We’re beginning to see a trend in the NFL where running backs aren’t always the commodity they used to be so the Philadelphia Eagles should address their needs at the position in later rounds of the upcoming NFL Draft.
This is the lone position on offense where the athlete have more of an ability to freelance. Think of the old days of former Eagles running back Brian Westbrook or the current team with Darren Sproles. Ball carriers have more license than any other skill position to do their own thing.
Wide receivers have to run their routes accurately. Quarterbacks have to know where receivers are on the field. Yes, adjustments are done during the play and beforehand;’ but for the most part, the play is frequently carried out the way it’s designed. The same statement can be made for the running back position; but the greats rely on vision, making people miss in open space, and finding holes where there aren’t any. Running plays typically don’t unfold how they’re drawn up.
Again, that’s true on offense at any position; but if you’ve ever wondered why greats are found in so many of the late rounds, that’s the reason. You could argue that’s why so many running backs break into the league and make immediate impacts on their teams much more often than any other position on the field. It’s the most instinctive position on the field. Former Detroit Lions running back Barry Sanders once made a statement he had no idea where he was going half of the time. Neither did his teammates.
Former Ohio State Buckeyes running back Ezekiel Elliott is a monster. Make no mistake about it. Time will tell if he’s the next Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson or that once in a lifetime player that many are believing he is, but the Eagles have no second round pick. Elliott may be gone by the third, but there are too many pressing issues on this team to invest in the leagues most punished position that early.
Many teams use a two back system to try and extend the shelf life of many players. Athletes are bigger, stronger, faster, and hit harder. The clock on these guys ticks much faster than it used to.
To make long stories short, the Eagles can invest in other needs earlier. The chance of picking up a great ball carrier later is higher than you might expect.