Pro Football Focus Ranks Eagles Backfield 13th in NFL
Philadelphia Eagles running back Jay Ajayi has a new role with the team and high expectations going into the 2018 season. Now entering his fourth year, many expect him to get a much heavier work-load this season, with LeGarrette Blount now in Detroit. Regaldless of his work-load, he should have more of an impact just by getting a full training camp with the Eagles.
"Yeah, he's really comfortable with what we're doing,' Eagles head coach Doug Pederson explained. "He's such a tough, downhill, hard runner. I'm excited for him and how he can really help us in the run game. We just continue to work in the run game."
This season, Pro Football Focus ranks the Eagles backfield the 13th-best in the league, and much of that has to do with the perception that Ajayi will have a larger role this season.
While Ajayi might be the featured back of the group, there are plenty of options here.
Darren Spoles is a versatile dual-threat back, Corey Clement, Wendell Smallwood, Josh Adams and Donnel Pumphrey give the Eagles plenty of competition in camp.
Getting Sproles dual-threat ability back and Ajayi's yards after contact make the Eagles a top-15 unit, according to PFF.
Darren Sproles has been an ageless wonder up to this point in his career, but at 35 years old and coming off a torn ACL, it would be a minor miracle if he contributed close to his old form. Jay Ajayi is more than enough though to earn them the No. 13 spot. After being traded to the Eagles last season, he averaged 5.8 yards per carry including a ridiculous 3.6 yards after contact per attempt.
After his breakout 2016 season with the Dolphins (1,272 yards, eight TD's), Ajayi was shipped away to Philadelphia, and received just 70 carries in seven games. He did receive more carries later in the year, and had 42 carries in the playoffs. Overall last season, he had 208 carries for 873 yards and 24 catches for 158 yards.