Chip Kelly, Philadelphia Eagles Should Target RB LaMichael James in Trade

By Joe Doris
Daniel Shirey-USA TODAY Sports

There is no doubt that RB LeSean McCoy will man the feature-back role in the Philadelphia Eagles’ backfield once the 2013 NFL season kicks off with brand new head coach Chip Kelly at the helm.

But due to the high-octane, furiously fast style of spread offense that Kelly runs, there is a need for great depth throughout the entire offensive unit. And the position that requires the most depth and differentiation is the running back spot, because of the incredibly heavy load of read-options that are called in the system.

While current Eagles backup RBs Bryce Brown and Dion Lewis each have their own set of useful skills, the Eagles could still benefit greatly from a shifty speedster who is already familiar with Kelly’s spread.

Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you San Francisco 49ers RB LaMichael James.

James played under Kelly at the University of Oregon from 2009 to 2011, where he flourished in the NCAA ranks, earning a unanimous All-American selection and the Doak Walker Award in 2010 as the #1 college running back. James was also a Heisman trophy finalist and is currently the all-time career rushing yards leader for the Oregon Ducks.

Even though James has yet to experience much success in the NFL as of now, he certainly possesses the tools and potential to become a dynamic and dangerous professional running back.

One of the biggest concerns for James is his size, as he is one of the most petite tailbacks in the league, standing at 5′ 9″ and weighing barely 200 pounds soaking wet. Fortunately for James, Kelly’s spread offense is based solely around speed and elusiveness as opposed to size in a ground-and-pound attack.

I think that it would also be greatly beneficial for James to develop alongside McCoy, who will be able to teach him the ropes and pass on his knowledge and experience to the fellow youngster.

While the 49ers currently have reasonable depth at running back, the Eagles could use some help. And a reunion between James and Kelly would be a perfect fit in every way.


Please follow Joe on Twitter @Joe_RantNFL for all Eagles/NFL insight.

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