The NFL released their final 53-man roster projections for the upcoming season. Here are my final player projections for all 32 teams, including the most notable players to make the team and those who missed out.
11 p.m. ET
ESPN’s NFL Nation
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers face the Dallas Cowboys in the first game of the 2021 NFL season on Thursday, Sept. 9. (8:20 p.m., NBC). Teams have been in training camp since late July, with three preseason games to assist coaches determine which undrafted free agents are worth retaining, which veterans are on the decline, and which positions need the greatest reinforcements.
Teams must make roster choices and reduce to 53 players by 4 p.m. ET on Tuesday, as the regular season approaches. With that in mind, ESPN’s NFL Nation has created a projection of how those rosters will appear. After each of the final preseason games this weekend, we’ll update this page, and all 32 roster predictions will be available on Sunday.
ESPN+ material is included in each roster prediction file.
Here are some quick links: Scores and depth charts for Week 3 | Sign up: Football fantasy
The majority of Arizona’s 53-man roster was easy to put together, but there will be concerns at running back (three or four?) and cornerback (does versatile linebacker Isaiah Simmons enable the Cardinals to retain five cornerbacks instead of six?) . But the most important question is: Chandler Jones, a pass-rusher, will be on the roster for Week 1? Final 53-man roster prediction by Josh Weinfuss
Although there isn’t much change from last year’s roster, GM Brandon Beane and coach Sean McDermott will have their deepest receiving room and defensive line. Their defensive front has been bolstered by linemen who can play both inside and outside. Marcel Louis-Jacques’ projected 53-man roster
With all the midweek action and Joey Slye in a slump, it may seem that kicker is the Panthers’ greatest problem, but that’s the least of their issues. It’s still unclear if Sam Darnold can bounce back after three terrible years in New York, and whether Cameron Erving can finally put an end to the revolving door at left tackle. Then there’s the defense’s general lack of depth. Final 53-man roster prediction by David Newton
There aren’t many big names on the roster, but the new coaching staff, headed by first-year coach Dan Campbell, is trying to create a tough image for the club, which is in the midst of a total overhaul. These new-look Lions have brought in guys who have a chip on their shoulder and seem to have nothing to lose since no one expects anything from them. Eric Woodyard’s projected 53-man roster.
The Packers’ roster is so solid that there isn’t much turmoil at the top. The only choice that will be noteworthy is whether or not to retain a third quarterback. Kurt Benkert was impressive at times, but did they really need to waste a 53rd spot? They’ll presumably attempt to get him on the practice squad unless they’re worried he’ll be claimed off waivers. Rob Demovsky’s projected final 53-man roster
When it came to roster slots, this was one of the least competitive training camps the Colts have had in recent years. Rodrigo Blankenship defeated Eddy Pineiro in the kicking competition, which had little flare. Receivers may wind up being the team’s deepest position. Mike Wells’ projected final 53-man roster
Every fan can have access to top coverage, including highlights from the biggest games, unique series from NFL luminaries, unrivaled commentary, and more. Sign up today to have access to all of ESPN+’s features.
The offensive line, where the Chiefs acquired eight strong roster candidates who weren’t with the club last year, is the most intriguing choice. As a result, they may decide to retain spares or sell one or more backups. Final 53-man roster prediction by Adam Teicher
The Vikings will retain three quarterbacks, but expect a fresh face to back up Kirk Cousins after the team takes a look at other veterans who become available next week. Jake Browning and Kellen Mond did not perform well enough in preseason games to win the QB2 spot, and one of them will be cut on Tuesday. Final 53-man roster prediction by Courtney Cronin
Because of Drew Brees’ retirement, an offseason salary-cap purge, and a slew of unexpected injuries and suspensions, the Saints will have at least ten new starters in Week 1. From players cut across the league, they’ll seek to add depth at cornerback, defensive tackle, tight end, and kicker. There’s also speculation regarding whether experienced skill-position players like Latavius Murray, Devonta Freeman, and Chris Hogan will be retained. Mike Triplett’s projected final 53-man roster
Jameis Winston, according to Rob Ninkovich, can lead the Saints to a good season provided he reduces turnovers.
The Jets will be churning their roster over the next few days, as they have the No. 2 waiver priority and numerous holes to fill. They’ll also try to trade for an edge rusher, perhaps offering one of their receivers as a negotiating chip. Jamison Crowder has the highest trade value and has the potential to entice clubs. Also, an experienced backup quarterback should not be ruled out. Final 53-man roster estimate by Rich Cimini
For a few reasons, the receiver group is a question mark. For one thing, it’s a very young and inexperienced team that requires the emergence of one or two untested players. There will be some difficult personnel choices to make. Final 53-man roster prediction by Tim McManus
Some of the Steelers’ most heated fights throughout training camp were for backup positions. Despite the fact that Mason Rudolph seems to have earned the No. 2 quarterback position, the Steelers appear to be planning to retain Dwayne Haskins on the roster this season to grow. Running backs Benny Snell and Jaylen Samuels’ quiet camps may have cost them their jobs as the Steelers seek to add depth to the secondary and linebackers. Brooke Pryor’s projected final 53-man roster