time2rock Posted June 21, 2021 Share Posted June 21, 2021 Projecting Eagles’ initial 53-man roster ahead of training camp: Will J.J. Arcega-Whiteside stick around? Who will start at left tackle? Today 6:30 AM Philadelphia Eagles WR JJ Arcega-Whiteside is squarely on the roster bubble entering training camp.Lori M. Nichols | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com By Mike Kaye | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com The Eagles have flipped over their roster to start the Nick Sirianni era. As of Monday, the Eagles only have 12 members of their 2017 Super Bowl-winning squad under contract. There are 14 rookies on the payroll and another 15 new faces who were brought in during the offseason. While the Eagles haven’t been their typically aggressive selves this offseason, the roster has a new look to match its new coaching staff. For the most part, it’s a fresh start, which means returning players will need to impress their new bosses this summer or face the chopping block. Here is our latest 53-man roster projection entering the summer: Quarterbacks (3) In: Jalen Hurts, Joe Flacco, Nick Mullens Out: None. Analysis: Barring an epic trade for Deshaun Watson or Aaron Rodgers, Hurts is going to be the QB1. Flacco is the veteran insurance policy, while Mullens is the "break in case of emergency” option behind him. The Mullens signing appears to be a proactive step toward a worst-case scenario at the QB spot. For now, though, Hurts will get every chance to prove himself. Running backs (4) In: Miles Sanders, Kerryon Johnson, Kenny Gainwell, Boston Scott Out: Elijah Holyfield, Adrian Killins, Jordan Howard, Jason Huntley Analysis: The running back group will be interesting to watch this summer. Sanders is the featured back, while Gainwell is the upstart third-down playmaker. The real competition will take place behind Sanders and Gainwell, with Johnson, Scott, Howard, Huntley, Holyfield and Killins competing for two spots. Given Johnson’s relative youth and top-tier blocking and receiving abilities, he is a favorite in the competition. Scott fits the utility back role that would be best reserved for a fourth back. Killins is an intriguing wild card, given his work with the receiver group this offseason. Wide Receivers (6) In: DeVonta Smith, Jalen Reagor, Travis Fulgham, Greg Ward, Quez Watkins, J.J. Arcega-Whiteside Out: John Hightower, Michael Walker, Jhamon Ausbon Analysis: The Eagles are expected to favor three-receiver sets under Sirianni. With that in mind, Smith, Reagor and Fulgham are likely to be the top three guys on the depth chart. All three players can play the three receiver spots, allowing Sirianni and offensive coordinator Shane Steichen to mix and match their setup in the formation. Ward is the "veteran” of the group, while Watkins is a home-run hitter to be used accordingly. Arcega-Whiteside will continue to get his flack until he proves himself, but his size -- and potential versatility in the slot -- could help him make the team over Hightower, who needs to have a tremendous training camp to stick around. Special teams will be the key for Hightower, Ward, Watkins and Arcega-Whiteside this summer. Tight Ends (2) In: Dallas Goedert, Richard Rodgers Out: Zach Ertz, Jack Stoll, Caleb Wilson, Jason Croom, Tyree Jackson, Hakeem Butler Analysis: Ertz is still under contract in Philly, but his status is likely to change in the lead-up to training camp. If Ertz is sent packing, there’s a solid chance that the Eagles will only keep two tight ends in Week 1. During the two previous seasons, the Eagles have entered Week 1 with just two players at the position. With Sirianni likely to focus more on 11 personnel (1 RB, 1 TE, 3 WRs), there won’t be a need for a deep depth chart. Goedert will be the top guy, while Rodgers was brought back to be the No. 2 with Ertz likely on his way out. The rest of the group is a bunch of afterthoughts and projects. Look for the Eagles to go heavy on tight ends on the practice squad. Offensive Linemen (10) In: Jordan Mailata (LT), Isaac Seumalo (LG), Jason