2020 NFL Draft: If Eagles do want to target a ‘big' running back, they'll have options


Running back isn't one of the Eagles' more pressing needs heading into this month's NFL Draft, so it's okay if you've spent more time focusing on fifth-round receiver options than the draft's top rushers.

But behind second-year star-in-waiting Miles Sanders, the Eagles' RB corps isn't exactly a sure thing. 

So it's interesting that The Athletic's Dane Brugler floated the idea of the Eagles targeting a "big" running back in his latest five-round mock draft, because it feels like a sneaky-important position for Howie Roseman & Co. to upgrade.

Brugler mocked the Eagles using a fourth-round pick, No. 127, on just such a running back:

127. Philadelphia Eagles – AJ Dillon, RB, Boston College

The Eagles are expected to target a "big" back at some point in this year’s draft and at 247 pounds, Dillon certainly fits the bill. He needed only three seasons to become Boston College’s all-time leading rusher.

When you think about it, drafting a big back is probably a good idea. Boston Scott was a fun story at the end of 2019, but he's still proving he'll be usable long-term. Sanders is a stud, but he's not an ideal short-yardage option. So eyeing a LeGarrette Blount-style rusher is smart.

Luckily, it seems the 2020 class has a few options.

At 6-0 and 247 pounds, Dillon is a good first target. He ran for more than 4,200 yards and 38 touchdowns over three years with Boston College, and averaged 5.3 yards per carry his final year. Those are some mighty fine numbers. 

But other teams in search of a bruising back on Day 2 might have the same idea, so in case Dillon is off the board, here are a few more "big back" possibilities:

Patrick Taylor Jr., Memphis: 6-2, 217 pounds

If you're okay with a little risk, Taylor's upside is obvious. He hurt his foot in the season opener his senior year, but his junior year was phenomenal: 208 rushes, 1,122 yards, and 16 touchdowns. Taylor returned at the end of the Tigers' season for 51 carries, an encouraging sign.

Antonio Gibson, Memphis: 6-0, 228 pounds

Gibson is a super interesting player. A bit of a hybrid WR-RB who is listed as a runner for the draft, he ran 33 times for 369 yards and 4 TD in 2019, while catching 38 passes for 735 yards and 8 TD. Gibson has a relatively "big" frame for a potential runner, and if he adds a few more pounds, he'd be a fascinating weapon.

Sewo Olonilua, TCU: 6-3, 232 pounds

Olonilua is probably a Day 3 pick, but pairing his size with NFL-caliber blockers is tantalizing. He ran 134 times for 537 yards and 8 touchdowns his senior year, and averaged 4.7 yards per carry over his four years with the Horned Frogs. Plus, I'd love to hear Eagles fans wrestle with his name.

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