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4 roster longshots that could really happen


Rob331
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Here are some roster predictions that I haven't heard or read any speculation about.

Longshot #1 - Greg Ward isn't on the opening day roster. There are 3 ways this could happen. First, and no one wants this to happen, is a pre-season injury. Second, another team as a rash of receiver injuries and the Eagles benefit from their deep receiver corps and make a trade for him. Third, and most likely to me is this... The Eagles will likely keep 6 receivers. Jeffrey is headed for PUP. Jackson, Reagor, and JJAW (after all he's a 2nd round pick) have spots pretty well sewn up. That leave Hightower, Ward, Goodwin, and Watkins battling for the final 3 spots and give Hightower an edge because he's the only receiver besides JJAW with any height. Granted War has an edge because of his history and familiarity with thte offense but if he has a sup-par camp while Goodwin and Watkins have good ones it could happen. 

Longshot # 2 - the Eagles only keep 2 tight ends. This one is a matter of the roster numbers game. Most if not all teams break their 50 positional players down as 26 on defense and 24 on offense OR 25 on each. If the Eagles keep 6 receivers the 25/25 split looks likely. Why? Because they have 10 linemen who need to make the roster. There's the 5 starters plus Pryor who played well last year, Herbig the strongest man at the 2019 combine and a swing inside guy, the Big Aussie, and the two rookies - Driscoll and the Prince. Figure on 3 QB's, 6 WR's, 4 RB's, and 10 linemen that leaves only 2 slots for tight ends. 

Longshot #3 - The CB2 is on the roster but isn't Maddox, Douglas, or Jones. We have a 6') corner who runs in the 4'4's, is a sure tackler, very smart, and who had 20+ break ups in college. Think Jalen Mills with speed. Who? undrafted free agent Elijah Riley from Army. He's gong to surprise and not only make the roster but start. 

Longshot #4 - Based on #3 the Eagles will have 3 undrafted rookies make this years 53. Riley is the 1st. RB Michael Warren is the 2nd. With each day that Freeman or Shady isn't signed Warren's ability to make the team looks more likely. He's a fairly big guy at 220 and had a productive career at one of the Eagles seemingly favorite college programs - Cincinnati. Who is the 3rd  - well that's what makes this one a real longshot - it's DT Raekwan Willimas from Michigan State. But we're loaded at DT rights. Well yeah, but let's look at the overall defensive line. Figure on 10 players. Is it 6 DE and 4 DT or 5 and 5? At DE we'll have Graham, Barnett, Avery, Miller, and Sweat. Hall starts the seasonon PUP as a result of his last play knee injury in the playoffs last year. So who's the 6th DE? Is it Toohill or Ostman. Neither one is a roster lock and gives a stellar pre-season by Williams a plausible chance to see the 5 and 5 breakdown with the DT's being Cox, Hargrave, Jackson (who can also play outside) Ridgeway and Williams. 

Hope this was a but of fun to read - it sure was fun to dream up. 

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With regard to Ward, I think he will make the team pretty easily, and I think they keep seven wrs even with Jeffery on PUP. The reason is that Jeffery, Jackson and Goodwin are all likely gone next year, so even though they are keeping 7, only five will be here after this season. If they cut Ward, what are the chances that they will find someone to replace him at a price they can afford after this season? Especially since the remaining guys are all unproven.

I couldn't find a 40 time for Riley. If he is that fast, I would say he has a chance. He certainly put up big numbers at Army, and I don't think the team is in love with anyone at the CB2 spot right now. Grayland Arnold is another UDFA to watch, and Trevor Williams is a guy they brought in to compete who has some outside corner experience.

At TE, I wouldn't be surprised to see them keep 2. Perkins is the backup to Ertz and Ellis is the backup to Goedert, and both of them can probably be stashed on the PS. With the rule change this year, I wouldn't be surprised to see them stash those two guys and go heavy at other positions. 

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I like Elijah Riley, at Army he played all over their secondary, on the outside, in the slot, in the box, thing most impressed me is his tackling, he can really bring, im not sure he has the foot speed and hip fluidity to play on the outside but i think he could be good in 3 safety looks or as a big slot corner Dime LB like jenkins was used.

Im not sure he makes the roster, could get caught in a numbers game, if the eagles traded rasul douglas his chances at roster increase but i see him more as PS candidate.

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Re the CB2, not impressed by Douglas and he may not make the roster.  Maddox and Jones should be in.  Riley has a chance to impress in camp and make the roster if he is as good as projected.  Obviously Slay is in and LeB also.  There is 1 more CB slot for the others to compete for, unless they count Mills as the swing DB.    

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Ward makes the roster in my opinion. 

He fully deserves a spot to show what he can do across a full year. 