Kelce (C), Brandon Brooks (RG), Lane Johnson (RT), Andre Dillard, Landon Dickerson, Nate Herbig, Jack Driscoll, Sua Opeta Out: Ross Pierschbacher, Brett Toth, Matt Pryor, Casey Tucker, Luke Juriga, Kayode Awosika, Harry Crider PUP: Le’Raven Clark Analysis: Mailata and Dillard will battle this summer, and while neither seems to have a significant edge at left tackle, Mailata actually has a better NFL resume at this point. No matter who wins the competition, the loser should stick around, because the pair has a combined 14 starts and that lack of experience could lead to a starting lineup swap early on in the season. Dickerson and Driscoll should be viewed as locks, while Opeta and Herbig are favorites of offensive line coach Jeff Stoutland. Juriga and Awosika are the two most intriguing backup linemen on the bubble. Defensive Linemen (9) In: Brandon Graham (DE), Fletcher Cox (DT), Javon Hargrave (DT), Derek Barnett (DE), Josh Sweat, Ryan Kerrigan, Milton Williams, Marlon Tuipulotu, Tarron Jackson Out: T.Y. McGill, Raquan Williams, Matt Leo (Int.), Willie Henry, JaQuan Bailey, Hassan Ridgeway, Joe Ostman Analysis: The first seven players in this group are locked in place, while the final 2-3 spots are up in the air. Graham, Cox, Hargrave and Barnett will start, while Sweat, Williams, Tuipulotu and Kerrigan will form the second platoon. Tuipulotu and Jackson are intriguing rookies who will compete with the likes of McGill, Ridgeway, Williams and Ostman for the last couple of spots. Ridgeway seems like a veteran that could be cut after camp but then get brought back following Week 1 when his contract wouldn’t be guaranteed. Linebackers (6) In: Eric Wilson (WILL), T.J. Edwards (MIKE), Alex Singleton (SAM), Davion Taylor, Shaun Bradley, JaCoby Stevens Out: Rashad Smith, Genard Avery, Patrick Johnson Analysis: Wilson will be the Eagles’ three-down backer, while Edwards and Singleton will join him in base formation. Bradley seems like the obvious choice to back up the middle linebacker spot, while Taylor is a high-upside project at the WILL position. Stevens’ versatility allows the Eagles to go light at safety, especially with Kerrigan likely rotate at SAM linebacker and defensive end. Cornerbacks (6) In: Darius Slay, Craig James, Avonte Maddox, Zech McPhearson, Michael Jacquet, Josiah Scott Out: Kevon Seymour, Shakial Taylor, Nate Meadors, Lavert Hill Analysis: Outside of Slay, the Eagles’ cornerback depth chart is a massive issue. While Maddox will move back into the nickel position -- where he fits best -- the second outside cornerback spot is troublesome, at best. James, Jacquet and McPhearson will compete for the top job next to Slay, as it stands now, but it would benefit the Eagles’ defense to upgrade the competition with a signing or a trade. Scott was acquired for a 2023 draft pick this offseason, and he profiles as a strong backup nickel corner. If Maddox gets some looks at safety, Scott and James can fill in at the nickel position. Safeties (4) In: Anthony Harris, K’Von Wallace, Marcus Epps, Grayland Arnold Out: Andrew Adams, Elijah Riley PUP: Rodney McLeod Analysis: With Stevens already on the linebacker depth chart, the Eagles can afford to go light at safety. McLeod claims he will be back by Week 1, but for now, we’ll be cynical and put him on the Physically Unable to Perform list. Harris will start opposite Wallace and/or Epps. Arnold can serve as a utility backup at the position, and he gets the nod over Riley and Adams. Like Ridgeway, Adams seems like a veteran who could be cut before Week 1 and then get brought back on a non-guaranteed deal. Specialists (3) In: Jake Elliott (K), Arryn Siposs (P), Rick Lovato (LS) Out: None. Analysis: The Eagles aren’t hosting a specialist competition this summer, so the punter job is Siposs’ to lose. https://www.nj.com/eagles/2021/06/projecting-eagles-initial-53-man-roster-ahead-of-training-camp-will-jj-arcega-whiteside-stick-around-who-will-start-at-left-tackle.html Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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