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Ranking 13 running backs in the 2022 NFL Draft for the Eagles

Will Philadelphia be looking to boost their backfield?

Syndication: The Providence Journal Adam Cairns/Columbus Dispatch / USA TODAY NETWORK

Full disclaimer: as some of you may know, I am from England which means I do not watch any college football during the season and I therefore go into this process with absolutely no preconceptions about who I’m about to watch. I think this has impact on my rankings because I really do know nothing about them until I watch them myself. I don’t read or listen to anything. I watch at least three games of each player that I rank, but I cannot share any film with you because sharing college All22 online is dangerous and I do not want to be blocked!

These rankings are based on how I think these prospects would fit the Eagles scheme or who I want the most based upon who the Eagles already have at a certain position. Therefore, sometimes I may have one player above another, even if I think the other player is a better overall prospect. If a player isn’t on this list, I haven’t watched them yet! You can find quarterbacks here.

RUNNING BACKS

Tier 1

1. Breece Hall, Iowa State

Summary: Breece Hall looks the part of a very good NFL running back. He has great size, speed, power and contact balance. He has good vision and can run a variety of concepts well. He should have no problem taking control of the backfield early on but I think he will need to work on his receiving talent to become a better option on 3rd down. I think there is untapped potential

Eagles Thoughts: Hall would replace Sanders role in the Eagles offense perfectly, providing the explosive element with a more consistent running style. However, the Eagles should not consider him in the 1st when they are picking and I highly doubt he’s still there in the 2nd.

2. Kenneth Walker, Michigan State

Summary: I think Walker is the best pure runner in this years class but you are going to have to hope he can develop his game more otherwise he is currently extremely limited. He is a tough, physical, explosive runner who plays with great pad level and will continue to pick up a lot of yards after contact at the next level. He needs to prove he can pass protect and do more in the running game before being seen as a true feature back.

Eagles Thoughts: Walker would provide an explosive element to the Eagles run game and is a lot more tough and physical than Sanders. If the Eagles feel his skillset suits the early downs while Scott/Gainwell can play on 3rd down more then he could be a great option for them and I would be tempted by him in the back end of the 2nd round.

Tier 2

(These guys are all extremely close - I barely have anything between Spiller or Pierce).

3. Isaiah Spiller, Texas A&M

Summary: I really like Spiller as a foundation back who can handle a good workload on early downs. He is a steady runner without being explosive but will consistently make people miss and possess the traits to be a good early down running back. To get to the next level, he will need to develop his work in the passing game or he may find himself playing on early downs early.

Eagles Thoughts: If the Eagles decide to move on from Miles Sanders soon, I could see Spiller being a good replacement to handle the early down work. He can run a variety of run game concepts and the Eagles may feel his skillset suits the early downs while Scott/Gainwell can play on 3rd down more. I have around a late 3rd round grade on Spiller but from an Eagles point of view this is probably slightly too high considering they already have Sanders and how they rotate their backs.

4. Rachaad White, Arizona State

Summary: White is one of those players that I could get horribly wrong but I am willing to bet on him being a good pro. I think he has talent as a running back who can catch out the backfield but he could also do a role at receiver at times. He is fast, with good size and physicality and just makes one or two plays a game that stand out. I am always willing to bank on upside and playmaking ability, especially outside the first 3 rounds. He could end up failing due to his stiffness and his inability to find an obvious role but I would be willing to take a shot.

Eagles Thoughts: From an Eagles point of view, he’s exactly the type of player I would absolutely love to have after the first 3 rounds. Personally, I have around a 3rd round grade on him but that might be a bit rich for the Eagles considering who they already have. However, this team needs playmakers and I think White could provide them with one.

5. Brian Robinson, Alabama

Summary: Opinions on Brian Robinson seem to be all over the place but count me in as a fan of his. I understand the concerns over long speed and 3rd down value but he is fast enough in my opinion to be a successful early down running back due to his lateral quickness, contact balance and quick feet. I think he’s probably worth a late 3rd round/early 4th which is earlier than I think he is seen by many others.

Eagles Thoughts: Assuming he drops as some have said, I think he would be a great pick as a 4/5th round pick if he lasts that long and would replace the ‘Jordan Howard’ role in the Eagles offense. He could even take on a bigger role if he can develop in pass protection moving forward and he would provide the Eagles with some needed power at running back.

6. Zamir White, Georgia

Summary: Zamir White is going to go late due to his injury history and lack of 3rd down production. However, he is absolutely worth a late round pick as his film is really, really fun to watch. He is very powerful and will run over defenders with excellent pad level. I think he could be an excellent early down runner if a team takes a chance on him.