Plus we don't have anyone else who can play regularly in the slot. Sure Reagor will get some time there but he's going to be moved around. Ertz can play in there with certain match ups. There are options but you need a starting slot receiver and I'm sure that's going to be Ward.

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3 hours ago, UK_EaglesFan89 said:

Plus we don't have anyone else who can play regularly in the slot. There are options but you need a starting slot receiver and I'm sure that's going to be Ward.

Adrian Killins is a no-brainer for the slot, you want that threat on the field at all times.

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1 hour ago, time2rock said:

Deep WR corps?  :huh:

Lots of 'em. How talented? We shall see.

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15 minutes ago, EagleVA said:

Adrian Killins is a no-brainer for the slot, you want that threat on the field at all times.

I'm definitely excited about the speed he brings, but we have no idea if he can even compete at this level yet.  Maybe wait until 1 training camp report before we crown an UDFA RB the slot receiver king?  

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Just now, hputenis said:

I'm definitely excited about the speed he brings, but we have no idea if he can even compete at this level yet.  Maybe wait until 1 training camp report before we crown an UDFA RB the slot receiver king?  

He was a RB at LA Tech, I don't recall seeing many 160lb RBs in the NFL for good reason, they won't be able to handle the physicality required for the position  in the NFL.

Traditionally the slot receiver position has been manned by smaller quick Receiver/RBs and that's exactly what Killins is.

If the Pederson can't figure this out it's time to show him the door.

 

 

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10 hours ago, EagleVA said:

He was a RB at LA Tech, I don't recall seeing many 160lb RBs in the NFL for good reason, they won't be able to handle the physicality required for the position  in the NFL.

Traditionally the slot receiver position has been manned by smaller quick Receiver/RBs and that's exactly what Killins is.

If the Pederson can't figure this out it's time to show him the door.

 

 

Central Florida

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16 hours ago, UK_EaglesFan89 said:

Ward makes the roster in my opinion. 

He fully deserves a spot to show what he can do across a full year. 

Plus we don't have anyone else who can play regularly in the slot. Sure Reagor will get some time there but he's going to be moved around. Ertz can play in there with certain match ups. There are options but you need a starting slot receiver and I'm sure that's going to be Ward.

 

14 hours ago, time2rock said:

Deep WR corps?  :huh:

Yeah I just don't see anyway (injury apart) in which Ward doesn't make the opening day roster.

Jeffery and Jackson are both in their 30s and coming off major injuries. I'm excited about Reagor, but he's a rookie in what has already been an aborted offseason. Highly unlikely that Watkins or Hightower will be anything more than special teamers in their rookie years.

Goodwin sucks. He used to be able to run, but has chronic knee issues. The receiver needy 49ers gave him away for basically nothing. 

JJAW - well hopefully he turns it around, but more likely to play in the X/be Alshon's replacement if he does.

Ward is limited but was productive with Wentz last year and the two clearly had the timing and chemistry down. I would be shocked if he doesn't make the team. Maybe he gets beaten out by some of the rookies at some point, but we need him on the roster right now. 

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2 hours ago, EagleVA said:

Right

I think overall it's time for this team to let the guys that can play, play. Who cares where they were picked or how much they are making if they can out play the guy in front of them then let them play

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#2 has .01% of happening, imo. Don't see any scenario they carry only 2 TE's on the roster. I think there is a better chance of them carrying 4 than 2. You would just be opening yourself up to have a Week 2 Atlanta situation where one of the TE's gets a muscle pull during warmups or gets hurt in game and the entire gameplan goes out the window. 

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3 hours ago, ManchesterEagle said:

Ward is limited but was productive with Wentz last year and the two clearly had the timing and chemistry down. I would be shocked if he doesn't make the team. Maybe he gets beaten out by some of the rookies at some point, but we need him on the roster right now. 

Ward is one of those players who's essentially just a football guy. He doesn't have anything that jumps off the page. He doesn't have the speed or the size, he doesn't have great agility but he has an understanding. He runs good routes, he gets enough separation and he makes the plays you'd want and expect him to make. 

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I don't really understand the Ward love affair. He did ok, but just looked better because of how incompetent everyone else was. This is a guy who has been on the PS for years for everyone else to poach, but didn't. He also was at every Eagles practice last year, called up and cut a week later, and wasn't called up again until late November. If Jeffery was healthy I doubt he makes the team. 

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2 hours ago, Bwestbrook36 said:

I think overall it's time for this team to let the guys that can play, play. Who cares where they were picked or how much they are making if they can out play the guy in front of them then let them play

Yep, that old school seniority BS needs to be left at the HS and College levels, let nothing keep you from putting your best players on the field at all times, that includes Howie's  F-Ups.

