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NFL Mock Draft 2018: Eagles find their answer at running back

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This would be awesome.

Rose Bowl Game presented by Northwestern Mutual - USC v Penn State Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

The 2017 NFL Draft is over. That means 2017 mock drafts are also over. But it’s never too early to look ahead to next year, right?! So without further ado, here’s a look at a 2018 mock draft via SB Nation’s Dan Kadar!

Kadar has the Philadelphia Eagles going with a running back in the first round next year.

19. Philadelphia Eagles: Saquon Barkley, RB, Penn State - The front-runner to be the draft’s top running back, Barkley gouged several teams last season rushing for nearly 1,500 yards and 18 touchdowns.

I imagine I’m not alone in liking this pick for Philadelphia. Barkley is really good and he fills a big position of need.

One of the biggest criticisms of the Eagles’ 2017 draft is that they didn’t do enough to address the running back position. Yes, they drafted Donnel Pumphrey in the fourth round, but it’s hard to imagine he projects as a lead back. The Eagles still really need a workhorse, especially with Darren Sproles on his way out after this year.

Barkley has been very productive for Penn State. In two years with the Nittany Lions, he has 454 carries for 2,572 rushing yards (5.7 average) and 25 touchdowns. He also has 48 receptions for 563 receiving yards (11.7 yards) and five scores. That’s 3,135 total yards from scrimmage to go with 30 total touchdowns.

Even if the Eagles can’t get Barkley next year, the good news is that the 2018 class appears to be loaded with good rushing talent. Then again, Howie Roseman called this year’s running back class “historic” and only ended up with Pumphrey.

It’s also disappointing to think we might have to wait another whole year just for the Eagles to find a real answer at running back. It’s not going to be fun to watch Carson Wentz having to throw 60 times a game in 2017 because no running back can be relied upon as a workhorse to take the pressure off of him.

But if the Eagles get Barkley next year, that would make 2017 easier to digest in hindsight.