Among the many positions of need that the Philadelphia Eagles must fill this offseason, one could say that their top priority should be finding a feature running back.
This season, we saw Philly use a multitude of running backs due to injuries. Darren Sproles went down in Week 1 with a nagging hamstring injury, Jay Ajayi suffered a torn ACL in Week 5 thus ending his season, and Corey Clement missed the last few games with a knee injury.
Therefore, the only healthy running backs the Eagles really had for most of the season was Wendell Smallwood and Josh Adams. Sproles would eventually return for the stretch run, which gave them a lift in the backfield.
While Smallwood and Adams had their moments in the second half of the season, neither player set themselves apart as the lead guy for next season.
Which now leads us back to what should the Eagles do when it comes to the running back position this offseason? They could sign a back in free agency, but no one really stands out, except Le’Veon Bell, who will cost an arm and a leg.
If free agency is out of the question, then the Eagles will have to address the position in the draft. Over the last few seasons, Philly has struggled to draft a feature back.
In addition to selecting Smallwood in the fifth round of the 2016 draft, the Eagles also spent a draft pick a year later on Donnel Pumphrey in the fourth round.
With that being said, the Eagles will have three picks in the first two rounds to use on a running back and luckily for them, this year’s class has a lot of talented guys.
One guy, who everybody is focusing on is Josh Jacobs out of Alabama, who can do it all and could go in the first round. Would the Eagles use their first-round pick on a running back?
That is highly unlikely. However, they could select one in the second round.
If they choose to go that route then Florida Atlantic’s Devin Singletary should be in consideration.
The 21-year-old running back had a productive career at FAU becoming the school’s all-time leading rusher this past season. Despite his 5-foot-9, 200-pound stature, Singletary runs hard and is not afraid to lower the shoulder.
In 2018, he had 1,348 yards on 261 carries and 22 touchdowns. While that might seem impressive to the regular football fan, his junior year campaign was outstanding.
As a junior, Singletary set the college football world on fire with 32 touchdowns on the ground and 1,918 yards. He also recorded 83 missed tackles, according to Pro Football Focus, which shows how tough he is to bring down.
When you take a look at his highlights, you will automatically fall in love with his ability to stop and cut on a dime, along with his acceleration when he gets to the defense’s second level.
If you just think about those qualities alone, the Eagles need a running back like that. However, there is one thing that concerns me about Singletary’s game.
Within Florida Atlantic’s spread offense, he was not asked to be a receiver. Instead, the Owls just wanted Singletary to be a three-down back as he averaged around 18.8 carries a game over his three-year career.
One thing the Eagles’ love about their running backs is their ability to catch the ball. Matter of fact, in today’s NFL, you cannot just solely be a runner because it makes your offense less dynamic.
Singletary will have to show he can catch the football at both the NFL combine and draft workouts. If he can do that successfully plus run a good 40-yard dash time, then his draft stock will continue to soar.