With the Super Bowl over, all eyes are moving ahead to free agency. The Broncos are expected to be aggressive during this period and could see some big changes under newly hired head coach Sean Payton.
One position we could see the Broncos make a splash signing at is running back. Promising-looking running Javonte Williams is on the roster, but he is coming off a major knee injury and may not be ready for the start of the season. With an injury like that, you never know how the player will look after recovery, so you need to add to the position just in case.
Well, Pro Football Focus has the Broncos signing a running back from the explosive Philadelphia Eagles offense who nearly won the Super Bowl.
Brad Spielberger of Pro Football Focus has the Broncos signing free agent running back Miles Sanders during the free agency period.
MILES SANDERS, PHILADELPHIA EAGLES
2023 team prediction: Denver Broncos
Sanders had a great contract year and now enters free agency, though it was capped off with an underwhelming Super Bowl performance that was close to disastrous if his near-fumble on a target behind the line of scrimmage was ruled a turnover.
Sanders can be a good early-down pairing with 2021 second-round pick running back Javonte Williams as he makes his return from a knee injury that reportedly involved damage to multiple ligaments. New Broncos head coach Sean Payton has always emphasized a diverse skill set in his backfield, with the one-two punch of Alvin Kamara and Mark Ingram II in New Orleans a solid blueprint for what the eventual Williams-Sanders pairing could look like from a usage standpoint.
Among running backs with at least 50 carries on the year, Sanders’ 34 explosive rushes in 2022 ranked fourth and his 82.3 rushing grade ranked 18th.
The logic behind the signing makes a ton of sense. Even if Javonte was healthy, the Broncos would need to add at running back regardless. Newly hired head coach Sean Payton has utilized multiple running backs in his offense in the past, and will most likely do the same in Denver. When hired, he said there would be an emphasis on the run game so adding a back like Sanders makes a ton of sense. When you factor in Javonte’s injury, adding a starting-caliber runner like Sanders also makes a ton of sense.
Sanders is coming off a career year for the Eagles this past season. He recorded career highs in rushing yards, rushing attempts, and touchdowns. This past season for the Eagles, Sanders totaled 1,269 yards on 259 carries and found the end zone 11 times. He averaged 4.9 yards per carry and also caught 20 balls for 78 yards.
He had your classic breakout year in a contract year sort of season, so that is a bit of a red flag. In 2021, Sanders failed to find the end zone and has never topped 1,000 yards (or even 900 yards) before this past season.
With that said, Sanders has a career yard per carry for 5.0 yards in his four seasons with the Eagles and averaged 5.5 yards per carry in 2021 and 5.3 yards per carry in 2020. So, while his overall rushing stats have not looked great, he has been an effective runner when given his opportunities. He also lacks big-time wear and tear on his body with him only getting over 200 rushing attempts once during his career.
So, Sanders would give the Broncos a solid option to lean on while Javonte Williams recovers from a major knee injury this offseason and likely into the start of the 2023 season. When healthy, Sanders and Williams would give the Broncos one of the best one-two punches in the game and hopefully help quarterback Russell Wilson have a bounce-back season in 2023.
What do you think Broncos Country? Do you agree with PFF and their decision to give the Broncos Miles Sanders? Or would you prefer the Broncos to do something else at running back this offseason?
Would you like the Broncos to sign RB Miles Sanders this offseason?
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