Breaking down the Eagles’ 53-man roster...
1 Jalen Hurts
Oklahoma | Years pro: 2 | 6-1, 223
Hurts is shaping up for his season-long audition as the Eagles’ starting quarterback. The 2020 second-round pick could establish himself as a long-term starter if he flashes the necessary potential both as a passer and a running threat. If he struggles, he could become a bridge to someone else in the offseason.
7 Joe Flacco
Delaware | Years pro: 14 | 6-6, 245
The veteran enters the season as the No. 2 quarterback. The team is hoping Flacco’s experience in the league becomes an asset for Hurts, at the very least, this season.
10 Gardner Minshew
Washington State | Years pro: 3 | 6-1, 225
Minshew arrived at the NovaCare Complex less than two weeks ago. He will start the season as the third-string quarterback, but it’s easy to see him eventually overtaking Flacco for the No. 2 spot, considering his starting experience and his production during his two years with Jacksonville.
14 Kenneth Gainwell
Memphis | Years pro: R | 5-9, 200
Eagles coach Nick Sirianni used running backs in the passing game often during his time as the Indianapolis Colts’ offensive coordinator, and Gainwell fits that mold nicely. The rookie showcased the ability to run routes and can catch passes either out of the backfield or from the slot, as he showed in both college and training camp.
26 Miles Sanders
Penn State | Years pro: 3 | 5-11, 211
The 2019 second-round pick will be the Eagles’ featured running back for the second year in a row. Last season, injuries kept him from fully embracing the workload that comes with his title, but Sirianni’s history would suggest Sanders could log around 200 carries if he’s healthy.
35 Boston Scott
Louisiana Tech | Years pro: 3 | 5-6, 203
Gainwell’s arrival may limit his role a bit, but Scott will once again be a change-of-pace back. He may be undersized, but he has shown a combination of power and agility that can be appealing in different situations. If Sanders goes down at some point, Scott has also shown an ability to step in capably, especially against the Giants.
6 DeVonta Smith
Alabama | Years pro: R | 6-0, 170
Counting on a rookie to rejuvenate an entire wide receiver corps is risky business, but the Eagles believe the 2020 Heisman Trophy winner is capable of doing just that. Smith missed some time with a knee injury during training camp and struggled with drops during his preseason debut, but his route-running has clearly translated to the NFL.
16 Quez Watkins
Southern Miss | Years pro: 2 | 6-0, 193
Watkins was arguably the biggest riser of training camp, largely because of a 79-yard touchdown off a screen pass in the preseason opener. He has lived up to the expectations that came from his 4.3-second 40-yard dash and should be a big-play threat all year because of that speed.
18 Jalen Reagor
TCU | Years pro: 2 | 5-11, 197
The Eagles hope Reagor’s struggles last year can be chalked up to rookie growing pains. The 2020 first-round pick had a few acrobatic one-handed catches during training camp but also had a handful of eyebrow-raising drops. He’ll be in the slot more this season and still has real upside as a big-play threat both downfield and on gadget plays.
19 J.J. Arcega-Whiteside
Stanford | Years pro: 3 | 6-2, 225
It has been a rough couple of seasons for the 2019 second-round pick, but Arcega-Whiteside battled his way back onto the active roster with a big play in the preseason finale and a willingness to play hard on special teams. Still, don’t expect to see him much in the offense, at least early on.
84 Greg Ward
Houston | Years pro: 3 | 5-11, 190
The 26-year-old is the elder statesman in a very young wide receiver room. It seems like he’ll be less of a mainstay in the slot this year compared with the last two seasons, but he should still be in the wideout rotation while also possibly handling punt returns at times.
86 Zach Ertz
Stanford | Years: 9 | 6-5, 250
Ertz is coming off arguably the worst season of his career and a tumultuous offseason filled with trade rumors, but he said he cleared the air with the front office and is healthier than last year. The Eagles have a decision looming regarding Ertz’s future with the team, but he has reaffirmed that he wants to retire as an Eagle.
