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Posted November 30, 2019 05:08:07When the Eagles drafted running back LeSean Murray with the No. 1 pick in the 2019 NFL Draft, it marked the culmination of two seasons of success for the former Buffalo Bills star.
Murray, who entered the NFL as a freshman, rushed for 1,084 yards and 10 touchdowns last season as a member of the New York Jets.
He became the first player in franchise history to rush for at least 1,000 yards in three straight seasons when he rushed for 2,063 yards and 13 touchdowns in 2017.
The Eagles’ rookie running back corps has been among the NFL elite for several years.
Murray and running back Isaiah Crowell are the only running backs to be drafted by two teams with two different head coaches, but they have had different careers.
Murray is coming off a breakout year in 2018.
He rushed for 531 yards and five touchdowns and scored three touchdowns as a rookie in 2018, and he has rushed for over 1,100 yards in each of the last two seasons.
Murray has a long way to go to be considered a viable NFL running back, but his skill set and experience should help him land a spot in the Eagles’ running game.
The team has plenty of options to choose from, but the running backs that will likely be available include LeSean Washington, Leonard Fournette, Jordan Howard and Jamaal Williams.
Washington is one of the top running backs in the NFL.
The former LSU star averaged 5.9 yards per carry in his four-year career, and his production was aided by his ability to get yards after contact.
Washington is a rare talent with the ability to gain ground in the run game, but he is often held to a low standard.
Washington, Howard and Fournett are all players that can be groomed as starters if they develop a bit more consistency.
Fournettes’ role in the offense will likely grow in the future.
Howard was a second-round pick out of Arkansas and was expected to take a step forward after finishing his collegiate career with 1,095 yards on 233 carries (5.5 yards per rush) last season.
Fountains future will be a question mark, but Howard is one that the Eagles can groom if they need a running back with a good enough running game to keep the offense fresh.
Williams is a versatile player who is likely to see a significant amount of time in the running game if the Eagles are going to get a big boost in production from a running game that lacked a dominant presence last season in Philadelphia.
Williams ran for over 3,100 total yards and nine touchdowns as one of two running backs on the Eagles running back depth chart.
The other running back is undrafted free agent Isaiah Crowll, who had only 12 carries for 25 yards and no touchdowns last year.
Williams and Fountes were two of the three running backs the Eagles used as their third running back last season, but Williams is likely the only one that could be grooming as a starter as a true No. 2 running back.
Washington and Howard are the most likely to receive a look in the backfield.
Washington and Howard have a ton of potential.
Both of them are very talented and have the potential to become the first running backs drafted in the past 10 years to rush in the top five of the NFL in rushing yards and rushing touchdowns.
Washington, who has the ability for some big plays, could be the player to groom for a spot as a full-time starter in Philadelphia’s backfield.
Fournette is a player that is more known for his blocking ability than his ability as a runner.
He finished the season as the No 2 overall pick by the New Orleans Saints, but Fournes production in the Saints’ offense was lackluster.
He led the Saints in rushing attempts (1,038), yards per attempt (3.6), rushing touchdowns (five) and rushing yards per game (3,532).
The former Clemson star could potentially see a role in Philadelphia as a No. 3 running back in the early going, but it will likely take a good year of development before he sees the field in the regular season.
Howard and Fett have been the only two running back to earn Pro Bowl invitations since the Eagles acquired running back Darren Sproles in the offseason.
Sproes was selected to the Pro Bowl in 2017 after rushing for 1.1 yards per touch in the first three games of the season.
The rookie was the only player in the league last season to average at least 2,000 rushing yards, and Howard has been one of his more consistent running backs, racking up over 1.4 yards per rushing attempt in his last four games.
The Eagles will likely have a difficult time finding a running backs with a long-term role in their offense.
Williams is the most consistent player available at running back and should get a shot at a bigger role.
Washington has the speed to