NFL Combine: Six running backs who the Eagles should keep an eye on

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: NOV 06 Michigan State at Purdue
WEST LAFAYETTE, IN – NOVEMBER 06: Michigan State Spartans running back Kenneth Walker III (9) on the sidelines during the college football game between the Purdue Boilermakers and Michigan State Spartans on November 6, 2021, at Ross-Ade Stadium in West Lafayette, IN. (Photo by Zach Bolinger/Icon Sportswire)

It’s that time of year again Eagles fans! We are just a couple of weeks away from the start of the 2022 NFL Combine. Careers will be born or ignored between a week-long scouting bonanza of some of the brightest talent coming into the NFL.

Careers have been made, destroyed, or not affected at all during this tumultuous week for hundreds of athletes.

So as we get closer to one of the most anticipated workouts in Indianapolis, let’s take a look at the RB’s that the Philadelphia Eagles could be looking at a little more closely.

Players to Watch

Kenneth Walker III – Michigan State

1,600 rushing yards, 19 total touchdowns and so many incredible moments for the 2021 season. Kenneth Walker was my pick for the Heisman Trophy Award this season after an unbelievable year. There will be some debate on when he ends up going in this draft but I think it’s safe to say a fast 40-time will put him at least in the second round. He’s obviously a work in progress in pass blocking, as are most RB’s out of college but this is my #1 RB in this class based on production and overall strengths.

James Cook – Georgia

Is he better than his brother? Probably not. But James Cook has less tread on his tired than his brother did out of college, is a better receiver out of the backfield, and has the shiftiness to be a legit threat in any scheme.

He’s currently listed as a day three pick, but a solid combine and his performance at the senior bowl could put him in a spot to go on day two. I think the best comparison is between the Diggs’ brothers. Trevon Diggs was nowhere near as talented as his brother, but the Cowboys took a chance on him and he’s ended up being an All-Pro even with all the technical issue he has. I think Cook could be in a similar position.

Isaiah Spiller – Texas A&M

Another younger brother of a former NFL RB. Isaiah could absolutely be the first RB to hear his name called in the early second round. He has solid size, vision, and speed which will mean he’s going to hear his name called early in April. There are some concerns over him in the passing game, but I feel that can be taught at the NFL level. Flip a coin between him and Walker because either of these guys could go in the first round as well.

The Sleeper

Hassan Haskins – Michigan

If the Eagles end up moving away from Jordan Howard again, Haskins is my pick for a later round stud for them. He’s a shifty RB and consistently using his size and speed to get upfield. There’s no dancing that goes on with Haskins. He’s a bulldozer when he needs to be and can provide that downfield running the Eagles could absolutely pair with a Miles Sanders. There are a lot more talented backs out there but the production is here, the attributes are here, and someone is going to get a late steal with Haskins in Apirl.

Brian Robinson – Alabama

Hard to see anyone seeing a RB from Alabama be a sleeper player in the draft, but Robinson isn’t going to be going early and is just as much a power back as Haskins. Robinson averaged four yards a carry after contact and doesn’t have a lot of tread on his tires either. With NFL defenses having a main focus on athleticism, any time a power RB comes into the league, there’s going to be problems. The Eagles should absolutely take a flier out here.

Donnell Pumphrey or Darren Sproles?

Jerrion Early – Ole Miss

If there’s a type of RB the Eagles LOVE to go after, it’s the short and shifty RB. After years of Darren Sproles, the Eagles drafted Donnell Pumphrey instead of legit any all-pro RB of the 2017 draft and he did absolutely nothing. So they had Boston Scott fall into their lap and he’s been everything the Eagles have needed. In the end, a player like Jerrion Early is exactly the type of back the Eagles go after. 5’8″ 190 lbs, and a speedy returner, Early could absolutely moved out into a Cordarrelle Patterson-type role, but to take him any higher than day three will be a gamble.

Photo by Zach Bolinger/Icon Sportswire