When the Philadelphia Eagles announced their initial 53-man roster for the 2022 NFL season, the results were largely expected.
Sure, there were a few surprises, like the decision to release Anthony Harris (who may soon be back) and the decision to trade for Chauncey Gardner-Johnson, but other than releasing Jack Anderson, Jaquiski Tartt, and Devon Allen, things went largely as expected.
That’s right, in a very Howie Roseman move, the tenured general manager decided to keep one player on the roster who even active fans of the Eagles may not have heard of: Josh Sills, guard, Oklahoma State. But who, you may ask, is Sills? Well, let’s try to find out.
For now, Josh Sills is a member of the Philadelphia Eagles.
Josh Sills isn’t your usual UDFA offensive lineman.
For one thing, he’s old, as the Ohio native turned 24 back in January and could theoretically turn 25 during the 2022 season should the Eagles make it to the Super Bowl.
Sills is also one of the more experienced, well-traveled offensive linemen to come out of the NCAA ranks in quite some time, as the agribusiness management major spent four years at West Virginia before playing the final two years of his college career at Oklahoma State. Despite jumping from one Big 12 team to another, Sills remained an effective offensive lineman, starting 47 of the 52 games he appeared in on the way to an expansive list of accolades headlined by spots on the first team All-Big 12 in 2020 and 2021.
Though he wasn’t invited to the combine or the Reeses Senior Bowl and reportedly ran a 5.25 40 at his Pro Day, his explosiveness as a run blocker, when coupled with his massive 6-foot-6, 322-pound frame, earned him a sixth-round grade by Lance Zierlein of NFL.com heading into the pre-draft process.
Unfortunately for Sills, many a team around the NFL didn’t agree with Zierlein’s assertion, and he ultimately went undrafted coming out of OSU. Still, he ultimately landed with the Eagles, earning a contract with $135,000 in guaranteed money and a $10k signing bonus; good for the second-most guaranteed money of any offensive lineman Philadelphia signed after Miami’s Jarrid Williams.
Over three preseason games, Sills logged 110 total snaps, with 103 on offense and seven more on special teams, and was largely a positive player, with no egregious mistakes bringing down his stock. Against the Dolphins, Sills entered the game midway through the second quarter replacing Sua Otepa at left guard, and as the contest went on, he turned in a solid effort. While nothing about his effort stood out all that much, and he actually misread a stunt at the end of the third that saw Reid Sinnett taken to the ground after the throw, the Eagles clearly saw something in Sills’ game they liked, as he made the team over much more advanced performers like Jack Anderson and Cameron Tom, both of whom can play guard and center instead of just guard.
Should Sills have made the Eagles’ roster over Anderson? Honestly, it’s hard to say; Anderson was widely complemented for his efforts in camp and provides much more utility as a player. Still, folks wondered why the Birds kept Nate Herbig and that worked out; maybe Sills will have a similar come-up and become a valuable player for years to come.
… or maybe he’ll be waived to make room for a player claimed off of waivers, or even land on IR to free up a roster spot for a returning Anthony Harris; at this point, it’s impossible to know.