Injury-prone Ryan Mathews currently sits on top of the depth chart, and even when the former Charger is on the field, he’s a slightly above average back. Darren Sproles is the first guy off of the bench, but his size will always limit the amount of touches he receives. Rookie Wendell Smallwood and Kenjon Barner are currently set to battle it out for the final roster spot or two.
The Birds’ backfield isn’t a great situation, and may not have been addressed adequately enough during free agency and the draft.
The possibility still remains that the club could find a way to upgrade the position before the season begins. Several franchises have crowded backfields, creating an opportunity for the Eagles to work out a trade for a number of veterans that have fallen out of favor elsewhere.
Here are some potential trade targets.
Andre Ellington: Ellington is talented to be a starter in this league. He’s an explosive runner that is effective as both a runner and receiver, but durability has issues have forced him below David Johnson and Chris Johnson on the Arizona depth chart. The Cardinals’ depth at the position extends beyond Ellington, with Stepfan Taylor and Kerwynn Williams also in the fold, making Ellington a prime trade candidate. Even if Arizona isn’t willing to deal him away, either Taylor or Williams would have to be released, and could also be well worth a look on the waiver wire.
Zac Stacy: Just two years ago, Stacy broke into the NFL with over 900 yards and seven touchdowns, serving as the focal point for a terrible St. Louis Rams offense. However, he’s since fallen out of favor with the Rams, and is on the roster bubble with the Jets. Matt Forte’s presence likely means that Stacy won’t be on the roster come September. He’s young enough that he’s worth a look to see if a change of scenery wouldn’t help revive his career.
Knile Davis: Davis is the name that has come up previously as a trade possibility for the Eagles. All of the stars seem to be aligned here. Doug Pederson is familiar with him from their time in Kansas City, meaning Davis should be able to transition easily to the Eagles’ system, and the Chiefs have a loaded backfield with Jamaal Charles, Charcandrick West, and Spencer Ware. Then again, there’s also the possibility that Pederson might not be interested in Davis at all, given that he allowed both West and Ware to go above Davis on the depth chart during last season.
Brandon Bolden: Bolden is an interesting case. He’s played very sparingly for the New England Patriots during his four-year career, though he’s looked effective when called upon. However, with Dion Lewis, LeGarrette Blount, James White, and Donald Brown all vying for touches and roster spots up in Boston, Bolden could be the odd man out. He’s the least established of the players I’ve mentioned here, but a guy a feel is worth checking out nonetheless.