The Running Back the Eagles Will (Probably) Draft, Part 3

In this segment I will determine the few players that the Eagles will likely pursue in the draft at each position of need, and when they will select them.

As we discussed in our positional breakdown of the Eagles and their offseason needs, the Birds don’t have a true number 1 running back that can work all three downs and take pressure off the passing game and Carson Wentz.

The Eagles ask a lot of their running backs- they are expected to be able to block and be a receiver on top of their running duties. While the Eagles are predominantly a pass-heavy team, if they could implement a sturdy number 1 running back then their play-action game and Wentz’s health can only be improved.

Two days ago we discussed Rodney Anderson, the injury-prone big RB from Oklahoma who could be taken on the third day of the draft. Yesterday we discussed Damien Harris, our second highest-rated back in the draft, and a potential second round pick. Today we’ll aim somewhere in the middle.

The Prospect: Mike Weber, RB, Ohio State

Ohio State RB Mike Weber.Credit

Mike Weber is identical in size to yesterday’s prospect, Damien Harris, at 5’10” and 214 lbs. Weber, however, was used as a receiver more often, and added a dynamic element to OSU’s offense.

In Weber’s three years at OSU he ran the ball 455 times for 2676 yards, scoring 24 times. In the passing game he caught 54 passes for just under 300 yards. While those aren’t great receiving stats, Weber lined up as a receiver on the outside and in the slot often to help create mismatches for the offense, like how the Eagles do with Darren Sproles and tried to do with Donnel Pumphrey.

Weber did not make Underdog’s top 50 players board, but he is our 7th best RB in the draft.

Here’s his game against a great Michigan defense:

*Weber usually wears #25, but he wore #5 this game to honor when he played youth football in Detroit, Michigan*

At 0:36 in the film, Weber runs a great wheel route but is overthrown by Dwayne Haskins. If that’s a better ball, that’s a TD. At 1:34 you can see Weber lines up on the outside like a WR, and is in a one-on-one with a linebacker. OSU did this to take the LB out of the middle of the field for the under route that is thrown for a big gain. Weber also blocks said linebacker downfield.

At 2:47 Weber blocks Devin Bush, the consensus second-best LB in the draft (Underdog’s 19th best player in the draft), and takes him out of the play. At 3:50 Weber makes a downfield block that extends the play enough for the receiver to almost score, and then Weber scores a walk-in TD at 4:02.

At 4:28, Weber breaks through the line for a gain of about 30. For the rest of the film, he eats up chunks of yards for OSU as they run out the clock.

And now here’s a (very long) highlight reel:

Weber has injured his foot and hamstring in the past, but those ailments seem to be in the past.

With Weber’s skill set, the Eagles are likely seeing Weber as a fallback in case Damien Harris is not available when they go after a running back. Weber may not be a strong enough runner to be a bell cow runner in Philly, but if Howie and Doug decide to stick to their RB by committee approach, Weber could fit in perfectly.

Matt Miller expects Weber to be drafted early in the fourth round of the draft. That is about where we expect Weber to go, but we at Underdog wouldn’t rule him out as a third-round pick.

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