88 Dallas Goedert
South Dakota State | Years pro: 4 | 6-5, 256
Goedert would be a No. 1 tight end on most teams in the league, and he just might overtake Ertz in playing time for the first time in his career this season. This is a contract year for Goedert, who said he expected to sign with the Eagles before the season, but the team balked at negotiations.
89 Jack Stoll
Nebraska | Years pro: R | 6-4, 247
Stoll defied the odds and made the active roster after putting together a handful of solid days during training camp. Howie Roseman praised the undrafted rookie’s athleticism when asked how he sneaked onto the roster.
56 Isaac Seumalo
Oregon State | Years pro: 6 | 6-4 303
Seumalo has become a mainstay on the offensive line and will start the season as the starting left guard once again. He has the versatility to slide over to center in a pinch if needed, too.
62 Jason Kelce
Cincinnati | Years pro: 11 | 6-3, 295
The veteran has been one of the NFL’s elite centers for several seasons. He hasn’t missed a start since 2014 and will once again be the anchor for the offense. Injuries or age could eventually cost him some of the agility that’s made him so dominant both in the screen game and on zone-running plays, but who knows when that will happen.
64 Brett Toth
Army | Years pro: 3 | 6-6, 304
The West Point graduate is now one of Jeff Stoutland’s developmental tackles. He played in six games last season, when injuries ransacked the offensive line reserves and wasn’t a liability, which is saying something for someone originally buried on the depth chart.
65 Lane Johnson
Oklahoma | Years pro: 9 | 6-6, 325
When healthy, Johnson is one of the best right tackles in the NFL. He battled through a debilitating ankle injury all of last season and eventually had to get season-ending surgery. How that left ankle holds up this year will likely determine if he’s still an elite lineman in the league.
67 Nate Herbig
Stanford | Years pro: 3 | 6-4, 334
Herbig played sparingly last season and flashed potential, but he’s still going into this season as a backup at multiple positions. We’ve seen him at both guard and center during training camp. He seems more natural at guard, and it’s worth noting he’s had a few errant snaps at center.
68 Jordan Mailata
Australia | Years pro: 4 | 6-8, 346
The monstrous Australian has gone from a complete project to an NFL starter in a few seasons’ time after beating Andre Dillard in a competition for the starting left tackle spot. His upside is still extremely high because of his combination of size, strength and movement.
69 Landon Dickerson
Alabama | Years pro: R | 6-6, 333
About 10 months removed from a torn ACL, Dickerson missed the entire preseason and only recently returned to practice. Once he’s fully healthy, he figures to be a backup at multiple spots, and a good one at that. The second-round pick’s injury history is scary, but he was one of the best prospects in the 2021 draft based on pure talent.
77 Andre Dillard
Washington State | Years pro: 3 | 6-5, 315
The 2019 first-round pick is trying to reverse course after a few troubling seasons. A season-ending biceps injury cost him his sophomore campaign, and he was occasionally overmatched in pass-rushing drills during practice this summer. He’s likely the first man up if Mailata gets hurt or struggles, but that’s about it.
79 Brandon Brooks
Miami (Ohio) | Years pro: 10 | 6-5, 335
The last time we saw Brooks, he was one of, if not the best offensive lineman in football. Since then, he has torn his second Achilles tendon and missed an entire season. The Eagles are heavily invested in Brooks, who is once again trying to overcome a lengthy rehab process to prove he’s still an elite interior lineman.
91 Fletcher Cox
Mississippi State | Years pro: 10 | 6-4, 310
Cox has been one of the best interior rushers in the league for many years and is still one of the best players on the Eagles. His sack numbers aren’t always representative of the impact he has on opposing offenses, but this year’s surrounding talent seems good enough for him to improve his stats.
93 Milton Williams
Louisiana Tech | Years pro: R | 6-3, 290
The Eagles have used Williams all over the line, both at defensive tackle and defensive end. Regardless of where the third-round pick is lined up, he has flashed real potential as a pass rusher. He may not start this season, but he’s earned a spot in the defensive line rotation with his play this summer.
