As Brian Westbrook moves on from Philadelphia, the Eagles will likely look to add some running back depth behind LeSean McCoy, who will assume the role of primary ball-carrier. The Eagles could look to add some veteran depth through free agency, but they will also be interested in adding some young talent to pair with McCoy.
C.J. Spiller is the premier attraction in this running back class, but he's unlikely to find himself in Philadelphia for a number of reasons. First, he probably won't be around as he is projected to go in the top 20 picks. But aside from that, it has become abundantly clear that productive running backs can be found far beyond the first round of the draft so the Eagles can get tremendous value by holding off on selecting a running back until later.
With that in mind, here's a look at some possible fits to pay close attention to tomorrow.
RB Jahvid Best, 5-foot-10, 199 pounds - Best has first-round talent, but medical questions could drop him to the second round. The former Cal Bear suffered a scary concussion that ended his 2009 season, so his most important results this week could come from the doctors. Aside from that, Best is a shifty, talented runner who figures to be productive as long as he can stay healthy. He's also considered a good pass-catcher.
RB Toby Gerhart, 6-foot-0, 231 pounds - Gerhart has lost a surprising amount of buzz after a prolific senior year that earned him an invite to the Heisman Trophy presentation. The biggest question marks surrounding Gerhart are his lateral quickness and shiftiness, as he is considered a powerful, straight-line runner. But Gerhart is confident that he will run a terrific 40-yard dash time. If he follows through with impressive measurables, he could vault himself into consideration for the early second round.
RB Joe McKnight, 5-foot-11, 198 pounds - McKnight would be a perfect fit for Andy Reid's west coast offense because he is a tremendous pass-catcher out of the backfield and can make defenders miss with ease. The former USC star may not prove to be a great runner in between the tackles, but he projects to be a productive member of a backfield committee.
RB Ben Tate, 5-foot-11, 220 pounds - Projected as a third-round pick for the Eagles by our own Tommy Lawlor, Tate could turn out to be an ideal fit for McCoy. If the Eagles are to draft a long-term complement to McCoy, it will likely be someone who can run between the tackles and block well - things that Tate is well-versed at doing. Lawlor also points out that Tate has experience producing in a time share, so he would have no trouble doing that at the next level.
RB Anthony Dixon, 6-foot-1, 233 pounds - Dixon is one of the true power backs in this class and could be a fit somewhere in the fourth round or beyond. A productive ball-carrier at Mississippi State, Dixon topped 1,000 yards rushing in his final season in Starkville, and is also said to have good hands for a man his size.
RB LeGarrette Blount, 6-foot-0, 241 pounds - Blount, who was suspended for more than half of his final season for punching a Boise State player following an Oregon win, is another of the power backs thought to be available in the middle rounds. His 40-yard dash time will be closely watched, but the bigger impact on his draft status is likely to come from his performance in the interview room.
-- Posted by Bo Wulf, 3:29 p.m., February 27