How Long Will Jordan Howard Hold off Miles Sanders for the Eagles RB1 Job? - Roto Street Journal
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How Long Will Jordan Howard Hold off Miles Sanders for the Eagles RB1 Job?

The Eagles added two more talented running backs to Doug Pederson’s dreaded committee when they dealt a measly sixth round pick to get the league’s third leading rusher since 2016, Jordan Howard, and Saquon Barkley’s protégé in Miles Sanders. Howard got the head start on the Eagles’ future workhorse when Sanders was forced to sit out of the majority of the offseason program with a hamstring injury. Still, we know what Howard brings to the table at this point in his career and although he’s put up numbers, it’s tough to expect anything other than Sanders eventually running away with this job once he gets integrated into the offense and is up to full speed.

Even though he was saddled behind Saquon until last season, Sanders possesses the elite athleticism and traits that forecast him as a featured three-down back in the NFL. He registered a 4.49 40, showed his burst by jumping 36 inches vertically, ran the best 3-cone (6.89) and the third best 20-yard shuttle (4.19) at his position. It’s quite possible that Sanders would have slid into the first round if he wasn’t forced to wait his turn behind Saquon, as he flourished in his lone season as a starter by rushing for 1,274 yds and nine touchdowns on only 220 carries. Unlike most college studs who enter the league, Sanders’ tires will be fresh.

The Wolf is 17 spots lower vs the ECR on Howard, who should at least start the season off as the lead back and the definite goal line and short-yardage back. It’ll be interesting to see if Sanders’ hamstring holds up throughout camp and if he can make up ground on the bulldozing veteran and Corey Clement, who seems locked-in as the team’s third-down back.

The battle for snaps is “definitely going to be competitive,” said Sanders to NFL Network. “That’s what I like about rooms likes this. It was like this at Penn State. It was a very talented running back room. But I’m just used to that stuff: competing and making each other better. Nobody’s really going to be the star running back, I think . . . the ball’s going to be spread out a lot, and that’s what I kind of like, too.”

If it seems like Howard has the job locked up near draft time, it wouldn’t be a bad idea to ‘cuff the two backs behind PFF’s top offensive line.

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