Eagles roster: Breaking down each Super Bowl contributor

Ed Barkowitz, STAFF WRITER

Updated: Friday, February 9, 2018, 7:00 AM

Running back LeGarrette Blount, in action against the Vikings, will be one of the Eagles’ unrestricted free agents.

The men who brought an entire region to tears:

The forced fumble heard 'round the region. Brandon Graham dislodges the ball from Tom Brady late in Super Bowl 52. David Maialetti / Staff
Andre Pierre, 24, of Hagerstown, Md. poses for friends in his Jay Ajayi jersey and underdog mask, in front of the stage at the Philadelphia Museum of Art Feb. 6, 2018 as preparations continued for the Eagles Super Bowl victory parade. Tom Gralish / Staff
I got the next one, Jeff. Injured Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz (left) embraces owner Jeffrey Lurie following Super Bowl 52. Tim Tai / Staff
Eagles quarterback Nick Foles holds the Lombardi trophy after Super Bowl 52. Tim Tai / Staff
Photo Gallery: Eagles roster: Breaking down each Super Bowl contributor

Nelson Agholor, WR, age 24: Had more catches this season (62) than he did in his first two years combined (59). His nine receptions in the Super Bowl were a career high.

Jay Ajayi, RB, age 24: Acquired at midseason from Miami for a fourth-round pick. He gave the Eagles a three-pronged rotation and solid depth at one of football’s most unforgiving positions.

[Ajayi: ‘I didn’t know anything about Philadelphia’ at time of trade]

Beau Allen, DT, age 26: Rotational player who had a pair of tackles in the Super Bowl, which was played in the shadows of his hometown of Minnetonka, Minn.

Now that we won the Super Bowl I officially did not peak in High School #2009HomecomingKing

— Beau Allen (@Beau_Allen) February 8, 2018

Kenjon Barner, RB/KR, age 27: Returned three kicks for 73 yards in the Super Bowl. He was signed after Darren Sproles went down in Week 3.

[Relive the Eagles’ Super Bowl championship season with our limited edition commemorative book]

Derek Barnett, DE, age 21: Recovered Tom Brady’s fumble late in the Super Bowl (caused by Brandon Graham) and had a key strip-sack in the NFC championship game against Minnesota. It’s worth repeating that Barnett was the first-round pick the Eagles got in exchange for Sam Bradford. Bradford started two games for the Vikings and is likely headed elsewhere in free agency.

Eagles Sacks Leaders/Regular Season

Brandon Graham 9.5 Fletcher Cox 5.5 Chris Long 5.0 Derek Barnett 5.0 Vinny Curry 3.0 Tim Jernigan 2.5 Mychal Kendricks 2.0

Playoff Sacks:

Derek Barnett 1.0 Nigel Bradham 1.0 Fletcher Cox 1.0 Brandon Graham 1.0 Rodney McLeod 1.0

Will Beatty,
T, age 32: Was an insurance policy who played only in Week 17. Beatty is a York, Pa., native who picked up his second championship. He was a member of the 2011 Giants, who also upset the Patriots.

LeGarrette Blount, RB, age 31: Ran for 90 yards in the Super Bowl, which is an Eagles record for a Supe and was the most he had in a game in two months.

Nigel Bradham, LB, age 28: Took over as the defensive signal caller after Jordan Hicks went down. Malcolm Jenkins called Bradham “the unsung hero of our defense this year.”

Bryan Braman, DE, age 30: Made the tackle of Rex Burkhead on that silly reverse the Patriots tried on a kick return near the end of the Super Bowl.

Brandon Brooks, G, age 28: Had his first Pro Bowl season. The Eagles set the team record for yards in a playoff game against Minnesota (456) and then broke it against New England (538) largely because of the offensive line.

[Zach Berman: Brooks overcomes anxiety to become a Pro Bowler]

Trey Burton, TE, age 26: Threw that wonderful little touchdown pass to Nick Foles in the Super Bowl. A valuable and versatile player, Burton figures to cash in on free agency.

