The free agent running back who led the NFL in touchdowns last season and had 1,000 rushing yards for only the second time in his 8-year career, LeGarette Blount has found a home with the Philadelphia Eagles.
Will Blount have a huge role in Philly this upcoming season? That is hard to say at this point, but let’s look at the facts. Blount’s career has definitely been… colorful, to say the least. Starting in 2010 with the Tampa Bay Bucs, Blount had a 1,000-yard rushing season with 6 TDs on the ground. Adding only 14 yards through the air, it was obvious Blount was a one-dimensional RB, with a low floor and a marginal ceiling. This was proven in the coming years where Blount struggled to do anything worth talking about with Tampa Bay. Gaining only 932 yards and 7 TDs in the next two years combined of his career, things looked grim for Blount.
In 2013 Blount played a decent complimentary role with the Patriots racking up 772 yards with 7 TDs. While these stats are nothing to sneeze at, we all know how the Hoodie in New England likes to play musical RBs. Blount moved on to the Pittsburgh Steelers where he pretty much did nothing but hot box with rookie RB Le’Veon Bell. Even given Blount’s reputation, The Hoodie welcomed Blount back into the Patriots helm. Blount finished the 2016 season with over 1,000 rushing yards and 18 TDs. Blount helped the Patriots reach the promise land in 2016 (granted his performance in the Super Bowl was…below par to say the least). So, what is next in the speckled career of LeGarrette Blount?
Enter the Philadelphia Eagles, who have signed Blount to a one year deal worth up to 2.8 million dollars. Blount, at age 30 is very unlikely to play the role of Jesus Christ in Philly. Following a huge season, some people may argue that even in his “older age” Blount may have a lot to offer to the Eagles. That could be true, but will it be enough to make the Eagles a legitimate threat in the NFC? Absolutely not, in my humble opinion.
With the Cowboys looking like the new team to beat in the NFC East and by adding an aging and inconsistent RB to an already struggling offense, it will not be enough to push the Eagles into the next tier of NFL teams. Blount faces competition for the starting job with the oft-injured Ryan Mathews. Matthews is another inconsistent, yet more versatile RB than Blount.
Looking deeper into Philly’s offensive scheme it is clear that the Eagles plan to lean on Carson Wentz, a lot. Looking at the Eagles record and scoring stats from last season can be deceiving. When the offense was actually in action all they were able to accomplish was hemorrhaging all over the field. As a duo, Sproles and Mathews combined for a measly 1,099 rushing yards, supplemented by 427 yards through the air. Wentz threw for an impressive 3,782 yards as a rookie with 16 TDs… and 14 interceptions. This stat, along with the poor rushing attack of this offense tells us that the Eagles need to look in another direction to achieve meaningful offensive production.
With the addition of Alshon Jeffery and having an ever-improving Zac Ertz, the Eagles have a WR core that they seem to trust, even though their stats last season were nothing too special. Mix in a completely inept defense, the Eagles will be praying that Wentz can show up and throw the ball well every week. So, where does Blount fit into this whole fiasco?
Blount had a good season last year, but, amazingly, only averaged 3.4 yards per carry (YPC) on 299 attempts. This isn’t who Philadelphia needs in their backfield. Look for the Eagles to utilize their more versatile running backs rather than a short yard power runner. With red zone scoring just below 50% last season, I see very little upside for Blount behind the Eagles offensive line.
The singing of Blount was an extremely low risk, marginally high reward move by the Eagles. In their current scheme, Blount is a glorified pass blocker with potential to score a few red zone TDs which makes him a low grade RB3, with a basement instead of a floor, and a ceiling about as tall as Wes Welker. My advice when it comes to thinking about drafting LeGarrette Blount this season… forget this relic ever existed.