Christian McCaffrey recently saw his bank account inflated to unfathomable levels. One certain Eagles running back was watching it unfold. He wants to be next in line.
McCaffrey, arguably the best rusher in football (and the highest-paid at the position), has built a reputation as a jack of all trades. He’s explosive out of the backfield. He’s a key cog in the passing game. He’s a dynamic playmaker and touchdown machine. And the Panthers run their entire offense through him.
The 23-year-old became just the third player in NFL history to rack up at least 1,000 rushing yards and 1,000 receiving yards in a single season last year after finishing with 1,387 rushing yards and 1,005 receiving yards. He also led the NFL in all-purpose yardage (2,392).
Miles Sanders, the second-year back for the Eagles, wants to emulate those numbers. He wants to play “in the mold” of McCaffrey. He reeled off some lofty goals for the 2020 season, including racking up more yards from scrimmage than he did in 2019 as well as making a legitimate run at the Super Bowl.
“When I look at him, I look at a back that’s very hard to stop. I want to be that back,” Sanders told ESPN’s Tim McManus. “I want to be that back where you think you can stop me in the run game and then, boom, I’m outside in the passing game and I’m rolling up yards for the team. I want to be that back where there’s no way you can really slow me down or stop me or take me out of the game because I’m so versatile. That’s the type of mentality and the type of player I want to be.”
Sanders Taking Lead Role in Philadelphia
When the Eagles decided to let Jordan Howard leave in free agency, it opened up the door for Miles Sanders. He’ll be the undisputed bell-cow in 2020 for a pass-heavy offense. That means Sanders will be seeing a huge uptick in snaps, especially as a receiver out of the backfield.
Sanders saw 613 total offensive snaps in 2019 (53-percent) while accumulating 818 rushing yards and 509 receiving yards. He was also used as a kick returner and finished with 1,641 all-purpose yards, eighth-best in the NFL and tops among rookies. Sanders was a finalist for both NFL Rookie of the Year and Offensive Player of the Year. He lost to Arizona’s Kyler Murray.
Making Eagles Pick at the NFL Draft
Miles Sanders confirmed to ESPN that he’ll be the one announcing the Eagles’ second-round pick on Thursday at the NFL Draft.
He not-so-secretly shared the name that he’s hoping to call out: KJ Hamler. The two played together at Penn State and Hamler should be on the board when Philly picks at No. 53.
“I’m going off script and I’m going to be hype on TV,” Sanders told ESPN. “I’m going to say, ‘With the 53rd pick in the second round the Eagles select KJ,’ but I’m going to go crazy.”
Hamler admitted that Sanders has been recruiting him hard, too. The former teammates clearly share a special bond and mutual respect.
“I talk to Miles a lot. Miles is one of my best friends,” Hamler said, via NBC Sports Philadelphia. “Yeah, we talked about me playing for the Eagles, and seeing if they’re interested or not. I’ve talked to the Eagles a lot, actually, but I can only go to one team, and the one team that’s going to get me is going to get 100-percent, 120-percent out of me, 24/7.”
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