Eagles

Eagles

We continue our positional breakdown leading up to the 2017 NFL Draft with a look at running backs. We have already looked at offensive linemen and quarterbacks

Instead of a top five, we'll highlight players at these positions who fit the Eagles and have a chance to be available when the team picks. 

At No. 14

Dalvin Cook, Florida State, 5-10, 210 pounds
We'll skip the argument of whether or not teams should draft running backs in the first round -- that's an argument for another day. For now, let's just look at the individual prospects, and Cook is an intriguing one. He's the type of versatile, three-down-potential back the Eagles seem to really want. He's a true dual-threat and his patience as a runner really stands out. He piled up big numbers at Florida State and would immediately help Carson Wentz and the Eagles. 

But there are reasons for concern. He had issues with fumbling in college, has a history of shoulder surgeries and there are also questions about his character. 

Christian McCaffrey, Stanford, 5-11, 202 pounds
We've all known how good McCaffrey is for a while, but for whatever reason, his name didn't start coming up as a mid-first-rounder until relatively recently. He had a great performance at the combine and while Cook is as a dual threat, McCaffrey can really do it all in the mold of a LaDainian Tomlinson-type player. Sure, that comparison is unfair to both players, and I'm not saying he's going to be Tomlinson, but it's hard not to see the same skills.

 

The question about McCaffrey is about value. Is he going to be a full-time, three-down back in the league? Or is he going to be a situational change-of-pace guy? 

In the middle

Kareem Hunt, Toledo, 5-10, 216 pounds
Hunt is a pretty complete back who had a really good 2016 season at Toledo. While Cook has trouble with fumbles, Hunt shines in the area of ball security. He's a little slight, which is a small knock against him, but he can play.

The thing that seems to stand out about Hunt is his balance, which allowed him to force more missed tackles than just about any back at the college level last season. He has good vision and is just downright slippery. With solid hands coming out of the backfield, he's another guy who could grow into a three-down back in the NFL. 

Jamaal Williams, BYU, 6-0, 212 pounds
Williams has some really fun tape. He was 212 at the combine but is muscular and a punching runner at times. But he also has the ability to catch the ball out of the backfield. If you're seeing a trend here, that ability is something the Eagles like in their system. 

Williams isn't nearly as shifty or elusive as Hunt; instead, he attacks holes. Sometimes even when those holes aren't there. He probably needs to develop more patience after running into his blockers on several occasions at BYU. 

Late-round sleeper(s)

James Conner, Pittsburgh, 6-1, 233
Conner won't last until the seventh round and might not even last to the sixth, so it's a bit of a stretch to call him a late-round sleeper, but we wanted to get him on here. He's a high-character kid, who has overcome lymphoma to return to football. 

And on the field, he's strictly a power runner. Hard to watch him and not think about Ryan Mathews' hard-nosed style, with little regard for his own personal safety.