Draft 2019: Landing Spots for Miles Sanders
After patiently waiting behind Saquon Barkley for most of his first two seasons at Penn State, Miles Sanders capitalized on his first chance to start. Sanders rushed for 1,649 yards and 12 touchdowns on 276 carries. He also caught 32 passes for 193 yards and one touchdown.
Sanders earned second-team All-Big Ten honors and was named the Nittany Lion’s Most Valuable Offensive Player. After a strong showing at the NFL Scouting Combine, Sanders is projected to be drafted anywhere from the third to fourth round. Here’s a look at three teams who might consider adding Sanders to their roster:
Detroit already has two standout running backs in Kerryon Johnson and Theo Riddick, but by adding someone like Sanders, their backfield would be elite. Johnson has high expectations after he impressed as a rookie in 2018, but Sanders could be a good backup given Johnson’s history of injuries. Riddick is a solid receiving threat, but the Lions could still use some help on the early downs.
Zach Zenner and LeGarrette Blount could move on from the team, leaving some space in the depth chart. Detroit has one pick in the third, fourth and fifth round, so if Sanders is still on the board, the Lions could go all in.
Kansas City Chiefs
The Chiefs have been lacking talent at the running back position ever since Kareem Hunt’s infamous release from the team. Carlos Hyde, J.D. Moore, Damien Williams and Darrel Williams are the only four running backs currently on the roster.
According to ESPN Senior Writer Todd McShay, the Chiefs “will likely consider a running back in the second or third round.” Kansas City has two draft picks late in the second round and another in the third. If other running backs, such as Josh Jacobs and Mike Weber, are off the board, Sanders could be a viable option.
Unless the Chiefs make a major move in free agency, keep your eyes open when they’re on the clock.
Ever since Le’Veon Bell departed for the New York Jets, the Steelers have been looking at a depleted depth chart for the running backs. James Connor will be a solid replacement for Le’Veon, but the Steelers could benefit from drafting another running back to complement Jaylen Samuels.
After fumbling against the Saints in the most important game of last season, it is unlikely that veteran Steven Ridley will be brought back. With two draft picks in the third round and one in the fourth, the Steelers could wait to use one of them on Sanders, much like they did when they drafted former NC State running back Samuels in the fifth-round last year.
The Steelers haven’t made any recent moves in free agency, so drafting a running back seems like a possibility.
Matthew Black is a junior majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email MatthewCBlack20@gmail.com.