Howie Roseman proves that a stable of RBs is superior to an elite prospect after acquiring D’Andre Swift
The Eagles Wire is equally complicit in driving the train for GM Howie Roseman to draft Bijan Robinson at No. 10 overall in the first round on Thursday night.
From an overall value standpoint, it didn’t make much sense regardless of Philadelphia owning two first-round picks.
The constant debate centered around Robinson potentially being a generational talent at running back. The Eagles had a Super Bowl window while the All-American was on his rookie deal.
Atlanta ended the drama, drafting Robinson at No. 8 overall, and then Philadelphia traded up to No. 9 overall to select Jalen Carter.
For the Bijan Robinson to #Eagles sycophants:
Howie Roseman was never going to expend a high draft pick on a RB. There are far too many cost-effective ways to address the position.
And with Swift, they now have an established two-way RB playing in a contract year. https://t.co/iHU2zM9Gyy
— Jeff McLane (@Jeff_McLane) April 29, 2023
The defending NFC champion Eagles have significantly retooled the running back position after Miles Sanders departed in free agency for the Carolina Panthers. They signed former Seattle Seahawks running back Rashaad Penny to a one-year deal in March.
Then on Saturday, the final day of the NFL draft, Roseman bypassed drafting a running back, trading two late-round picks to Detroit for an established player in D’Andre Swift.
Swift and Penny are joining a running back room with returning contributors Kenneth Gainwell and Boston Scott.
On Saturday, the Eagles’ GM said this about the current state of ball carriers in Philadelphia.
“We liked our running backs,” Roseman said. “We didn’t go into the draft feeling like this was the position we had to have, but we felt like this player was somebody who could really add to our culture and add to our team.”
Swift, only 24 years old, rushed for 542 yards and five touchdowns on 99 carries (5.5 YPC) in 14 games last season and added 48 catches for 389 yards and three scores.
Like Penny, he suffered injuries and missed three regular-season games in 2022. A second-round pick in 2020, Swift has rushed for 1,680 yards and 18 touchdowns over three seasons.
“He’s got big-play ability as a runner and a receiver,” Eagles general manager Howie Roseman said on ESPN’s draft broadcast. “We saw it firsthand when we were in Detroit the first game of the season [in 2022].”
Robinson may go on to be an all-time player in the NFL. Still, he’s unlikely to outrush Philadelphia’s stable of running backs in 2023 while accruing wear and tear as a critical offensive piece for the rebuilding Atlanta Falcons.
Robinson will earn $21 million over five years of his rookie deal with the Falcons and land a signing bonus of $12 million.
If the former Longhorns star comes close to matching the 3,708 yards and 20 touchdowns that Miles Sanders amassed here in Philadelphia, then he’ll be in line for another contract worth upwards of $40 million in 2028.
That’s a minimum of $60 million that Howie Roseman can invest elsewhere.
In 2023, even with the addition of Swift, Eagles running backs will outrush their NFL counterparts while allocating a little over $8 million salary to the position.
Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
After averaging just 24.1 during the regular season, Gainwell averaged 97.5 scrimmage yards against the Giants and 49ers, putting his dual-threat abilities on display.
Even with Rashaad Penny signing in free agency, Gainwell was expected to see his role increase as Philadelphia works to surround Jalen Hurts with elite talent.
(Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images)
When healthy, Penny is one of the most productive running backs in the NFL, averaging 5.7 yards per carry for his career and 6 yards per carry over the past two years.
A first-round pick of the Seahawks in 2018, Penny played college football at San Diego State.
In 2017, he led the nation with 2,248 rushing yards and 23 touchdowns on 289 carries, finishing fifth in the Heisman Trophy voting and garnering first-team All-American and All-Mountain West honors.
Penny had the best season of his career in 2021, rushing for 749 yards and six touchdowns, but he was limited to only ten games, and he hasn’t played over ten since his rookie season.
Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports
Scott re-signed with Philadelphia on a one-year, $2 million deal.
Last season while playing 170 offensive snaps in the regular season, Scott rushed for 217 yards and three touchdowns on 54 attempts and can be an asset in the passing game. Scott also excelled in the kickoff return game, averaging 27.1 yards, including a career-best 66-yarder against the New York Giants in Week 14.
Scott added 32 yards and a touchdown on six carries in the NFC Divisional Round playoff game against the Giants. Then he logged 21 yards, including a 10-yard touchdown run, on six carries in the NFC Championship Game victory over San Francisco.
(Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
San Francisco selected the Ohio State product in the third round of the 2021 NFL Draft, with Sermon lasting one season in the Bay Area, before being waived and landing with the Eagles.
Sermon had just two carries for 19 yards on the season, but he offers potential with athleticism and elite size for the position.
The 2023 training camp could be his final NFL shot after being unable to overtake Boston Scott for carries last season.
(AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)
A native of Mansfield, Texas, the 5-foot-11, 209-pound Brooks became the fourth player in Oklahoma Sooners history to post three 1,000-yard rushing seasons.
Signed by the Eagles as a 2022 undrafted free agent, Brooks spent the first half of the season on the practice squad before being released in late November.