Where the Eagles’ RB Depth Chart Stands Heading Into Draft

With the 2024 NFL Draft set to begin on Thursday, here's the latest Philadelphia Eagles' running back depth chart.
Mar 14, 2024; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia Eagles running back Saquon Barkley speaks
Mar 14, 2024; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia Eagles running back Saquon Barkley speaks / Kyle Ross-USA TODAY Sports

The Philadelphia Eagles made a huge splash in free agency as they signed former New York Giants star running back Saquon Barkley to a massive three-year, $37.7 million contract. The Eagles felt the need to make an immediate upgrade at the running back spot, especially with D’Andre Swift signing a three-year deal with the Chicago Bears.

Barkley is joining an Eagles’ running back room that features Kenny Gainwell, Lew Nichols, and Tyrion Davis-Price. After Gainwell, there’s room for Philadelphia to either draft a running back on Day 3 of the 2024 NFL or sign one as an undrafted free agent.

The Eagles are one of the better teams when it comes to identifying UDFA, so fans should keep that in mind if Philadelphia doesn’t draft a running back.

Nevertheless, let’s look at the Eagles’ running back depth chart before the first round of the NFL draft kicks off on Thursday night.

1. Saquon Barkley

After having Miles Sanders and D’Andre Swift as their last two starting running backs, Eagles general manager Howie Roseman went out into free agency and pulled up the Brinks truck for Barkley.

The 27-year-old running back had a solid 2023 season with the Giants despite not having a strong offensive line and having three different starting quarterbacks. Barkley produced 1,242 yards from scrimmage (962 rushing yards) and 10 total touchdowns (six rushing/four receiving).

The Eagles hope to get Barkley back over the 1,000-yard rushing mark this season, which the star running back has done three times in his career. The last time Barkley ran for over 1,000 yards was in 2022 (1,312 yards and 10 scores on the ground), the same year the Giants went to the playoffs.

Barkley shouldn’t have a problem getting 1,000 rushing yards as both Swift and Sanders had career years on the ground, but signed multi-year deals elsewhere. Outside of his skills on the ground, Eagles fans are excited to see what Barkley can do as a receiver out of the backfield.

New Eagles offensive coordinator Kellen Moore has used his running backs frequently out of the backfield in his last two stops (Los Angeles Chargers and Dallas Chargers). Throughout his NFL career, Barkley has averaged 28.4 receiving yards per game. 

That said, it will be interesting to see if Barkley will stay around that average, playing in a loaded offense with weapons at WR and TE.

2. Kenneth Gainwell

Gainwell isn’t a three-down back, but he’s done a great job of being that change of pace back in Philadelphia over the past couple of seasons.

Last season, Gainwell saw an uptick in his production across the board as he saw more snaps due to his ability in pass protection. The 25-year-old running back posted 364 rushing yards and two touchdowns on 84 carries. He also had 30 receptions (37 targets) for 183 yards.

The Eagles will likely be looking for similar production from Gainwell as Barkley will handle most of the carries. However, with Moore liking to use running backs in the passing game, there could be more pass-catching opportunities for the former Day 3 pick.

The best season Gainwell had as a receiver was in 2021 as a rookie. The 5-foot-9, 200-pound running back recorded 33 receptions (50 targets) for 253 yards and a touchdown. Gainwell is entering the final year of his rookie contract, so he’s looking to have a big year on the ground and through the air to get an extension.

3/4. Lew Nichols and Tyrion Davis-Price

Nichols was one of 20 players signed to a futures deal after the Eagles ended in the playoffs against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Before being signed to a futures contract, Nichols was signed to the Eagles’ practice squad in October after he was waived by the Green Bay Packers last summer. The Packers drafted the 22-year-old running back in the seventh round of the 2023 NFL Draft.

As for Davis-Price, he also signed a reserves-futures deal with the Eagles this offseason after spending the last two years with the San Francisco 49ers. The former LSU running back didn’t do much in San Francisco, rushing for 120 yards on 40 carries.

The 49ers drafted the 23-year-old Davis-Price in the third round of the 2022 NFL Draft. He will look to make a name for himself this summer as along with Nichols are potentially competing for the third running back job behind Gainwell and Barkley.

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