95 Marlon Tuipulotu
USC | Years pro: R | 6-2, 307
Tuipulotu struggled early in training camp and had some lackluster reps during the preseason opener, but he looked much better by the finale against the Jets. He could get some work as an early-down run-stuffer, but it’s more likely that he’s strictly a developmental player this season.
97 Javon Hargrave
South Carolina State | Years pro: 6 | 6-2, 305
Not many players had a better training camp than Hargrave. The former Pittsburgh Steeler was constantly disrupting pass plays, especially in joint practices against the Jets. He’ll get plenty of one-on-one matchups because of the attention Cox draws, so don’t be surprised if he makes significant progress in his second season with the Eagles.
98 Hassan Ridgeway
Texas | Years pro: 6 | 6-3, 305
Ridgeway spent each of the last two seasons in the defensive tackle rotation. It’s unclear whether Jonathan Gannon will favor using a four-man rotation the way that former defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz did, but Ridgeway figures to be in the group if he does.
55 Brandon Graham
Michigan | Years pro: 12 | 6-2, 265
The veteran is still in pursuit of his first double-digit sack season. He got off to a quick start last year and finished with eight sacks and his first Pro Bowl selection. Even if he doesn’t put up gaudy sack numbers, Graham is a stout run defender and capable of rushing from multiple spots on the line.
75 Tarron Jackson
Coastal Carolina | Years pro: R | 6-2, 254
Jackson will probably be more of a developmental player than an actual contributor at least early on, but he could get some situational snaps as an edge rusher at some point.
90 Ryan Kerrigan
Purdue | Years pro: 11 | 6-4 267
It’s going to take some getting used to seeing Kerrigan in anything other than Washington colors, but the veteran will fit in as a rotational pass rusher. He’s capable of playing 4-3 defensive end and 3-4 outside linebacker — something Gannon values.
94 Josh Sweat
Florida State | Years pro: 4 | 6-5, 265
Sweat has consistently made progress as a pass rusher in each of the last four years and this summer seems to be the culmination of that work. He split first-team reps with Derek Barnett and it looks like he could be in store for a career year based on his success during training camp.
96 Derek Barnett
Tennessee | Years pro: 5 | 6-3, 259
Barnett has become, at the very least, a competent NFL starter at defensive end. He hasn’t put up impressive sack numbers and he has dealt with injuries often, but he should be a quality part of the rotation at defensive end this season, if not the starter.
48 Patrick Johnson
Tulane | Years pro: R | 6-2, 248
Johnson made the team despite undergoing a position switch in the offseason from defensive line to a Sam linebacker. In Gannon’s scheme, Johnson and his fellow Sams are seemingly a hybrid between an edge rusher and a traditional strong-side linebacker.
49 Alex Singleton
Montana State | Years pro: 3 | 6-2, 240
What a difference a year can make. Singleton is coming off an impressive 2020 season in which he led the team with 120 total tackles. He projects as a starter for at least the beginning of this season and is another strong year away from becoming an extension-eligible player seemingly in line for a decent payday.
50 Eric Wilson
Cincinnati | Years pro: 5 | 6-1, 230
Wilson’s experience both with Gannon and Mike Zimmer in Minnesota made him a sensible fit in the Eagles’ new defense. He struggled against the run with the Vikings last season but showed coverage skills the Eagles clearly valued as they try to identify and develop a modern set of linebackers.
52 Davion Taylor
Colorado | Years pro: 2 | 6-1, 230
Did somebody say modern linebacker? The Eagles are hoping they have exactly that in the 2020 third-round pick, who has the athletic ability to be a versatile coverage player in the middle of a defense. The questions about his instincts and limited game experience remain, especially after he missed most of training camp with a calf injury.
54 Shaun Bradley
Temple | Years pro: 2 | 6-1, 240
The former Owl is probably more of a special-teams player than a defensive contributor this season, but he did get some playing time in goal-line situations last season.
57 T.J. Edwards
Wisconsin | Years pro: 3 | 6-1, 242
Edwards was a fixture in the middle of the defense, particularly on early downs against the run, last season. This year, he figures to be in the mix once again as one of the expected starters along with Singleton and Wilson.
