The Buffalo Bills will most likely be looking for LeSean Mccoy’s replacement in the 2019 draft who can sit and learn from him and Frank Gore. Many analysts have agreed upon the 2019 running back class as a weak one. Most of these analysts are pegging Alabama’s Josh Jacobs as the best in the class. Others have touted Florida Atlantic’s Devin Singletary for having 32 and 22 touchdown seasons with a 1900 yard season. Some have argued for David Montgomery of Iowa State for two 1000 yard seasons with 20+ catches each. But, meet Penn State’s Miles Sanders who is the most complete back in this year’s class. Sanders is going underrated but could end up being the best of the bunch. Sanders should be a consideration in rounds 2-3 if the Bills are serious about finding the future at running back.
Sanders was a top-25 national prospect out of high school and still went to Penn State even though Saquon Barkley was there. Sanders has been extremely overlooked because he only has one season of college production. It’s tough to produce when you are stuck behind a generational talent in Barkley. But, he returned kicks and got some carries behind Barkley his first two seasons. Even though this is a reason he is being overlooked, it is also a positive because he doesn’t have much mileage on his body at all with under 300 college carries.
When he finally got his opportunity this year, he took full advantage. Sanders ran for 1274 yards and 9 touchdowns. He added in 24 catches showing that he has pass catching ability. 1274 yards and 24 catches proves he has the ability to be a true three down back in the NFL. The Penn State back showed explosiveness, tackle breaking skills, and the speed/quickness to elude tacklers. He flies around the field and has all the skills needed to be a successful, three down, workhorse NFL running back. The only knock on Sanders is his lack of production which he has a good excuse for. He has no major weaknesses and is above average in every aspect of the game. A high upside back who is above average everywhere with no major weaknesses and who has a three down profile could make him the best in this class.
Miles Sanders has amazing size adjusted athleticism for an NFL back. At 5’11” 211 lbs he isn’t too large, but isn’t small by any means. He scored a 4.49 second 40 yard dash, 20 reps on the bench press, 36 inch vertical, 124 inch broad jump, and a 6.89 second three cone drill at the NFL Combine. His three cone drill was the best at the event. He isn’t an elite athletic freak, but he doesn’t lack in any athletic category. His size adjusted athleticism is fantastic across the board and he has no major athletic weaknesses either.
Why Sanders is Better than Others
- Josh Jacobs was never the #1 back at Alabama, has shown no workhorse ability, played behind and was outproduced by his teammate Damien Harris. So why should he be ranked ahead of a player he couldn’t out-snap that we haven’t seen that much of in his career? He also ran in the mid 4.6’s in the 40 yard dash.
- Damien Harris could be a solid NFL player, but lacks speed, explosiveness and athleticism to be the best RB in the class.
- Devin Singletary produced in a weak conference, is only 5’7″ 200 lbs, and had a poor combine showing bottom tier athleticism (4.66 second 40 yard dash, 7.32 three cone drill). He also only caught six balls this season.
- David Montgomery tested extremely poorly as well. He only ran a 4.63 40 yard dash and only jumped 28.5 inches for his vertical leap. He showed a lack of athleticism despite impressive production.
- Bryce Love and Rodney Anderson have heavy injury concern
- Darrell Henderson is a little undersized but is heavily explosive. His drawback is his projection as a complementary back/role player and not a three down workhorse. He also lacks in pass protection.
Sanders isn’t as an elite prospect as Barkley was, but he possesses every trait necessary to be successful in the NFL. He checks every single box and isn’t weak in any area. He is a complete prospect and is a great talent who could be the replacement to Mccoy. Miles Sanders’s best football is still in front of him. As a prospect he is almost an identical version of his former teammate Saquon Barkley, just not on a generational talent level.
- Great athleticism with great size
- Checks every box, can do everything on the football field at an above average level
- No major weaknesses in any area
- Has low mileage on his body
- Ran for 1300 yards and caught 24 balls showing true three down/workhorse ability
- Shows plus vision, quickness and agility
- Can break tackles and elude tacklers