Eagles RB Miles Sanders missed all of OTAs and minicamp with a hamstring injury. We're still over a month away from training camp, so it's far too early to even start moving toward the panic button. But the rookie has missed valuable practice reps as he looks to rise to the top of a crowded depth chart. RB Jordan Howard, meanwhile, has drawn positive reviews from the coaching staff this spring -- particularly for his work in the passing game. NJ.com's Zack Rosenblatt believes expecting Sanders to become Philly's #1 RB as a rookie is "premature." This backfield still has plenty of sorting out to do, and we're still projecting Sanders to lead the way in fantasy points. But he feels a bit pricey at a mid-6th-round ADP since the start of June.
Eagles GM Howie Roseman said during a Saturday press conference, "We've been looking for a runner like Miles for a few years," according to NBC Sports Philadelphia. It was obvious that Philly liked Sanders when the franchise selected him in Round 2. These words from Roseman, however, could point to the new guy having a bigger workload share ahead of him than other RBs in the Doug Pederson era. Pederson's Eagles have run with a true committee. Amid personnel shuffling and injuries, no RB has reached a 37% share of team carries in any of his 3 seasons. Philly just traded for Jordan Howard this offseason, of course, but gave up a mere 6th-round pick for a RB in the final year of his rookie contract. Josh Adams, Wendell Smallwood, Corey Clement and Darren Sproles remain from last year's squad, but only Adams has reached 100 carries under Pederson and none has topped 120. Adams is also coming off shoulder surgery. None of those players looks like a big threat to Sanders' touch outlook. We wouldn't bet on workhorse touches for the rookie, but Sanders might just be the best bet to lead the backfield in opportunities right away.
The Eagles selected Penn State RB Miles Sanders with the 53rd pick of the 2019 NFL Draft. The #1 RB in the 2016 recruiting class spent his first 2 years on campus playing behind Saquon Barkley but flashed with 6.7 yards per carry on 56 attempts. He finally got his shot at lead duties in 2018 and impressed. Sanders took 220 carries for 1,274 yards (5.8 YPC) and 9 TDs, adding 139 more yards on 24 receptions. Then he crushed the Combine, registering a 73rd percentile SPARQ score at 5’11 and 211 pounds. Sanders is relatively inexperienced, dances behind the line of scrimmage too often and has ball-security concerns after fumbling 5 times last year. But he has the size, athleticism and pass-catching ability to develop into a lead back as a pro. He joins a crowded backfield in Philly alongside Jordan Howard, Wendell Smallwood, Corey Clement and Josh Adams. Sanders might already be the most talented of the bunch, though. And Howard is set to hit free agency next offseason.