Heading into the 2011 season, the Philadelphia Eagles might be more confident about the running back position than they have in years.
22-year old LeSean McCoy turned in a brilliant sophomore season, rushing for 1080 yards and seven touchdowns, and catching 78 passes and four touchdowns. He is a borderline Pro Bowler and should continue to improve.
Backup Jerome Harrison was acquired in a trade with the Cleveland Browns for running back Mike Bell. Harrison, 28, carried the ball just 40 times in the 2010 season, but rushed for 239 yards (6.0 yards per carry), and a touchdown.
He was a starter for the Browns near the end of 2009. Late in the season, he rushed for 286 yards in one game, the third highest single game total in NFL history.
Harrison definitely has potential as a starting running back, and if not a starter, a backup who can carry more than 40 times in a season.
He is a free agent and it’s unclear whether or not he will return to the Eagles in 2011.
If he doesn’t, the Eagles will want to draft a running back as the backup to LeSean McCoy (and keep Eldra Buckley at third string).
DeMarco Murray from Oklahoma is a fantastic prospect and would be a great fit for the Eagles.
Murray stands 5’11 and weighs 215 pounds. He runs a 4.37 in the 40-yard dash, meaning he would be one of the fastest running backs in the league.
He will graduate from Oklahoma as the all-time leader in touchdowns, an impressive feat considering Adrian Peterson also attended Oklahoma.
Murray is a similar running back to McCoy. He isn’t the power threat the Eagles have lacked over the years, but he is a pretty viable option at backup.
He is the fourth rated running back, according to NFL Draft Prospect, and the 159th best overall prospect.
The Eagles likely have an idea of whether Harrison is planning to resign with the team. Even if he is not, they should draft Murray if he falls to the fourth round or later.