Figuring out Eagles' depth chart after Bradberry signing


After the Eagles signed James Bradberry last week, their roster is at 90 players as they get ready for OTAs later this month.

It feels like a good time to lay out their depth chart.

All 90 players are listed below just once even though there are some players who play multiple positions and can back up and multiple spots. On defense, I have it aligned as a 4-3 even though there are plenty of signs we’ll see a lot of 3-4 this season.

Some decisions were easy; some were really tough. Let’s take a look:

QB: Jalen Hurts, Gardner Minshew, Carson Strong, Reid Sinnett

The Eagles have said all offseason that Hurts is their guy going into the 2022 season. And even though they had a wandering eye earlier in the offseason, this is clearly Hurts’ team going into his third year in the NFL. After Hurts, Minshew is clearly the backup unless the Eagles can find a trade partner. They won’t give him away because they value the backup position. We gave a nod to UDFA Carson Strong, who got an huge amount of guaranteed money ($320K) to sign with the Eagles, over incumbent third-stringer Reid Sinnett.

RB: Miles Sanders, Kenny Gainwell, Boston Scott, Jason Huntley, Kennedy Brooks

Sanders is entering the fourth and final year of his rookie contract. If he can stay healthy this year, he can earn a nice payday either in Philly or elsewhere. The Eagles have just five running backs on their roster but bring back Gainwell in his second year and figured out a way to get Scott back on a cheaper deal than if they tendered him as a restricted free agent. It’s possible that Huntley and Brooks will be competing for a roster spot in training camp.

WR: DeVonta Smith, Zach Pascal, John Hightower, Keric Wheatfall, Josh Hammond
WR: A.J. Brown, Jalen Reagor, Deon Cain, Devon Allen
Slot: Quez Watkins, Greg Ward, Britain Covey

The starters are pretty defined. Brown, Smith and Watkins are the top three receivers. The Eagles said they felt pretty good about Watkins being their No. 2 but he’s a better third option and having Smith and Brown at the top makes this entire group better. It pushes Pascal to the fourth option and likely keeps Reagor off the field (but still on the roster). Pascal has played a lot of reps in the slot in recent seasons but he has the ability to play inside and outside.

TE: Dallas Goedert, Grant Calcaterra, Jack Stoll, Tyree Jackson, Richard Rodgers, Noah Togiai, J.J. Arcega-Whiteside

Goedert is arguably a top five tight end in the NFL, but after him there’s a drop-off. This time last year, the Eagles had Goedert and Zach Ertz. Now their TE2 is either Stoll or the sixth-round pick Calcaterra. I’ll give a nod to Calcaterra here but they are very different players and there’s probably room on the roster for both. Jackson is still recovering from an ACL tear. JJAW is the last guy on this list as he transitions from receiver to tight end. He has some ground to make up.

LT: Jordan Mailata, Andre Dillard, Brett Toth
LG: Landon Dickerson, Kayode Awosika, Josh Sills
C: Jason Kelce, Cam Jurgens
RG: Isaac Seumalo, Sua Opeta, Jack Anderson, William Dunkle
RT: Lane Johnson, Jack Driscoll, Le’Raven Clark, Jarrid Williams

Four of these starting offensive line positions are locked up. We know Mailata, Dickerson, Kelce and Johnson are the starters at their respective positions. We’ll see what happens at right guard. For now, we have former left guard Seuamalo in that spot, but Driscoll and Opeta (and maybe even Jurgens) will also likely be in the competition for that job in training camp. If Seumalo wins that job, then Driscoll will back up a few different spots. For now, you’ll see that Dillard is still on the roster as a backup left tackle. If the Eagles can trade him, then the top backup tackles will be Driscoll and possibly Clark. Second-round pick Jurgens is clearly the No. 2 center but will cross train at guard too.

DE: Josh Sweat, Tarron Jackson, Matt Leo
DT: Fletcher Cox, Jordan Davis, Noah Elliss, Marvin Wilson
DT: Javon Hargrave, Milton Williams, Renell Wren, Marlon Tuipolotu
DE: Brandon Graham, Derek Barnett

For this depth chart, we’re putting the Eagles in a 4-3 alignment but based on some of their moves this offseason, it’s likely we’ll see plenty of 3-4 in 2022. But chances are this is just a very multiple defense from Jonathan Gannon in his second year at the helm.

As far as the four-man line, Cox and Hargrave are likely still the top two defensive tackles but first-round pick Jordan Davis is going to play an awful lot as a rookie. And third-round pick Milton Williams will too. Williams offers plenty of versatility. Sweat is coming off a Pro Bowl season in 2021 and is the safest bet to be a starter on the edge in 2022. Graham is 34 now and coming off an Achilles injury. So we’re penciling him in as a starter with the understanding that we’ll have to see what he’ll be able to do.

WILL: Kyzir White, Davion Taylor, JaCoby Stevens
MIKE: Nakobe Dean, T.J. Edwards, Shaun Bradley, Christian Elliss
SAM: Haason Reddick, Kyron Johnson, Patrick Johnson, Joe Ostman, Ali Fayad

We’re likely going to see some different packages at linebacker because, believe it or not, the Eagles finally have some depth here. The SAM spot is clearly Reddick’s. That’s in stone. And it seems like White is going to be the other off-ball linebacker.

The biggest question mark for me is at the middle linebacker spot. Edwards is the incumbent middle linebacker and he played really well last season. In a lot of ways, he saved their defense in 2021. But the Eagles drafted Dean and despite the injury concern and his small stature, he needs to be on the field as a rookie if he’s healthy. I have Dean ahead of Edwards but that’s definitely a longer-term projection. Edwards has earned the right to get the first crack at first-team reps in training camp and Dean has the ability to play both the WILL and MIKE positions in the Eagles defense.

The Eagles also have some decent depth at the position. Taylor showed some good signs last year before finishing his season on the IR. Bradley is a great special teamer and solid depth piece. And the two Johnsons fighting for the backup SAM role have some promise too.

CB: Darius Slay, Zech McPhearson, Mario Goodrich, Mac McCain III, Craig James
CB: James Bradberry, Tay Gowan, Josh Blackwell, Josh Jobe
NCB: Avonte Maddox, Josiah Scott, Kary Vincent Jr.

After adding Bradberry as a free agent last week, the starting trio of Slay-Bradberry-Maddox is really good. In fact, this has to be one of the best cornerback trios in the NFL in 2022. And the addition of Bradberry also helps the overall depth at the position. Now guys like McPhearson, Gowan and others who were expected to compete for CB2 are all fighting for roster spots and top backup roles.

S: Anthony Harris, K’Von Wallace, Reed Blankenship
S: Marcus Epps, Andre Chachere, Jared Mayden

If there’s one spot where the Eagles might still try to add before the start of the season, it’s safety. This offseason, they let Rodney McLeod walk and re-signed Harris. But that means Epps is now in line to be a starter. Is he ready for that role? Well, the Eagles have backed him publicly. But we also know they’ve shown some interest in free agents like Marcus Williams and Tyrann Mathieu and came up empty.

Even if Epps is fine in an expanded role, the fact that he’d go from being a backup to a starter means that the Eagles would be lacking depth. Wallace would be their top backup safety.

K: Jake Elliott
LS: Rick Lovato
P: Arryn Siposs

The Eagles haven’t added any specialists this offseason. Siposs had a rocky year in 2021 and it would make sense if the Eagles brought someone else in … but they don’t even have any competition for him right now. Perhaps if he doesn’t look good in training camp, they’d consider a move.

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