A Waaaaaay Too Early Look at the Eagles’ 2019 Roster Situation

Photo Credit: Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports

Listen –

It’s never too early to look ahead.

The Eagles have a lot of work to do this spring and summer, and it starts right now with free agent decisions and (continuing) NFL draft research.

They’ll pick 25th in the 1st round, twice in the second round, and then a projected six more times in the later rounds. Here’s what the list looks like as of January 17th:

  • 1st round (natural)
  • 2nd round (natural)
  • 2nd round (via Ravens, Eagles traded out of first round last year and Baltimore took Lamar Jackson)
  • 4th round (natural)
  • 4th round (compensatory, Trey Burton)
  • 5th round (natural)
  • 6th round (natural)
  • 6th round (compensatory, Patrick Robinson)
  • 6th round (compensatory, Beau Allen)

No natural third round pick this year. That went to Detroit in the Golden Tate trade. The compensatory picks are projections via Over the Cap and should be confirmed in February:

As for the current roster, here’s where the Eagles stand:

Quarterback:

  • Carson Wentz
  • Nick Foles
  • Nate Sudfeld

Foles should be gone and Sudfeld is a restricted free agent who will need to be tendered. Assuming you only return two of these three guys, you’re going to need to find a third QB, probably a veteran third stringer, somewhere in the free agent market. You could also try for a project QB with one of those 6th round picks, which might be plausible considering the fact that the Birds like Sudfeld and are likely very comfortable having him back up Wentz in 2019.

Running Back:

  • Josh Adams
  • Corey Clement
  • Wendell Smallwood
  • Boston Scott

They need to draft a running back or sign one in free agency.

It’s not a great RB class this year, though the Eagles might be able to find a solid ball carrier with one of those second round picks. Jay Ajayi is a free agent coming off his ACL injury, so that’s another option you could try if you wanted to risk it. You could also take a crack at Le’Veon Bell in free agency or even look at Kareem Hunt if that’s a road worth traveling. Beyond that, you’re looking at names like Tevin Coleman and T.J. Yeldon on the younger side of the running back UFA spectrum. The Eagles could try one more year of Darren Sproles.

Receiver:

  • Nelson Agholor
  • Shelton Gibson
  • Alshon Jeffery
  • Mack Hollins

The Birds have an option year on Agholor. They can bring him back at a $9 million cap hit or look to re-sign Golden Tate in free agency instead. Mike Wallace is a free agent after playing just two games this season and Mack Hollins spent the entire year on IR.

They need something else in the receiving corps.

Tight end:

  • Zach Ertz
  • Dallas Goedert
  • Josh Perkins

All good here. It’s probably the most stable position group on the entire roster right now.

Offensive Line:

  • Brandon Brooks
  • Lane Johnson
  • Jason Kelce
  • Jason Peters
  • Jordan Mailata
  • Matt Pryor
  • Isaac Seumalo
  • Big V
  • Stefen Wisniewski

It’ll be Lane Johnson and Stef Wisniewski on the right side of the line to start the year, barring a miraculous eight-month Achilles recovery from Brandon Brooks. Jason Kelce may or may not be retiring. Isaac Seumalo returns at left guard and I would personally move on from a 37-year-old Jason Peters while looking anywhere and everywhere for a long-term left tackle replacement. I don’t know if Big V is the guy, and Jordan Mailata is a project, but do you want to endure another year of Peters being unable to play a full complement of snaps? The left tackle can has been kicked almost to the very end of the road.

Defensive Line:

  • Derek Barnett
  • Michael Bennett
  • Fletcher Cox
  • Daeshon Hall
  • Bruce Hector
  • Treyvon Hester
  • Tim Jernigan
  • Josh Sweat

They need an edge rusher to replace Brandon Graham and/or Chris Long, assuming both do not return. It’s a strong defensive line draft class, so the Eagles should absolutely be able to find an end or tackle with the 25th overall pick.

Jernigan has a $13 million cap hit next year but the Eagles reworked his deal into option years with no guaranteed money. Bennett hits at $7 million but the Birds can also get out of that without any dead cap money. Should be interesting to see what they do with those two guys, because you’re looking at an incredibly thin unit outside of Fletcher Cox, Bennett, and Jernigan.

Linebacker:

  • Nigel Bradham
  • Nate Gerry
  • Kamu Grugier-Hill
  • B.J. Bello

They need help here. Kamu had a decent year but they need a stud middle linebacker to replace Jordan Hicks. Preston Brown (coming off knee injury) and C.J. Mosley are unrestricted free agents going into the spring.

Secondary:

  • Malcolm Jenkins
  • Sidney Jones
  • Rasul Douglas
  • Avonte Maddox
  • Cre’Von LeBlanc
  • Jalen Mills
  • Rodney McLeod
  • Tre Sullivan
  • Josh Hawkins
  • Elie Bouka
  • Deiondre’ Hall

Ronald Darby and Corey Graham are free agents. Jalen Mills and Sidney Jones come off their injuries, as does Rodney McLeod with a $9.9 million cap hit. Is Rasul Douglas a corner or a safety? Where does Avonte Maddox best fit? Does Cre’Von LeBlanc earn a spot after playing well down the stretch?

Feels like there are always a ton of questions with the Eagles secondary. Some are good questions and some are bad questions, but there’s plenty for Jim Schwartz and Howie Roseman to figure out in this area.

Special teams:

  • Cameron Johnston

Rick Lovato is a restricted free agent and Jake Elliott is an exclusive rights free agent, so both should be back in 2019.

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6 Responses

  1. Bradham was ok but the rest of the linebackers were awful. I cant think of any big plays they made. Behind that Defensive line you should be freed up to make plays an they did not.

  2. Bradham was awful but the rest of the linebackers were ok. I can think of so many big plays they made. Behind that offensive line you should be freed up to make plays an they did.

  3. Can they move Lane Johnson to left tackle? Isn’t that why they drafted him 4th overall?

    Do it now so he has the entire offseason to prepare.

    1. A wise man once said “Lane Johnson can’t lay off the juice!”. My concern would be we move him over and this chucklehead takes strike 3.

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