Eagles’ Miles Sanders eyeing Christian McCaffrey-like impact

Running back Miles Sanders — the 53rd overall pick by the Philadelphia Eagles in last year’s NFL draft — has been asked to announce the Eagles’ second-round selection this year, which fittingly is again No. 53 overall. Sanders will do so virtually from his home in Philly, but he warns that if the pick is wide receiver and fellow Penn State alum KJ Hamler, all bets are off.

“I’m going off script and I’m going to be hype on TV,” Sanders told ESPN. “I’m going to say, ‘With the 53rd pick in the second round the Eagles select KJ,’ but I’m going to go crazy.”

Sanders has already put in a good word for Hamler with the Eagles brass — “I text [coach] Doug [Pederson], I don’t care,” he said with a laugh — as he has for other prospects he is tight with, including Penn State defensive end Yetur Gross-Matos, Michigan linebacker Khaleke Hudson and former XFL safety Kenny Robinson.

It’s only right that Sanders helps pave the way for the next group of talent in the manner he believes Carolina Panthers running back Christian McCaffrey did for him.nike nfl jerseys cheap paypal

It wasn’t an endorsement, but rather McCaffrey’s perception-bending, versatile style of play that Sanders credits for creating a path for him to the NFL.4

“He’s the reason why I got drafted,” Sanders said. “I kind of know how to catch, and he’s the reason why I got drafted, because he changed that look on running backs. So, I’m just trying to get where he’s at — soon.”

Sanders wasn’t asked to do much in the passing game at Penn State, but the Eagles accurately determined that receiving was a big part of his skill set — an ability illustrated most vividly in his back of the end zone snare of a Carson Wentz laser in Week 15 last season against the Washington Redskins.cheap nike nfl jersey

“That’s just a blessing,” Sanders said of McCaffrey’s new deal. “I met Christian Super Bowl weekend for the first time. Great dude, very humble, and you could just see a guy like that how hard he worked and how serious he takes everything. He’s got a big congratulations from me, and I’ve got all the respect for him based on what he’s been doing and changing the game.”

Sanders, like players all across the league, had his offseason plans altered by the coronavirus pandemic. He was training in Los Angeles with former PSU teammate Saquon Barkley and others when the health crisis arose, cutting that time short. Sanders returned to his native Pittsburgh and worked out at the home of friend who had “some old-school weights down there in his basement and garage,” and he took to whatever fields were open for additional conditioning. Despite the obstacles, Sanders looks chiseled and has added strength and explosiveness while maintaining his 2019 weight of about 205 to 210 pounds.

His goals for the upcoming season, whenever it takes place, are to make it back to the playoffs and take a run at the Super Bowl, all while racking up “a lot of scrimmage yards” in the mold of McCaffrey.

“When I look at him, I look at a back that’s very hard to stop. I want to be that back,” Sanders said. “I want to be that back where you think you can stop me in the run game and then, boom, I’m outside in the passing game and I’m rolling up yards for the team. I want to be that back where there’s no way you can really slow me down or stop me or take me out of the game because I’m so versatile. That’s the type of mentality and the type of player I want to be.”