Eagles OTA Preview: Reading the running back room

NFL: OCT 18 Ravens at Eagles
PHILADELPHIA, PA – OCTOBER 18: Philadelphia Eagles Running Back Miles Sanders (26) carries the ball in the first half during the game between the Baltimore Ravens and Philadelphia Eagles on October 18, 2020 at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, PA. (Photo by Kyle Ross/Icon Sportswire)

The Eagles have quite the backfield at their disposal. At one point the running backs saw less than 10 carries a game, before ultimately saving the season with their committee approach that led the league in rushing.

With a new season in the wings and a transformed offense, the running backs are expected to become less of an overall factor. Still, the team’s strength is clearly running the football. And with OTA’s beginning next week, the ground game is once again a big focus.

RB’s on the Roster:

Miles Sanders, Kenneth Gainwell, Boston Scott, Jason Huntley, Kennedy Brooks

The Most Upside

Kenneth Gainwell

People will argue who the top dog is on the roster. Miles Sanders is probably the best when it comes to getting the big play, but it is Kenneth Gainwell who has the opportunity to show that he has the highest upside in 2022.

Gainwell had an interesting rookie year in 2021. Originally he was a player who was getting more time than Miles Sanders due to being a better receiving option, and at least an average pass blocker. With a full year in the Sirianni system, Gainwell may be poised to challenge for that RB1 spot at the head of the rotation.

The Rookie Intrigue

Kennedy Brooks

The undrafted rookie from Oklahoma is a very intriguing option heading into OTA’s. He isn’t the fastest option, but was an absolute bell-cow, power back with the Sooners. The Eagles desperately need a power back in the long run due to a love-hate relationship with Jordan Howard that saw him head back to the practice squad before surging onto the roster late in the season and making a huge impact. A good OTA and training camp could help Brooks not only make the team, but become a valuable member once the season starts.

The Most Pressure

Miles Sanders

Duh. Sanders has been unreliable throughout his three years with the team. Missed blocking assignments, poor pass-catching capabilities, and lack of availability have created huge question marks for the former Penn St. standout, who will either break off an 80-yard run, or break hearts of fantasy owners. Sanders is in the final year of his rookie contract. If he doesn’t produce like a number one back this year, the emergence of Gainwell, Brooks, and even Scott could end up being the end for Miles Sanders in Philly.

Old Reliable

Boston Scott

Boston Scott doesn’t do anything at an elite level. But what he does provide is a dependable option as a runner, passer and 3rd down back. It’s very difficult to see the Eagles most away from Scott because it seems whenever they need a big game from a back, or have multiple injuries, Scott is there to be as dependable as possible. He’s a fun player to root for and is expected to be a major contributor this year for the Eagles.

Photo by Kyle Ross/Icon Sportswire

More from our Sister Sites