Top concerns about the Philadelphia Eagles roster

The Eagles have assembled a talented roster, but they have also given us plenty to discuss and ask questions about.
Swoop, Philadelphia Eagles
Swoop, Philadelphia Eagles / Cooper Neill/GettyImages

Full transparency... It took us a while to get over how the most recent Philadelphia Eagles season ended. Seeing the 2022-2023 team come within four points of winning another Vince Lombardi Trophy whet our appetites. Then, it all came crashing down.

We thought last season was about finishing the story. We thought our Birds had a shot at getting back to football's biggest game and winning it, so the collapse stung. It was a reality check.

This team isn't as close to a title win as we had hoped. That's what we thought. Fortunately, a rose grew from the concrete. A great offseason, both during free agency and the most recent NFL Draft, gave way to expectations... and hope.

We're back on board! The Kellen Moore and Vic Fangio hires pushed things over the top. These are the two best coordinators we have seen during the Nick Sirianni coaching era, but coaches will only soar as high as the talent will take them.

Philly has plenty, but there are also a few concerns, as there are with every team. There aren't as many as in other cities, but a handful are worth noting. Here are some oof the most obvious.

The Eagles wide receiver room gets worse in a hurry if something happens to A.J. Brown or DeVonta Smith.

A.J. Brown and DeVonta Smith are so good that Philly has cause to say they are home to the best starting outside duo in the NFL (no disrespect to the guys in Miami). There's just one issue. If something happens to one of them (or both of them), the talent level of this unit is concerning.

If someone can step up as the third option, this unit could reach supernova, but for now, this portion of the depth chart looks top heavy.

Is there another tight end worth mentioning behind Dallas Goedert?

Philly forgets Dallas Goedert is a part of there offensive attack sometimes. They seemingly forget he's one of the best young tight ends in the game more often, but when they do toss the ball his way, good things happen more often than not.

The problem is, and we have seen this the past two seasons, that there isn't a reliable backup if Goedert goes down. We keep waiting on Grant Calcaterra to take the next step. So far, he hasn't, so Philly added C.J. Uzomah this offseason even though they had already signed Albert Okwuegbunam to a one-year extension. Hopefully, that helps.

Three guys will probably make the roster from this unit. E.J. Jenkins and undrafted rookie McCallan Castles are in the mix. If someone could step up, that would be ideal. We'll see what happens come training camp.

Sydney Brown is recovering from an ACL tear, and injuries have forced C.J. Gardner-Johnson to miss a ton of time recently.

The top three safeties on Philly's depth chart are as follows: Reed Blankenship, C.J. Gardner-Johnson, and Sydney Brown. We could talk about injury concerns with all of them.

Reed Blankenship missed two regular-season games because of rib issues last season. Then, he sat out of the Wild Card Game with a groin issue. It's too early to call him injury prone, but that's certainly something to watch.

Sydney Brown tore his ACL during the Week 18 finale last season. He hasn't been cleared to practice fully, but the hope is he'll be ready soon.

C.J. Gardner-Johnson is talented when on he field, but he missed five games in 2022 after lacerating a kidney. Last season, while as a member of the Detroit Lions, he missed all but three regular-season games before returning to take part in the playoff run.

We could talk about all of that for hours, but here's something else to keep in mind. Past those three, Philly's best options at safety are Tristin McCollum, Mekhi Garner, and UDFA Andre' Sam though Avonte Maddox and James Bradberry have been cross-trained.

Let's hope no one gets injured here. Perhaps you have heard... Maddox gets hurt a lot too. There isn't much to shuffle in here if injuries occur, but this could be fun if the top three guys stay upright.

There are legitimate concerns at linebacker.

The names look pretty good on paper, but football isn't played on paper. Take a step back. Take a breath. Reality kicks in quickly. There are legitimate concerns as the defense's second level.

Devin White used to be very good, but he has traveled backward. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers gave up on him last season.

If he can return to form, no one will complain, but we're still confused about what we can call reasonable expectations for Nakobe Dean, Jeremiah Trotter Jr, and Zack Baun. We wouldn't be surprised if this unit was a pleasant surprise or a disappointment. The line separating those potential outcomes is a thin one.

How confident are we about the slot cornerback position?

We have seen Avonte Maddox be effective when healthy. Unfortunately, he isn't healthy that often. Last season, he missed all but four regular-season games (Week 3 through Week 16), and he didn't look all that impressive upon return.

Maddox is playing on a one-year deal. His perceived backup is rookie second-rounder Cooper DeJean. It would be unfair to ask too much of the latter too early. Hey, maybe Isaiah Rodgers can play in the slot.

The fortunate thing here is there are options. Confidence will grow here, but we get it if you're a little concerned.

Worth mentioning: What in the heck is this team going to do about James Bradberry?

Many expected that Bradberry would be a post-June 1st cut candidate. That hasn't happened, but it's still hard to imagine scenarios where he's on the Week 1 regular-season roster.

It seems reasonable to state teams are waiting on his release more so than piecing together a package to explore a trade. You never know though. If unforeseen injuries occur during the preseason, the Eagles may luck into finding a willing partner.

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