The Philadelphia Eagles took a slight step down in 2018 after their historic Super Bowl run a year prior. Injuries and some inconsistent play had them starting the year at 4-6. They were, however, able to pick things up at the right time, winning the last five of six games, ultimately having a 9-7 record and making the playoffs in […]
The Philadelphia Eagles took a slight step down in 2018 after their historic Super Bowl run a year prior. Injuries and some inconsistent play had them starting the year at 4-6. They were, however, able to pick things up at the right time, winning the last five of six games, ultimately having a 9-7 record and making the playoffs in the last NFC Wild Card spot.
The Eagles made some impressive moves this past offseason. Some of the notable signings were Malik Jackson, Andrew Sendejo, L.J. Fort, as well as bringing back Vinny Curry. As far as the draft, they used their first three draft picks on offensive players in hopes to contribute to the team right away.
Here is the breakdown of each position group heading into the 2019 Regular Season.
- Starter: Carson Wentz
- Backups: Josh McCown, Nate Sudfeld
- Preseason Cuts: Clayton Thorson, Cody Kessler
Wentz will look to bounce back after an injury-riddled 2018. Let’s not forget that before his ACL injury in 2017, he was a clear MVP candidate. McCown was brought in out of retirement and looks to be Wentz’s primary backup in 2019. He is a great veteran leader that’ll only help Wentz develop. It also allows Sudfeld some time to recover from a wrist injury he suffered in the preseason.
Thorson looks to be a top practice squad candidate while Kessler is more likely on the outs after a disastrous preseason performance. This was likely the reason why McCown was brought in to be a reliable backup.
- Starter: Miles Sanders
- Backups: Jordan Howard, Darren Sproles, Corey Clement
- Preseason Cuts: Wendell Smallwood, Josh Adams, Donnel Pumphrey, Boston Scott
For the past few seasons, Philadelphia has used multiple running backs in the offense and the same can be said for 2019.
Second-round rookie Sanders looks to be the guy receiving a majority of the touches. He has been impressive so far in the preseason and has the chance to be a star in the Eagles offense. Howard was acquired from the Bears in a trade and was great during his time there, having 3,370 career yards and 24 touchdowns. He’ll be a nice change of pace back for the team while Sproles, who returns for his 14th season, provides a solid third-down pass-catching option. Clement is also a solid back in his own right and after an impressive stint with the Eagles so far in his young career, he’ll likely stick around and occasionally provide a boost in the kick return game.
- Starters: Alshon Jeffery, DeSean Jackson, Nelson Agholor
- Backups: JJ Arcega-Whiteside, Mack Hollins, Greg Ward Jr.
- Preseason Cuts: Charles Johnson, Marken Michel, Carlton Agudosi, DeAndre Thompkins
Jackson returns to Philadelphia after five years away from the franchise. He may be up there in age (32) but is still a speed threat and provides another great target for Wentz. Jeffery comes in and starts once again as he heads into his third season with the team. Agholor went from a first-round draft bust to one of the better slot receivers in the league. Arcega-Whiteside is a big-bodied third-round rookie that look to contribute right away in the offense.
While the first four seem to be a lock, it’s after where it gets tricky. Hollins is a former fourth-round selection in 2017 and will look to contribute on Special Teams. I have former Houston quarterback turned receiver Ward Jr. making the roster for now but could be a practice squad candidate if the Eagles want to only keep five receivers. Although, he has had an impressive preseason so they may not want to risk losing him.
- Starter: Zach Ertz
- Backups: Dallas Goedert, Joshua Perkins
- Preseason Cuts: Richard Rodgers, Will Tye, Alex Ellis
Ertz has been consistent and is one of the best tight ends in the NFL, so he is a lock. Goedert looks to improve in his second season as he’ll likely get more targets in year two.
I had Rodgers being the third TE but injuries may have hurt his chances on the roster. Perkins has been the most impressive out of the group, so he makes the team, for now, barring the Eagles decide to sign a more stable third TE.
