Eagles-RB takes looking more like myths
Throughout Howie Roseman's second stint heading player personnel, the Eagles have had lackluster talent at running back.
In three years, Philadelphia has featured the likes of Ryan Mathews, LeGarrette Blount, Wendell Smallwood, and Josh Adams. The organization hadn't selected a RB in the first two rounds since 2009. When Jay Ajayi and Corey Clement went down in 2018, no addition from the trade deadline came to help the backfield.
These factors, on top of a committee approach from Doug Pederson and Duce Staley led to a consensus understanding that the Eagles don't value the position or having a "lead-back" as other teams do.
Many found it hard to believe top RB prospects would interest Philadelphia despite mock drafts consistently pairing the Eagles with the position in the first two rounds.
Then Miles Sanders was selected with the 53rd overall pick and it became just one of many elements that show perhaps the understood philosophy on RB was wrong all along.
The narrative spread far enough that Roseman knew enough about it to joke at his press conference that they do in fact draft running backs.
“Guess what guys? We got a running back! We draft running backs in Philadelphia!” - Howie Roseman
When you look deeper, the Eagles have actually shown a lot of interest in investing significant resources to the position in hopes of finding top-tier talent.
Of course, the first source of proof is the Ajayi trade. Blount, Smallwood, and Clement were inconsistent in 2017 so Roseman gave Miami a fourth to refresh the backfield with Ajayi.
Spending higher draft picks hasn't been off the table either. In 2017, the Eagles showed heavy interest in both Christian McCaffrey and Dalvin Cook.
Pederson even discussed having McCaffrey in Philadelphia before their Week 7 battle with the Panthers.
"He's really everything -- coming out of the draft, if we were fortunate enough to get him, the way we would use him. Doesn't come off the field. Great athlete. Again, a player that we have to account for, and know where he lines up. You got to tackle him. You got to get him on the ground."
McCaffrey didn't fall in the first round. Neither did Cook in the second round as the Vikings traded up two spots in front of the Eagles for him, knowing Philadelphia would have taken him.
Roseman and Joe Douglas admitted on Friday they have been looking for a back with the all-around, three-down ability of McCaffrey, Cook, and now Miles Sanders for a while.
Having an interest in that style of RB doesn't line up with the way the offense has used the position but perhaps that was out of necessity with the limited ability of personnel.
Time will tell how Sanders and the new RB room is used but when plenty of wide receiver, safety, and defensive line talent fell to 53, the Penn State standout was still the pick.
So it looks like running back, and well-rounded ones might just be something that the Eagles care about after all. Making many takes on the topic look more and more like myths.
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