Running back Mike Bell is officially a Philadelphia Eagle.
The New Orleans Saints declined to match the $1.7 million dollar offer sheet Bell signed early last week and therefore the Eagles can check one more spot of the list of immediate needs in the draft.
Finally knowing that Mike Bell is an Eagle arises another question: who's the No. 3 running back on the depth chart?
Bell is looking to take some of the load off second—year man, LeSean McCoy, but as of right now he is the backup here in Philadelphia. Behind Bell, there are some potential suitors already on the Eagles roster.
The most logical player would be Eldra Buckley.
Buckley was signed off of San Diego's waivers in 2009 and was pretty much asked to be a special teams player where he played nicely, notching a forced fumble against the Atlanta Falcons and recorded 15 tackles.
In 2009, Buckley appeared in all 16 games, managing to gain 44 rushing yards in 15 attempts (2.9 avg) and one touchdown in a game against the Washington Redskins on Nov. 29th.
Does Buckley have what it takes to be the No. 3 man on the depth chart or is his just a solid contributor on special teams? I think special teams is the correct repsonse there, so let's move on! ,
Next there is Martell Mallet, the free—agent acquisition the Eagles acquired from the Canadian Football League.
The 5'11'' 200—pound product out of Arkansas Pine—Bluff, Mallet was a standout in the CFL as a street—signed free—agent and quite frankly, he reminds me of a young Brian Westbrook. I'm not saying he is Westbrook just saying he reminds me of him a little.
The young halfback is known as a gridiron type back with excellent receiving abilities out of the backfield, but he is also very elusive. His most notable achievements as a BC Lion came on Sept. 4th, 2009 as he set a franchise record by rushing for 213 yards against the Montreal Alouettes.
Also on Nov. 26th, 2009 Mallet was named the CFL's Most Outstanding Rookie of the Year. These are clearly some nice accomplishments for someone signed off the street, don't you think?
Does Mallet have a chance to remain on the Eagles roster after training camp or is he just a long—shot or simply a "body" for camp if you will? In my opinion, Mallet has a shot.
With all that in mind, that is a total of four backs in all that the Eagles have on their roster as of right now. While it is just my opinion, but if it came down to either Buckley or Mallet I'd put my money on Mallet. Yes, you read correctly, I said I would go with Mallet and if you go back to my summary of him, it is pretty easy to see why.
The Eagles no longer need a thumping back, as they have McCoy, who weighs in at 210 pounds, Bell at 225 pounds and Weaver at 250 pounds. In my opinion, Mallet fits the Eagles bill better than Buckley.
The Eagles could decide to draft a running back in this years draft, but I can't see them taking one any sooner than the third round and even that is pushing it. If they decide to go that route, what names are out there in the later rounds?
Is it possible for players like Toby Gerhart out of Stanford, Montario Hardesty from Tennessee or even someone like USC—product, Joe McNight, to slip into the depths of the draft and be around in the third round? Or are the Eagles willing to spend one of the second round picks on a halfback?
I think we have a better shot of seeing the former happening, as oppossed to the latter.
The Eagles still have needs at linebacker, defensive tackle, safety, cornerback, center and guard, but at this point I will say that the linebacker position should get the first round pick from the Eagles this year.
The acquisitions made in free agency lead me to believe that this is the route they are taking. Let's not also forget that the Eagles were looking at a punter in this year's draft, but I can't see them wasting a draft pick on one, especially since they just brought in second—year man out of Georgia Tech, Durant Brooks.
All in all, it is certainly nice knowing that Mike Bell is officially a Philadelphia Eagle after a week of anticipation, but with that need having a checkmark next to it, it's time to move on.
Welcome to Philadelphia, Mike Bell. Keep the faith, Philadelphia faithful, GM Howie Roseman says there's more on the way!