How does the drafting of Miles Sanders impact the Eagles backfield?


The Eagles made some waves on Friday night when they drafted Penn State running back, Miles Sanders, in the second round of the NFL Draft. Fans had been pining for the front office to bolster the backfield all offseason, and with Jordan Howard already in town…things just got a lot more exciting.

The only problem is, there’s now an abundance of talent in the backfield. Here’s a look at the depth chart as things currently stand:

RB1: Jordan Howard
RB2: Miles Sanders?
RB3: Corey Clement
RB5: Wendell Smallwood
RB6: Josh Adams
RB7: Boston Scott

You see my point.

It’s probably a little too early to anticipate the workload Sanders will encounter during his rookie season, but it’s safe to say the Eagles have some interesting decisions to make.

Firstly, it’s almost safe to assume that veteran running back, Darren Sproles, won’t be returning. Currently a free agent, his future has been uncertain for a while now after injuries stripped Sproles of being on the field to win a Super Bowl ring, and then the season that followed. The Eagles just about got by without him, but the lack of a real return specialist hurt. That niche has now presumably been filled by speedy receiver DeSean Jackson, leaving the Eagles one less running back decision to make. As for the other running backs…it’s not quite as simple as cutting them.

Continued on the pages below:

 Mandatory Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

Meet the new guy:

If the Eagles want a back that truly resembles what LeSean McCoy used to bring to the table, Sanders has the ability to cut, in buckets. He has a real spring in his step and bounces out of his cuts so smoothly, it’s impossible to stop him once he jukes and blows past a defender. He drops his hips well and is a real finesse runner.

Sanders spent much of his career with the Nittany Lions basking in the light of Saquon Barkley and after finally getting his shot in the big time, provided enough of a sample size to earn himself a second-round grade. Tallying 1,274 yards on 220 attempts, Sanders showcased his acceleration and ability to be a home-run hit. 

The Eagles did a great job of adding some short-term backfield stability by trading for Jordan Howard. They did a great job of finally adding long-term stability, by drafting a man who not only stacks up as his perfect running-mate, but a back who could one day take the reins for his own.

But what about the thest of the backfield?