After the Eagles brought back Corey Clement to help solidify their backfield, reports still suggested Howie Roseman was looking to add a veteran presence to the group.
There are a handful of nice backs remaining on the open market, but none would fit in the Eagles offense as nicely as Carlos Hyde would. NFL insider Adam Caplan recently stated that he’s heard Philly’s front office has a lot of interest in the back.
During an episode of the “Inside The Birds” podcast, Caplan said this in regards to the Hyde rumors:
“They want to sign a veteran running back. The guy that I know they have some interest in, and we’ll see if it happens, is a guy that’s really, really talented. The Eagles, I’m told, have interest in him. I’m told Hyde is a guy they’re targeting.”
If the Eagles are serious about bringing in another back, there isn’t a better one available than Hyde.
He’s coming off his best year as a ball carrier, posting a career high in rushing yards (1,070) and recording a very solid 4.4 yards per carry average. His north-south running style would be the perfect complement to Miles Sanders’ and Boston Scott’s elusive ‘make-you-miss’ style of running.
Hyde rarely goes down on initial contact, as he totaled 545 yards after contact to go along with 22 broken tackles last season. For comparison, the second leading rusher in the NFL last season, Ezekiel Elliot, posted just about 100 more yards after contact and two more broken tackles than Hyde. Miles Sanders only totaled 373 yards after contact with 16 broken tackles last season.
Hyde could come in and provide Duce Staley with a reliable short yardage back, but using Hyde as just a short yardage power back would be a disservice. He’s valuable in all facets of playing running back in today’s NFL, although is pass catching could use some work.
According to Pro Football Focus, Hyde is coming off three straight seasons where he graded below 50 in his receiving game. He’s also never averaged more than six yards after the catch per reception in a season, which is very low for a running back.
Despite the subpar receiving capabilities, this shouldn’t deter the Eagles from pursuing Hyde. The trio of Sanders, Scott and Clement should be more than capable of handling the receiving duties out of the backfield.
Hyde fills the Jordan Howard or LeGarrette Blount role that has become a staple of Doug Pederson’s offense. The Birds have the cap space and they could probably sign Hyde to a one-year deal.
This one’s a no brainer for Howie. Signing Hyde would complete this Eagles backfield.