Brent Celek, TE, age 33: Didn’t have a catch in the Super Bowl but made a key block on LeGarrette Blount’s touchdown run in the first half. He is the longest-tenured athlete in the city and has one year left on his contract.

Corey Clement, RB, age 23: Went from undrafted free agent to 100-yard receiver in the Super Bowl. And then an appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live with Jay Ajayi. Quite a rookie year.

Fletcher Cox, DT, age 27: Three-time Pro Bowler who is one of the best interior linemen in football. Cox was a beast in the divisional-round win against Atlanta.

Vinny Curry, DE, age 29: Led the team with 41 QB pressures.

Ronald Darby, CB, age 24: Acquired from Buffalo in August for Jordan Matthews. His most unforgettable play was a block he threw at the end of Patrick Robinson’s interception return for a touchdown against the Vikings that ignited the 38-7 win.

Rasul Douglas, CB, age 22: Third-round rookie whose playing time diminished as the season wore on.

Dannell Ellerbe, LB, age 32: Signed in mid-November and started the first playoff game, but an injured hamstring kept him out of the Vikings game and limited him in the Super Bowl.

Jake Elliott, K, age 23: Set a team record with five field goals of 50 yards or longer. The most memorable was the 61-yarder, another team record, to beat the Giants in his second game. He missed a PAT in the Super Bowl but rebounded with two 40-plus field goals in the fourth quarter. The 46-yarder he made was the longest ever by a rookie in the Supe.

[Remember when Carson Wentz pledged his game-check if Elliott made that 61-yarder?] (He gave it to charity.)

Zach Ertz, TE, age: 27: Led the team in receptions, caught the game-winning touchdown in the Super Bowl and in March married the women’s soccer player of the year.

Nick Foles, QB, age 29: Larry Foles, Nick’s dad, had this to say before the Super Bowl: “I know Nick loves [the] idea of playing the best. I think it causes you to study, work, be ready more than you’ve ever been ready in your life, see what happens.”

Nick Foles’ Playoff Stats

Opp. Cmp.-Att. Pct. Yards TD Int. Rat. Result vs. Atl. 23-30 76.7 246 0 0 100.1 Won, 15-10 vs. Minn. 26-33 78.8 352 3 0 141.4 Won, 38-7 vs. NE 28-43 65.1 373 3 1 106.1 Won, 41-33 Total 77-106 72.6 971 6 1 115.7 Note: Super Bowl 52 MVP

Nathan Gerry, LB, age 22: Fifth-round pick who contributed on special teams.

Shelton Gibson, WR, age 22: Another fifth-round rookie, Gibson was inactive most of the season.

Najee Goode, LB, age 28: One of the Eagles’ top special-teams players.

Brandon Graham, DE, age 29: The strip-sack of Tom Brady in the Super Bowl should put to rest the notion that the Eagles should have drafted Earl Thomas instead. The defense was torched most of the game (Brady had 505 yards passing), but Graham came up with a huge play late in the fourth quarter.

The forced fumble heard 'round the region. Brandon Graham dislodges the ball from Tom Brady late in Super Bowl 52.

Corey Graham, S, age 32: Had an interception against Minnesota that bounced off Ronald Darby and Adam Thielen. What a night at the Linc.

Kamu Grugier-Hill, LB, age 23: Blocked a punt in the second win over the Giants, made four kickoffs — including a touchback! — against the Cowboys when Jake Elliott was hurt and led the Eagles in special-teams tackles. He was a Pro Bowl alternate and also was one of the guys who dumped Gatorade on Doug Pederson when the Super Bowl ended.

Mack Hollins, WR, age 24: Rookie who showed glimpses of being able to contribute more in the future.

Alshon Jeffery, WR, age 27: Three touchdowns in the playoffs, including a fantastic 34-yarder in the Super Bowl. Jeffery gave the Eagles a likely discount by signing a four-year, $52 million extension in December.

Malcolm Jenkins, S, age 30: Lead dog in the kennel that the Eagles clubhouse became. Jenkins’ hit on Brandin Cooks was the most ferocious collision of the Super Bowl and knocked the speedy receiver out of the game.