- Starters: Jason Peters, Isaac Seumalo, Jason Kelce, Brandon Brooks, Lane Johnson
- Backups: Halapoulivaati Vaitai, Andre Dillard, Jordan Mailata, Matt Pryor
- Preseason Cuts: Stefen Wisniewski, Nate Herbig Anthony Fabiano, Sua Opeta, Keegan Render, Brett Toth
The Eagles have one of the best offensive lines from left to right. Peters is up there in age but is still a solid starter while Johnson has been a great right tackle. Kelce is guaranteed to start at the center spot while Brooks mans the right guard spot once he returns from injury. Seumalo signed a three-year extension this past offseason and is a lock at the left guard spot.
First-round pick Dillard is likely the eventual replacement once Peters decides to retire. Vaitai is a solid backup and occasional starter when called upon. Mailata and Pryor are young and look to be development projects.
- Starters: Brandon Graham, Fletcher Cox, Mailk Jackson, Derek Barnett
- Backups: Timmy Jernigan, Vinny Curry, Daeshon Hall, Hassan Ridgeway, Treyvon Hester
- Preseason Cuts: Josh Sweat, Shareef Miller, Kasim Edebali, Eli Harold, Aziz Shittu, Kevin Wilkins
- Out for the Year: Joe Ostman
The defensive line is stacked with a lot of depth. The starters, led by Cox, looks to be one of the best from left to right. Jackson was added this past offseason and forms a scary defensive tackle duo in the middle. Graham and Barnett form a solid defensive end duo.
The main backups of Jernigan and Curry can start for several teams and will get on the field plenty in certain rotations. Hall, Ridgeway, and Hester may come in at times but could also contribute on Special Teams if needed.
- Starters: Nigel Bradham, Kamu Grugier-Hill, Zach Brown
- Backups: Nathan Gerry, L.J. Fort, T.J. Edwards
- Preseason Cuts: Alex Singleton, Asantay Brown, Chris Worley
Bradham since joining the Eagles in 2016 has been great and starts at one of the outside linebacker spots. Brown was signed this past offseason and looks to start opposite. Grugier-Hill looks to man the middle full time now that Jordan Hicks is gone.
Gerry, Fort, and Edwards provide depth and came in when called upon as well as playing some Special Teams.
- Starters: Ronald Darby, Avonte Maddox
- Backups: Jalen Mills, Orlando Scandrick, Sidney Jones, Cre’Von LeBlanc
- Preseason Cuts: Rasul Douglas, Ajene Harris, Josh Hawkins, Jeremiah McKinnon, Orlando Scandrick, Sojourn Shelton
Darby has developed into a solid corner since joining Philadelphia and starts at one side. Maddox had a decent rookie season and the former fourth-round selection looks to start opposite of Darby.
Mills can start also but is currently dealing with an injury. Once he returns, he could start instead of Maddox and place him in the nickel spot. Scandrick is an 11-year veteran that looks to contribute in certain formations. Jones and LeBlanc will likely be playing in the Special Teams department.
- Starters: Malcolm Jenkins, Rodney McLeod
- Backups: Andrew Sendejo, Johnathan Cyprien
- Preseason Cuts: Rudy Ford, Trae Elston, Deiondre’ Hall, Tre Sullivan
Jenkins is in the conversation as one of the best safeties in the league and is a guaranteed starter as a ball-hawking safety. McLeod has been a solid starter in the league and looks to bounce back from a torn MCL he suffered last season.
Sendejo and Cyprien at one point were both solid starting safeties on other teams but looks to be backups here. With their skill sets, they’ll come in certain formations and contribute right away.
- Kicker: Jake Elliot
- Punter: Cameron Johnston
- Long Snapper: Rick Lovato
- Preseason Cuts: None
No changes here. Elliot has been excellent during his time on the Eagles while Johnston and Lovato were on the team last season. With no other backups, their jobs are safe.
I think the Philadelphia Eagles have one of the more complete rosters from top to bottom. Wentz has a chance to have a huge bounce-back year after injuries halted his momentum the past two seasons. Sanders and Howard look to be the main running backs featured while the receiving core will only help Wentz. It also helps that you have one of the best offensive lines in football.
The defense also looks complete here. They have A TON of depth on the defensive line while the linebackers and corners are solid also. The safety department, led by Jenkins and McLeod, looks to be great once again.
I think the Eagles will win the division but it will get competitive against the Dallas Cowboys. 2018 was an odd year but I think with a complete and healthy roster, they can be in the conversation for the NFC representative for Super Bowl 54.