Miles Sanders, as all Eagles’ fans know, was drafted out of Penn State with the 53rd overall pick by the Philadelphia Eagles. Eagles’ fans were sure they were getting a promising, young player based on Miles Sanders’ stats from his recent year at Penn State, in which he totaled 1,413 yards from scrimmage (1,274 rushing the ball and 139 receiving the ball). They were right, but it didn’t seem like it from the beginning.
For the first half of the season, Miles Sanders would be listed behind Jordan Howard on the depth chart as RB2. In that stretch of games (leading up to Week 9 against the Chicago Bears), Miles Sanders totaled just 336 yards rushing the ball and 305 yards as a receiver. During that game, Jordan Howard suffered a mysterious shoulder injury and was diagnosed with a shoulder stinger. He was expected to miss some time, and due to this, Miles Sanders got promoted to RB1. What was supposed to be a short recovery became a painfully long one for Howard, giving Sanders the RB1 role for the remainder of the season. Sanders made the most of that opportunity through the remaining 7 games, totaling 482 yards rushing the ball, a significant increase in rushing production. He stayed relatively steady in receiving yardage in terms of averages per game (he went from roughly 34 yards per game to 29 yards per game).
The point is, Miles Sanders saw a massive increase in production as the lead back, and this increase was in a matter of 7 weeks. Miles Sanders totaled 818 yards on the field last season, and he himself said that he left ‘200 or 300 yards’ on the field as rookie.
In the upcoming season (2020-2021 NFL Season), Miles Sanders is set to be the lead back for the entirety of the season, barring anything unforeseen. If last season is any indication, Sanders should amass over 1000 yards. The question is, with those numbers, where will he rank among the league’s top running backs?
He isn’t in the Top 10 just yet, but with a good year, he can sneak into the league’s top 10 running backs. It took 1091 yards to break the Top 10 running backs solely based on rushing yards last year (Marlon Mack), and 1230 rushing yards to break the top 5 (Chris Carson). Miles Sanders is more than capable of topping these numbers.
As of now, Miles Sanders is a solid player, but we shouldn’t be surprised when he is in conversations with the league’s best backs.