[Jeff McLane: Jenkins comfortable being the team leader, though he can’t promise first-class seating]

Tim Jernigan, DT, age 25: Solid run-stuffer who signed a four-year extension in midseason.

Lane Johnson, T, age 27: One of the symbols of this team’s unity was Johnson running onto the field holding a shirt with Jason Peters’ number. Another was Johnson and Chris Long starting the dog mask phenomenon.

Andre Pierre, 24, of Hagerstown, Md. poses for friends in his Jay Ajayi jersey and underdog mask, in front of the stage at the Philadelphia Museum of Art Feb. 6, 2018 as preparations continued for the Eagles Super Bowl victory parade.

Marcus Johnson, WR, age 23: Saw limited duty during the year and was inactive for the playoffs.

Donnie Jones, P, age 37: Fifth season with the Eagles and the franchise’s leader in numerous punting categories. He also was the holder for kicker Jake Elliott. He humorously introduced himself during NBC’s telecast of the Super Bowl as Donnie “bag of bones” Jones.

Sidney Jones, CB, age 21: Had been considered one of the top cornerback prospects last year before getting hurt before the draft. Jones will be one of the interesting story lines of 2018.

Jason Kelce, C, age 30: You know who was the center the last time the Eagles won a championship? Chuck Bednarik. Kelce was named to his second Pro Bowl and was one of the best at his position.

Had to share

Two orders of fried cheese curds- $50, one ticket to the Super Bowl- $2,100 and my son celebrating the win at the Super Bowl as Tom Brady gets helped off of his butt #Priceless!!!!!

— Donna Kelce (@dkelce1) February 6, 2018

Mychal Kendricks, LB, age 27: The Eagles shopped him in the offseason before pulling him back. Good thing, too, given the injuries they had at linebacker this year. He could have been disruptive but mostly kept quiet about his early limited role.

Chris Long. DE, age 32: Another high-character guy who was an excellent pass-rusher. Long pressured Minnesota’s Case Keenum into the errant throw that Patrick Robinson intercepted and returned for a touchdown in the NFC championship game.

Rick Lovato, LS, age 25: Emerged as Jon Dorenbos’ replacement — minus the card tricks, that is. Lovato went mostly unnoticed, which is a high compliment for a long snapper.

Rodney McLeod, S, age 27: Jalen Mills said McLeod was the first to recognize the formation on the final play of the Atlanta playoff game. Mills pinned down Julio Jones and the Eagles pulled their first upset of the playoffs.

Steven Means, DE, age 27: Played minimally but did register a sack of Dak Prescott in Week 17.

Kamu Grugier-Hill and Steven Means dumped Gatorade on Doug Pederson after the opener at Washington. In the final moments Sunday, Means told Grugier-Hill they had to do it again, to close out the Super Bowl. So they did

— Les Bowen (@LesBowen) February 7, 2018

Jalen Mills, CB, age 23: Improved in his second year and proved to be a steal as a 2016 seventh-round pick. Plus, he’s got a personality that keeps locker rooms fresh. Nice hair.

Elijah Qualls, DT, age 22: A sixth-round rookie, Qualls was inactive for most of the season

Patrick Robinson, CB, age 30: His interception return for a touchdown against the Vikings will go down as one of the great defensive plays in Eagles postseason history.

[Frank Fitzpatrick: When Patrick Robinson ran into Eagles history]

Isaac Seumalo, G, age 24: Started the first two games before giving way to Stefen Wisniewski. A third-round pick in 2016, Seumalo faces a key offseason.

Wendell Smallwood, RB, age 24: Showed some flashes during the regular season, but he essentially became a spare part when Jay Ajayi was acquired.

Torrey Smith, WR, age 29: Caught the flea-flicker against Minnesota and had five receptions in the Super Bowl.

[Nick Foles doesn’t know if he ever threw a flea-flicker before]

Nate Sudfeld, QB, age 24: The backup QB to the backup QB, Sudfeld’s only true game action was in Week 17 against Dallas.

