Top-5 Eagles under 25: Is Miles Sanders poised for a breakout?

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)

Miles Sanders is our fifth-best player aged 25 or under on the Eagles. Here’s why:

For over the last half decade or so, one of the biggest complaints about the Eagles franchise has been their lack of young, high-end talent. However, over the past few seasons, the team has drafted and traded for a number of young players that have already had an impact. This series will rank the top-5 players on this Eagles team who are 25 years of age or younger. The only other rule is that the players cannot be rookies, as it’s not really fair to rank a player who has never played professionally before. While these players are very young in their football careers, they still have significant roles on this team.

Honorable Mentions

While these players did not quite crack the list, they still deserve some recognition for how they impact this Eagles team.

Landon Dickerson

The first mention is 2nd year left guard, Landon Dickerson. The Alabama product got off to a really slow start last season after missing all of training camp and the first few games of the season due to rehabbing an injury, but eventually grew into a reliable run blocker and improved his pass blocking game by game. Dickerson is still very young, only 23, so he has plenty of opportunity to potentially break onto the list as he grows into his potential as an above average offensive lineman.

Josh Sweat

The second and final honorable mention who just missed making the list is 5th year edge rusher, Josh Sweat. Sweat’s numbers will not impress like other young pass rushers of his age, but he is a very good rotational player who has steadily increased his production in sacks, tackles and snaps every year. Coming off of a career high 7.5 sacks in 2021, look for Sweat to take another leap, possibly even into double digit sacks for the first time on a hopefully improved Eagles defense.

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#5: Miles Sanders

The Penn State alum and starting running back for the squad lands in 5th place in the ranking as he heads into the final year of his rookie contract. The 25-year-old halfback has been an explosive feature of the offense during his first three years in the league, leading Eagles running backs in rushing yards each of those seasons. 

Miles Sanders is known for hitting the big home-run plays, with his longest run measured in at 82 yards against New Orleans in 2021. While Sanders has yet to play in a full 16 or 17 game schedule, when he is in the lineup he usually produces. His career average of 5.1 yards per carry shows just how effective he has been as a runner when given the opportunity. 

So far, Miles Sanders hasn’t quite lived up to the potential he showed succeeding Saquon Barkley in Happy Valley but seeing as though he is going into a contract year, he should be even more motivated than before to show up and show out for this Eagles squad.  

We have seen glimpses of him being great, but he has yet to consistently put it together for a large stretch of time. Sanders has still cemented himself as one of the best young players on the team and while it is unknown what will happen to him next offseason, this year he could be primed to have his most productive season yet.

n the first half of the season in 2021, Sanders was very sparingly used by Nick Sirianni and his staff. However, once the Eagles shifted identities and he came back healthy, his production really took off over that first month with stat-lines of 94, 120 and 131 rushing yards respectively over that span.

When Miles Sanders is healthy, he is a difference making player and with another year in this offensive system, he can potentially break out in a big way despite what some people may think. He deserves this spot as one of the best young players on the Philadelphia Eagles.

He is an underrated back because of the time he has missed so far in the league, but if he can stay healthy, there is no reason he can’t gross the 1,000 yard mark for the first time in his career. In his final year of eligibility on this list, look for Miles Sanders to really take off.

Photo by Kyle Ross/Icon Sportswire