Eagles Draft: 6 running back options that could interest Philadelphia

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How are the Philadelphia Eagles going to pass on Bijan Robinson in the first round? He has the potential to be one of the greatest running backs in NFL history. If his name is on the board at No. 10, then watch out because all bets are off. Eagles GM Howie Roseman could be more tempted to take Robinson there than DJ Khaled is to shout “another one” on the beat of a summer banger.

Should the Eagles break the trend?

AUSTIN, TX – NOVEMBER 25: Texas running back Bijan Robinson (5) scores a touchdown during the game against the Baylor Bears on November 25, 2022, at Darrell K Royal – Texas Memorial Stadium in Austin, TX. (Photo by Adam Davis/Icon Sportswire)

Robinson is a dual-threat weapon out of the backfield who was underutilized in college, according to those in the know. Texas limited his usage in the passing game due to fear of injury, instead unleashing his 4.46 speed on the ground where he racked up 1,580 yards on 258 carries last season. He finished with 18 total touchdowns while holding his own in pass protection. Robinson could help take the Eagles offense to the next level.

ESPN draft guru Todd McShay couldn’t stop raving about Robinson during a recent conference call, calling him the fourth-best player in the 2023 draft class. Period. McShay had him going to the Eagles at No. 10 in his first mock draft, then switched it and slid him down to the Detroit Lions at No. 18.

“I think if you have an elite talent you draft him in the first round,” McShay told reporters on April 5. “You get him at a cheap price, you bring him in for the first five years when he still has the tread on his tires and then if you don’t want to give him the second contract, you don’t have to.”

Here is more on Robinson’s greatness, via McShay’s conversation with Texas head coach Steve Sarkisian:

“I talked to Sark [Steve Sarkisian] earlier this season, the head coach at Texas, before the TCU game, and he said, ‘Todd, I know you see the tape, you should see this guy catch in practice. We don’t utilize him as much as we should because we are trying to limit the amount of hits on him but in the passing game he can do things you don’t even know about. And then in pass protection, he’s outstanding as well. It’s hard to find many weaknesses in his game.”

No Robinson, No Problem: Sleeper Options at RB

1. Tank Bigsby, Auburn: The 6-foot, 218-pounder has a strong lower body and keeps his legs churning like chariot wheels to grate ahead for extra yardage. He looks like Eagles’ RB Boston Scott at times on tape, with a much more physical style of running and the frame to match it. Bigsby rushed for 2,903 yards and 25 touchdowns over three college seasons, highlighted by a 179-yard game against Ole Miss in 2022. Projection: Round 4.

2. Roschon Johnson, Texas: Bijan Robinson’s backup has been rising up draft boards in recent weeks and rightfully so. He is a master at breaking tackles and loves initiating contact, throwing his 6-foot, 209-pound body around like a bowling ball. Johnson somehow managed to rush for 554 yards on 93 carries despite coming off the bench last season. He’s raw and talented with limited tread on his tires. He could be a late steal for the Eagles. Projection: Round 4.

3. Kenny McIntosh, Georgia: The Eagles are all about the Georgia pipeline these days and this guy has all the tools: smooth cutter, patient runner, controlled pace, explosive burst. He is also an excellent receiver – soft, reliable hands – who lined up in the slot often. He was stuck in a crowded backfield in college but took advantage of opportunities when he got them. McIntosh rumbled for 829 yards on 149 carries with 10 touchdowns last season. Projection: Round 5.

4. Eric Gray, Oklahoma: How’s this for karma? NFL Media’s Lance Zierlein compared Gray favorably to former Eagles’ RB Miles Sanders in his scouting report. The shifty back split his college years at Oklahoma and Tennessee while racking up 3,089 combined yards and 26 total touchdowns in 47 games. Projection: Round 5.

5. Shaun Shivers, Indiana: This would be the ultimate grab-and-stash pick in Round 7. Shivers – yes, his name is part of the reason he made this list – has electrifying play-making potential thanks to escapability in space. He transferred to Indiana from Auburn as a fifth-year senior and piled up 587 rushing yards, plus 128 receiving yards. He ran the 40 in 4.51 seconds. Projection: Round 7.

Photo by Adam Davis/Icon Sportswire