Destiny Vaeao, DT, age 24: Appeared in 11 games but was inactive for the Super Bowl and the Atlanta game.

Halapoulivaati Vaitai, T, age 24: Went from midseason question mark to reliable replacement for the injured Jason Peters. Vaitai played his best game against second-team all-pro Everson Griffen in the win over Minnesota.

Chance Warmack, G, age 26: Came off the bench and played well in two late regular-season starts at left guard when Stefen Wisniewski went down with an ankle injury.

Jaylen Watkins, S, age 26: Reserve who appeared in three plays during the Super Bowl, including the final Hail Mary that seemed to hang in the air forever.

Stefen Wisniewski, G, age 28: Became the starter at left guard in Week 4 and solidified the line, which was named the best in the NFL.

[Frank Fitzpatrick’s road trips: Wisniewski, Kelce, Celek, Brooks, Allen]

Key injured players

Jordan Hicks, LB, age 25: Could be a star, but two of his first three seasons have been cut short by injury.

Chris Maragos, S, age 31: The captain of the special teams injured his knee in Week 6 but should be back next season. He was one of the guys who had trouble getting dinner reservations in Minneapolis during Super Bowl week. That will not be a problem in Philadelphia. Ever.

I’ve called 3 Restaurants in Minneapolis to get a reservation for me and my teammates and “can’t” get in 樂樂樂 Well played Minnesota fans, well played  #FlyEaglesFly

— Chris Maragos (@ChrisMaragos) January 27, 2018

Jason Peters, T, age 36: After he was injured, Peters became a mentor to Halapoulivaati Vaitai. Peters, who tore his ACL and MCL in Week 7, has vowed to play next season. That may or may not be in Philadelphia, but he’ll finally have a championship ring — and this photo from the flight home after the Super Bowl.

Just landed in Philly.. rest easy big fella! #franchise

— Beau Allen (@Beau_Allen) February 5, 2018

Darren Sproles, RB, age 34: Broke his arm and tore his ACL on the same play in Week 3, but also said he wants to play next season. It’s unlikely, though, that the Eagles will have a spot for him.

Caleb Sturgis, K, age 28: Played in just the opener before injuring his hip. Sturgis should generate interest elsewhere in the offseason.

Joe Walker, LB, age 25: Had been playing on defense and special teams until a neck stinger ended his season in Week 16.

Carson Wentz, QB, age 25: He’s the starter whenever he comes back, and he’s planning to be there for next season’s opener after tearing knee ligaments in Week 14. Sounds optimistic, though there’s no sense in doubting any of these guys.

I got the next one, Jeff. Injured Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz (left) embraces owner Jeffrey Lurie following Super Bowl 52.

Randall Goforth, CB, age 24; Donnel Pumphrey, RB, age 23; Aziz Shittu, DT, age 23; Dom Williams, WR, age 25.

Practice squad

Josh Andrews, C/G, age 26; De’Vante Bausby, CB, age 25; Billy Brown, TE, age 24; Rashard Davis, WR, age 22; Darrell Greene, G, age 25; Harold Jones-Quartey, S age 24; D.J. Killings, CB, age 22; Tre Sullivan, S, age 24; Bryce Treggs, WR, age 23; Greg Ward, WR, age 22.

2018 Unrestricted free agents Beau Allen, DT Dannell Ellerbe, LB Kenjon Barner Najee Goode, LB William Beatty, T Corey Graham, FS LeGarrette Blount, RB Patrick Robinson, CB Nigel Bradham, LB Darren Sproles, RB/KR Bryan Braman, LB Caleb Sturgis, K Trey Burton, TE And finally …

Eagles quarterback Nick Foles holds the Lombardi trophy after Super Bowl 52.

Eagles quarterback Nick Foles holds the Lombardi trophy after Super Bowl 52.

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Ed Barkowitz, STAFF WRITER

Read full story: Eagles roster: Breaking down each Super Bowl contributor

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