The Eagles are not known for investing a ton of money in the running back position. Although Miles Sanders was coming off a breakout campaign, this year was no exception. The former Penn State RB signed a four-year deal with Panthers.
The Eagles answered that loss with the signing of the often-injured Rashaad Penny. Penny signed a surprising one-year deal with Philadelphia that opened the eyes of every NFL fan and executive. Shortly after that, the Eagles made a bold move by then trading for RB D’Andre Swift of the Lions.
Swift is known for his quick feet and his great deciding ability so this could be a great 1-2 punch for the Eagles. But that begs the question of what will this RB by committee look like. And who will be left out of it? Let’s take a look at a very interesting camp battle.
Eagles RB1? D’Andre Swift
I feel like you don’t trade for a player with this unique skill set and use him as a backup. Swift has been the guy for the Lions for the first three years of his career but has had issues with staying on the field. Now he’s back home and he’s running in an offense that could bring out the best in him.
The former Georgia Bulldog will be used in the passing game more often than not which could lead to him becoming the locker room leader in snaps for the running backs. But for that to happen, Swift will have to stay as healthy as possible for the Eagles.
RB2? Rashaad Penny
Penny is not fool’s gold. He’s going to be a great playmaker for this offense. In the last several seasons, Penny has been one of the most efficient running backs in the game. In 2021, he led the league in yards per carry as he averaged 6.3 YPC.
The same rule that applies to D’Andre Swift also applies to Rashaad Penny. He has to stay healthy this season if the Eagles are going to maximize his abilities. He’s running behind the best offensive line in the game in a scheme where defenses will be kept honest due to the running ability of Eagles QB Jalen Hurts.
RB3 – Kenny Gainwell
Kenny Gainwell is a huge question mark this season but not for anything that he can control. With the addition of the above running backs, Gainwell now finds himself staying put in his role unless one of the other two get injured. He had a remarkable postseason and became a nice part of the passing game for the Eagles when they needed him the most.
He’s one of the better pure running backs on the roster. He does his job when called upon and could still be a factor for this season. While many may think of him as being placed in the Corey Clement role with Penny and Swift ahead of him, Gainwell is much more than that. I’d still expect him to be a big part of Sirianni’s offense.
On the roster bubble?
The Eagles re-signed Boston Scott this offseason which marks his fifth season with the team. Scott has been the Eagles’ answer against the Giants as he holds the title for the most consecutive touchdowns against them at the moment. If the team keeps four running backs then Scott will fit in perfectly fine with this group but you have to wonder if he’s on the outs now due to the addition of Swift.
Trey Sermon may also be on the bubble. Although Nick Sirianni spoke very highly of him this offseason, Sermon’s chance has been diminished by the additions of Penny and Swift. While the Eagles can keep him on the practice squad, the likelihood of him not being poached is very slim.
Photo by Scott W. Grau/Icon Sportswire