On Thursday morning, the Philadelphia Eagles sent a conditional fifth-round draft choice to the New Orleans Saints for running back Darren Sproles. Sproles adds to a backfield consisting of running backs LeSean McCoy(Pro Bowler), Bryce Brown(scored a crucial TD against Dallas), and Chris Polk, who may be the odd man out. More importantly, however, Sproles hops into the toolbox containing DeSean Jackson, Jeremy Maclin, Riley Cooper, McCoy, Zach Ertz, and any other additions forthcoming. Such a lengthy list emphasizes the plethora of weapons Chip Jelly has to deploy with his army.
Sproles was drafted in the 4th round of the 2005 NFL Draft by San Diego. At the time, the Chargers possessed future Hall-of-Fame running back LaDanian Tomlinson, and needed a complimentary back to take carries and return on special teams. Sproles played sparingly in his first season, only recording eleven offensive touches. However, Sproles did take a kickoff back for 58 yards, a sign of things to come for the versatile running back. Since ’05, Sproles became a vital player in both the Chargers and Saints offenses. The Kansas State product recorded 93 carries for 343 yards and three touchdowns, and recorded 11.0 yards per catch for four more scores that year. Once he left San Diego in 2010, Sproles produced a magnificent season, earning 6.9 yards per carry and 8.3 yards per catch for eleven total touchdowns.
Sproles appears to add to the arsenal of weaponry sitting in the Eagles locker room. There are going to a plethora of match ups for Chip Kelly to exploit; should Kelly use them well, the offense e could be as historic as that of Denver this past year, a vision Howie Roseman expressed a few weeks ago.
The Eagles still have areas to improve, but they took a solid step forward in probably the steal of the offseason thus far.