One of the hardest things to do is to have to follow an “All-Timer.” That is what Penn State running back Miles Sanders is looking to accomplish in 2019. Sanders backed up Saquon Barkley until he was drafted by the New York Giants in 2018, and he finally got the chance to shine at Penn State.
Sanders responded with 1,274 yards and 9 touchdowns on 220 carries to go with 24 receptions for 139 yards. After averaging 187 yards in his first two years, Sanders burst onto the scene as a prospect.
He isn’t going to be drafted second overall, but Sanders is establishing himself as a solid prospect in his own right. But how good of a prospect is he?
- Solid, well-rounded running back.
- Good size and frame for a starting running back.
- Capable runner, receiver, and pass protector.
- Good burst, gets up to speed quickly.
- Good vision approaching the line of scrimmage.
- Able to drop his hips and make sharp cuts.
- Shows a good jump cut.
- Doesn’t have elite top-end speed.
- Needs to be more decisive behind the line of scrimmage.
- Limited experience as a feature back.
What They’re Saying
Well-built glider with the instincts, footwork and agility to shake tacklers but the frame and pad level to finish with some authority. He can clearly create yardage for himself, but he has average acceleration and might need to expedite his downhill process as a pro. Sanders is more skilled than explosive, but he has the size and talent to develop into a future starter with every-down potential.
- Lance Zierlein (NFL.com - Scouting Report)
Does He Fit The Giants?
In theory, Sanders’ well-rounded game would fit the Giants’ offense. He is a versatile back who can contribute as a runner, receiver, and blocker and that fits well in the Giants’ scheme. Sanders should not, and will not, be confused with Saquon Barkley on the field -- he is a promising back, but does not have the athleticism which allowed Barkley to do the things he did his rookie season. Sanders does have a similar style as Barkley, perhaps due to years of playing behind him, and that could be something of a curse at the next level. Holes will be smaller and defenders faster, and Sanders will need to minimize wasted motion to maximize his skills. If he can do that, he’ll be a good player for whatever team drafts him.
That being said, the Giants already have a capable number two in Wayne Gallman. Gallman’s slashing style is a nice complement to Barkley and the Giants probably wouldn’t be able to justify the pick necessary to acquire Sanders given the state of their roster.