Could Eagles draft a running back?

April, 10, 2012
4/10/12
3:25
PM ET
Sheil Kapadia's latest is a look at what the Philadelphia Eagles might do at a few different positions in the draft 16 days from now, and one of the possibilities he raises is that they could look for a running back to help spell LeSean McCoy every now and then. Rather than a big, bruising type of back as the change of pace, it seems as though the Eagles' preference might be for a smaller, more versatile back who can catch the ball and operate in space:
At the owners' meetings, Andy Reid told reporters he might want to lighten McCoy's load a bit going forward. The problem last year was that Ronnie Brown simply wasn't very good, and Dion Lewis was a rookie who the coaches obviously didn't trust to play significant snaps.

But don't forget that reports indicated the Eagles had serious interest in Darren Sproles before he signed with the Saints. If they can find a versatile running back in the early rounds, perhaps they'd go that route.

Greg Cosell of NFL Films recently said on Twitter that Oregon's LaMichael James is a less physical version of Sproles. James had a combined 2,015 rushing and receiving yards last year, averaging 7.3 yards per carry. He is expected to be a second- or third-round pick.

The Eagles have also reportedly worked out Florida's Chris Rainey, who's expected to be a mid-to-late round pick.

The Eagles have two second-round picks and nine picks overall, so they could be very busy at a number of different positions in the draft. I believe they will continue to work toward a contract extension with McCoy and likely will get one done. If they could come to an agreement with DeSean Jackson, I don't think it'll be a problem to find common ground with McCoy. But that doesn't mean they don't want to be as deep and as creative as possible at that position, if for no other reason than to keep McCoy as productive as possible for as long as possible.

Dan Graziano

ESPN New York Giants reporter

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