Eagles Thoughts: If he lasts until the later rounds due to injury concerns, I would absolutely love the Eagles to take a chance on him anywhere on day 3. When you get to day 3, it was worth taking a chance of injury risks. If he stays healthy he could be a great early down option and would seamlessly fit into the Jordan Howard role, with more upside considering their ages.

7. Dameon Pierce, Florida

Summary: Dameon Pierce is one of the weirdest players I’ve tried to evaluate. His film is really good. He’s a very tough runner, who plays hard on every single snap. He plays low to the ground and powers through arm tackles with a great burst and change of direction. But the huge question mark is, why has he should such a small workload? He’s never been trusted to have many more than 100 carries a season and hasn’t been featured in the passing game.

Eagles Thoughts: I would bank on the upside and the fresh legs and think he would be an excellent addition from the late 3rd round onwards for the Eagles due to his powerful running style.

Tier 3

8. James Cook, Georgia

Summary: A budget version of Alvin Kamara came to mind immediately when watching James Cook. He has the ability to be a really good part of a rotation and will fit well with teams who line up their running backs all over the formation to create mismatches. He feels a similar role to Kyren Williams but I prefer Cook due to more physicality.

Eagles Thoughts: He would fit perfectly into the Eagles rotation of backs but would fill a similar role to Gainwell. Unless you think he can do more as a runner he’s probably not worth a pick for the Eagles unless he falls to quite late on day 3.

9. Pierre Strong, South Dakota State

Summary: Pierre Strong should find a place as a rotational back with the upside to edge towards the starter as part of a rotation if he develops nicely. He has good speed and can create explosive plays by finding a lane and exploding through it. He has a strange frame and is quite leggy, which makes him struggle to get going if he hesitates and can’t find a lane.

Eagles Thoughts: I think Strong would be an excellent pick for the Eagles as he could backup Sanders this year and potentially help replace him the following year. Sanders biggest value is the explosive plays and Strong will also create big plays, especially behind the dominant offensive line that the Eagles have. If he can develop his route running further, he could be a steal later on in the draft. I would consider him towards the end of the 4th and thind he’d be a good 5th round pick.

10. Jerome Ford, Cincinnati

Summary: Ford looks the part with good size, decent burst and the ability to catch the ball reasonably well out the backfield. He looks a very raw prospect though with not many carries to his name and it shows on the field. I didn’t see Ford as highly as others and think he’s more of a prospect than a sure thing. He’s a steady back but will he have enough upside to ever win a starting job?

Eagles Thoughts: The Eagles should take a flier on Ford if he’s there towards the end of day 3 (I don’t think he will based on other opinions though), but I wouldn’t expect any contribution until next year. He could be a worth a flier though, due to his size and athletic traits.

Tier 4

11. Tyler Allgeier, BYU

Summary: Allgeier looks like a great backup to have as part of a rotation as he can play multiple roles. He understands where he needs to go and is a classic ‘gets what is blocked’ type of running back. But the upside just is not there for a potential starter. He isn’t explosive or creative enough to be seen as a starter at the next level.

Eagles Thoughts: If he’s available late on day 3, he would make sense as a pick for the Eagles due to his physical running style and versatility. He could back up Sanders, Scott and Gainwell and could also take some carries if the Eagles stick to a very run heavy approach. The upside for a starter is not there but he should be a solid backup.

12. Kyren Williams, Notre Dame

Summary: Kyren Williams is a back that I liked the more I watched. I started off thinking he was your generic 3rd down option but I actually came away being more impressed with his running ability than I was initially. He is feisty, competitive and plays bigger than his size. Despite this, his size, lack of explosiveness and power means he will likely be a 3rd down option only, with maybe a few early down carries here and there.

Eagles Thoughts: I don’t think the Eagles should have interest as he fits a similar profile to Gainwell but I do think he would be a good fit in the offense and if he is there in the later rounds, I don't think you can have too many impact skill players on offense these days!

13. Ty Chandler, North Carolina

Summary: Ty Chandler will have a good chance of getting drafted due to his versatility, but he should be seen as a backup in a rotational backfield who can contribute on special teams. He flashes the ability as a receiver with good hands but I don’t think he has the size, physicality or vision to contribute much as a runner at the next level.

Eagles Thoughts: I wouldn’t be interested in Chandler as an Eagles fan considering the backs that we already have, but he could be an option at the very end of the draft or as a UDFA if he isn’t drafted as we do need some help on special teams.