Here we go, the NFL Scouting Combine is in full swing and once again the NFL has managed to steal the spotlight in what should be the deadest part of the offseason.
Today’s guest columnist Jovan Alford will explain to us why he thinks the Eagles’ signing running back Jamaal Charles would be a big mistake. I don’t think the Eagles will go down that road, but it’s clear they need to add some quality personnel at that position.
Speaking of the running backs at the Combine, here are the 40-yard times they ran on Friday:
TJ Logan / North Carolina / 4.37
Joe Williams / Utah / 4.41
Tarik Cohen / NC A&T / 4.42
Donnell Pumphrey / SDSU / 4.48
Christian McCaffrey / Stanford / 4.48
De’Angelo Henderson / Coastal Carolina / 4.48
Dalvin Cook / FSU / 4.49
Jeremy McNichols / Boise St. / 4.49
Marlon Mack / South Florida / 4.50
Stanley Williams / Kentucky / 4.51
Leonard Fournette / LSU / 4.51
Elijah McGuire / Louisiana-Lafayette / 4.53
Brian Hill / Wyoming / 4.54
Aaron Jones / Texas-El Paso / 4.56
Alvin Kamara / Tennessee / 4.56
Christopher Carson / Oklahoma St. / 4.58
Jamaal Williams / BYU / 4.59
Wayne Gallman / Clemson / 4.60
Kareem Hunt / Toledo / 4.62
Jahad Thomas / Temple / 4.62
Dare Ogunbowale / Wisconsin / 4.65
Samaje Perine / Oklahoma / 4.65
James Conner / Pittsburgh / 4.65
Corey Clement / Wisconsin / 4.68
Rushel Shell / West Virginia / 4.74
Freddie Stevenson / FSU / 4.75
Devine Redding / Indiana / 4.76
Sam Rogers / Virginia Tech / 4.93
Now for the discussion on Jamaal Charles:
It is no secret that the Philadelphia Eagles will address the running back position this offseason. With the impending release of Ryan Mathews, the only other running backs on the Eagles’ roster are Wendell Smallwood, Darren Sproles, and Kenjon Barner.
However, the question that will need to be answered is who becomes the Eagles’ new lead back? Will it be a rookie or veteran? To answer those questions, enter potential candidate Jamaal Charles.
On Wednesday afternoon at the NFL Combine, Philadelphia Eagles head coach Doug Pederson was asked about Charles, who was released earlier this week by the Kansas City Chiefs and his potential fit in the Eagles’ offense.
Without question, Charles was a tremendous running back until he suffered back-to-back knee injuries over the last two seasons. Before suffering those knee injuries, he was considered by many as a top-five running back in the league.
In 2014, Charles had 1,033 yards on 206 carries and nine touchdowns. He also had 40 receptions for 291 yards and five touchdowns.
He was the ultimate playmaker in the backfield, but not anymore as he is 30-years old and coming off of surgery for a meniscus tear. Charles did have a dominant three season stretch between 2012-2014, where he had over 1,000 rushing yards.
Nevertheless, with all those things being known, it would be a mistake for the Eagles to sign Charles. Let’s be honest, Charles is damaged goods. He is not the running back that he was in 2012, where he had 1,509 rushing yards.
He is a shell of himself. If the Eagles were to take a chance on Charles, they would be better off keeping Mathews, who is injury prone himself. Unlike Charles, Mathews has not had any debilitating knee injuries.
For a running back, once your knees go, it is only a matter of time that the tires will blowout completely.
The Eagles, instead, need to draft a running back, who they can pair with Smallwood and Sproles in their running back by committee. Luckily for them, they have a lot of options and cannot go wrong with their selection given this year’s strong draft class.
That should be the plan for the Eagles: Stay away from Charles and other veteran running backs and draft a running back, who does not have a ton of miles on their body.