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23 hours ago, jsb235 said:

 

At TE, I wouldn't be surprised to see them keep 2. Perkins is the backup to Ertz and Ellis is the backup to Goedert, and both of them can probably be stashed on the PS. With the rule change this year, I wouldn't be surprised to see them stash those two guys and go heavy at other positions. 

Thanks for the feedback. If they keep 7 receivers keeping 2 TE's  it's almost a sure thing. 

23 hours ago, jsb235 said:

couldn't find a 40 time for Riley. If he is that fast, I would say he has a chance. He certainly put up big numbers at Army, and I don't think the team is in love with anyone at the CB2 spot right now. Grayland Arnold is another UDFA to watch, and Trevor Williams is a guy they brought in to compete who has some outside corner experience.

4.49 - got it from Walterfootball

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21 hours ago, UK_EaglesFan89 said:

Ward makes the roster in my opinion. 

He fully deserves a spot to show what he can do across a full year. 

Plus we don't have anyone else who can play regularly in the slot. Sure Reagor will get some time there but he's going to be moved around. Ertz can play in there with certain match ups. There are options but you need a starting slot receiver and I'm sure that's going to be Ward.

I think you're right - that's why I called them longshots. Goodwin and Watkins are both equipped to be slot receivers. I think Ward wins the battle but he'll have to keep his performance at a level higher than his competition. 

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1 hour ago, LeanMeanGM said:

I don't really understand the Ward love affair. He did ok, but just looked better because of how incompetent everyone else was. This is a guy who has been on the PS for years for everyone else to poach, but didn't. He also was at every Eagles practice last year, called up and cut a week later, and wasn't called up again until late November. If Jeffery was healthy I doubt he makes the team. 

Malcolm Jenkins disagrees with you. He said last year that Ward should have made the team out of training camp and used to work with him after practice on covering slot receivers because he was such a good route runner.

Ward may not be any good in your eyes, but Jenkins seems to think he's legit. So I think your idea that the Eagles can easily replace him is a bit misguided. 

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2 hours ago, LeanMeanGM said:

#2 has .01% of happening, imo. Don't see any scenario they carry only 2 TE's on the roster. I think there is a better chance of them carrying 4 than 2. You would just be opening yourself up to have a Week 2 Atlanta situation where one of the TE's gets a muscle pull during warmups or gets hurt in game and the entire gameplan goes out the window. 

Thanks for the feedback Leanmean. I called them longshots for one reason - they are exactly that. Would you feel the same way if both Ellis and Perkins were on the practice squad? Now that the PS is 12 and 2 per week can be moved onto the active roster (making it 55) that's a possibility also. 

How do you think they keep 10 on the OL and 6 receivers and still have 3 or more TE's? Where does the roster spot come from? Believe me, I'm not challenging you, I just would like to know your thinking on the issue. 

 

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1 minute ago, jsb235 said:

Malcolm Jenkins disagrees with you. He said last year that Ward should have made the team out of training camp and used to work with him after practice on covering slot receivers because he was such a good route runner.

Ward may not be any good in your eyes, but Jenkins seems to think he's legit. So I think your idea that the Eagles can easily replace him is a bit misguided. 

Ok, well the coaches and other NFL GM's disagree with Malcolm. I'm also not saying he sucks, he's just the definition of JAG. 

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Just now, LeanMeanGM said:

Ward may not be any good in your eyes,

C'mon now - I didn't say that at all. Give me some credit please. 

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3 hours ago, Rob331 said:

Thanks for the feedback Leanmean. I called them longshots for one reason - they are exactly that. Would you feel the same way if both Ellis and Perkins were on the practice squad? Now that the PS is 12 and 2 per week can be moved onto the active roster (making it 55) that's a possibility also. 

How do you think they keep 10 on the OL and 6 receivers and still have 3 or more TE's? Where does the roster spot come from? Believe me, I'm not challenging you, I just would like to know your thinking on the issue. 

 

I've been slacking on getting a great grasp of the new rules this season, but from how I understand it, the new PS rule can only be used on each player a max of 2 times. After that, it reverts to the old PS call up rules, and they would have to be called up as one of the 53. So the new rule doesn't help much outside of 4 games if its just Ellis and Perkins. 

As far as roster building goes, i'm not sure they keep 6 WR's especially with Ertz and Goedert already here and Jeffery likely on PUP with maybe a chance to return down the line. If we are assuming an even split and 25 go to offense I think it looks like 10 OL, 5 WR's, 4 RB's, 3 TE's, 3 QB's. If they were to go 6 WR's, I think going 9 OL or 2 QB's is more likely than just 2 TE's. I can also see a scenario where they go with just 3 RB's if the intent is to move away more from the RBBC and make Sanders the guy. With them rolling out 12 personnel so heavily, I just can't see how or why they would only have 2 TE's, and will make a cut somewhere else.

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