Eagles to explore all avenues at running back this offseason

2019 NFL Draft NFL Iowa State David Montgomery

The Philadelphia Eagles, who have not had a feature back since LeSean McCoy, will more than likely address the position either in free agency or in the 2019 NFL Draft. Last season, the team used a total of six running back due to various injuries to Jay Ajayi, Darren Sproles, and Corey Clement.

Ajayi suffered a torn ACL in Week 5 thus ending his season, while Sproles dealt with a nagging hamstring injury, and Clement missed the last few games with a knee injury.

With that being said, the only healthy running backs the Eagles had for a majority of the season was Wendell Smallwood and undrafted free agent Josh Adams. Even though Adams and Smallwood had their moments of brilliance down the stretch, it was clear that the Eagles needed a dynamic workhorse back.

On Wednesday at the NFL scouting combine, Eagles executive vice president of football operations Howie Roseman was asked about the team’s plans at running back.

To his credit, Roseman gave an interesting response, leaving the door open for the team to do a litany of things.

“There’s different ways to skin a cat,” he said (h/t Zach Berman of Philly.com). “We won a world championship two years ago and we got LeGarrette [Blount] in free agency in May and traded for Jay. I traded for Darren Sproles, had some late picks and UDFAs that have worked out. We’re not going to force any position.”

While Roseman is right in saying that they did win a Super Bowl two years ago with an eclectic running back by committee system. They still need to make a considerable investment in the position.

If you do not believe me, just take a look back at Super Bowl 53. The New England Patriots invested a first-round pick in Sony Michel, who had 931 yards on 209 carries and six touchdowns during the regular season.

Then in the playoffs, Michel duplicated his performance from the regular season with six touchdowns on the ground and 336 rushing yards.

The Los Angeles Rams, however, drafted Todd Gurley with the 10th overall pick in the 2015 NFL draft. Gurley has been phenomenal for the Rams over the last two seasons in both the running and receiving games.

Therefore, the proof is there that investing in the running back position pays huge dividends. But when it comes to the Eagles, they haven’t drafted a running back in the first two rounds since McCoy.

As previously mentioned, Philly is in an interesting spot as they could draft a running back with one of their two second-round picks. According to Mike Kaye of NJ.com, the Eagles have formally met with Iowa State’s David Montgomery.

Montgomery had an outstanding last two seasons for the Cyclones, rushing for over 1,000 yards twice and being a factor in the receiving game. He along with Florida Atlantic’s Devin Singletary have been mocked to the Eagles in various drafts.

However, if the Eagles do not want to use their second-round pick on a running back, they might look at the trade market or free agency.

Jason LaCanfora of CBS Sports mentioned on Wednesday that the Chicago Bears are interested in trading Jordan Howard, while Latavius Murray, who spent the last two seasons with the Minnesota Vikings is reportedly looking for an opportunity to start.

Both running backs would fit in perfectly with the Eagles’ running back by committee system and have shown that they can carry a large workload. Nevertheless, regardless of whatever Philly does this offseason, expect their running back room to have a couple of new faces in it.

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