58 Genard Avery
Memphis | Years pro: 4 | 6-0, 250
Avery is another Sam candidate, transitioning from a defensive end role to the new linebacker spot in the defense. He missed time during training camp with multiple groin injuries, so it’s tough to know how much playing time he might be in for once he returns.
2 Darius Slay
Mississippi State | Years pro: 9 | 6-0, 190
For the second year, Slay will give the Eagles a proven entity at cornerback. Whether Gannon lets him shadow opposing teams’ top receivers in man coverage very much remains to be seen, but he showed an eagerness to do so last year.
3 Steven Nelson
Oregon State | Years pro: 7 | 5-10, 194
Nelson signed with the team just in time for training camp and immediately slotted into the starting outside cornerback spot opposite Slay. Coming from the Pittsburgh Steelers, he was a starter on one of the best passing defenses in the league last year and, while he got beat a few times early in camp, he has looked the part.
21 Andre Chachere
San Jose State | Years pro: 1 | 6-0, 200
The Eagles claimed Chachere off waivers after he spent training camp with the Colts. He’s bounced around on various practice squads since entering the league in 2018 but has yet to play in a regular-season game.
27 Zech McPhearson
Texas Tech | Years pro: R | 5-11, 191
McPhearson is probably the first man up if either Slay or Nelson goes down with an injury. He didn’t look ready to compete against NFL starters during the preseason, but he showcased ball skills and coverage ability in practice that would suggest he’s got the upside to start eventually.
29 Avonte Maddox
Pittsburgh | Years pro: 4 | 5-9, 184
After spending last season struggling as an outside cornerback, Maddox is back in the slot, where he belongs. He’ll be a major part of the team’s sub packages and could even play some safety in a pinch based on his previous experience.
37 Mac McCain III
North Carolina A&T | Years pro: R | 6-0, 175
McCain spent training camp with the Denver Broncos after going undrafted earlier this year. He cleared waivers last week and was on Denver’s practice squad, but the Eagles poached him Tuesday.
22 Marcus Epps
Wyoming | Years pro: 3 | 6-0, 198
Epps played some deep safety last season when Rodney McLeod was hurt and might be the starter opposite Anthony Harris for Week 1 against Atlanta. He joined the Eagles after the Vikings waived him in 2019, meaning he has experience with one of Gannon’s major influences: Zimmer.
23 Rodney McLeod
Virginia | Years pro: 10 | 5-10, 195
After tearing his ACL last December, it’s unclear when McLeod might be ready to return to game action. The Eagles activated him off the PUP list two weeks ago, meaning it should be before Week 7. Whenever he returns, he and Anthony Harris will be an experienced pair on the back end of the defense.
28 Anthony Harris
Virginia | Years pro: 7 | 6-1, 202
Like Eric Wilson, Harris has experience with Gannon and Zimmer, signing with the Eagles this offseason after playing six seasons with the Vikings. Harris tied for the league lead in interceptions with six in 2019, but he didn’t have as much success in 2020. The Eagles are banking on his being an experienced presence on the back end of their new defense.
42 K’Von Wallace
Clemson | Years pro: 2 | 5-11, 205
Wallace was getting first-team reps early in training camp, but he missed some time with groin injury. Assuming McLeod won’t be ready for Week 1, either Epps or Wallace figures to start opposite Harris.
4 Jake Elliott
Memphis | Years pro: 5 | 5-9, 167
Elliott is coming off the worst year of his career. He had the sixth-worst make percentage of any kicker at 73.7% last season, struggling with chip shots and long field goals alike. He had an ankle injury during training camp but is expected to be ready for Week 1.
8 Arryn Siposs
Auburn | Years pro: 1 | 6-2, 212
The Australia native has yet to punt in a regular-season game. He spent 2020 on the Lions’ practice squad but was the undisputed punter on the Eagles all summer.
45 Rick Lovato
Old Dominion | Years pro: 5 | 6-2, 249
Lovato has been with the team since midway through the 2016 season.