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

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Wendell Smallwood

Smallwood’s development from an overly antsy runner, into an aggressive one is clear as he enters his contract year. Sure, there are still setbacks and he can still sometimes worry too much before committing to a hole, but his involvement in the passing game (2018 saw a career-high in receptions) and pass-protection raised so many eyebrows, it almost made up for those flaws.

The problem here is that Sanders replaces Smallwood’s skillset and adds a little bit of ‘Saquon’ to the table. A zonal rusher who can bounce out of cuts like LeSan McCoy and make highlight-reel plays. However, Sanders does lack pass-protection prowess as of right now…which may, just may, give Smallwood a sign of life.

However, Smallwood has long-been the jack of all trades, master of none. That could be his ultimate downfall despite clearly growing as a rusher year-on-year during his time with the Eagles.

The big training camp battle

Wendell Smallwood vs Corey Clement is going to be the backfield battle to note. The Eagles may well carry four running backs, which could theoretically eliminate Josh Adams unless he makes the above matchup a triple threat, but it seems as though the regular rotation would make sense to consist of Howard, Sanders and Clement.

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