Coming off of a record-breaking season, Miles Sanders looks to prove he is a top ten running back in the NFL. The former No. 53 overall pick now holds the franchise rookie records for rush yards (818), scrimmage yards (1,327) and all-purpose yards (1,641) in a season.
With the departure of Jordan Howard (Dolphins) and the uncertainty of the backup position between Boston Scott and Corey Clement, Sanders is the clear-cut number one option. There has also been speculation that the franchise will also look to add another veteran in LeSean McCoy or Devonta Freeman. On his social media pages, he has advocated 2020 will be his “MVP Year” and that his “confidence is through the roof.”
In 2019, Sanders was 22nd in total rush attempts with 179 (3 more than Lamar Jackson), a number that should increase into the mid-200’s. During his junior season at Penn State he totaled 220 attempts, maintaining a 5.8 YPC, which would have been second in the NFL this past season.
With the focus on speed this off-season at the receiver position for the Eagles, Sanders should also face less defenders stacked in the box. Per NFL’s Next Gen Stats, 11.73% of his attempts were against 8+ defenders in the box, a number sure to go down as the Eagles look to spread the field.
He also proved himself as a dual threat back, hauling in 50 receptions for 509 yards last season, both of which led all rookie running backs. Doug Pederson has implemented plenty of screen passes throughout his play-calling and with the addition of Rich Scangarello as Senior Offensive Assistant, it’s safe to assume Sanders will garner a lot more attention as a receiving threat.
My prediction for Miles Sanders in 2020: 240 attempts for 1350 yards and 60 receptions for 560 yards.