, I have the Eagles keeping four linebackers and it’s not a group that will make fans feel super confident. We know the Eagles aren’t going to sink resources into linebacker but this is a spot that is still incomplete. I expect the Eagles to add another linebacker before the season. But these four are on the team for now. Dean and Morrow are your starters.

Out: Davion Taylor, Ben VanSumeren

Cornerback (6): Darius Slay, James Bradberry, Avonte Maddox, Zech McPhearson, Kelee Ringo, Greedy Williams

The toughest cut here was Jobe, who made the team as a UDFA last year and was a strong special teamer. If the Eagles think Ringo can provide enough on special teams, then they can probably afford to keep Williams as a veteran backup corner. It’ll be interesting to see who wins that top backup job in camp and to see if McPhearson gets any reps at nickel. Because right now, the Eagles don’t really have a backup nickel if Josiah Scott doesn’t make the team.

Out: Josh Jobe, Josiah Scott, Mario Goodrich, Eli Ricks, Mekhi Garner

Safety (4): Reed Blankenship, Terrell Edmunds, Sydney Brown, K’Von Wallace

It’s a bit unclear who the Eagles’ starters at safety will be but it’s likely to be some combination of Blankenship, Edmunds and the rookie Brown. Wallace has never become a starter but he gave the Eagles some good snaps on defense and special teams last season. Veteran Justin Evans was brought in this offseason on a cheap deal and is not guaranteed to make the roster.

Out: Justin Evans, Tristin McCollum

Specialists (3): Jake Elliott, Arryn Siposs, Rick Lovato

Could UDFA Ty Zentner beat out Siposs for the punter job? Maybe. But for now, I still think it’s Siposs’s job to lose, which won’t make Eagles fans very happy. But Siposs did improve last season before a disastrous punt in the Super Bowl. If the Eagles had used some real resources on a punter competition, I’d be inclined to go with the other guy. But for now, I’m sticking with Siposs.

Out: Ty Zentner

Subscribe to the Eagle Eye podcast

Apple Podcasts | Google Play | Spotify | Stitcher | Art19 | Watch on YouTube