I'm not going to lie here. This is my favorite pick in the draft for the Eagles strictly based off of potential and sleeper value.
The fifth round is where things start to get fun and helps separate the cream of the crop when it comes to team scouting departments. For the most part, there is an overall consensus for the first couple of rounds on talented players, but once you get outside of that top 100 list of players, it's a crapshoot. This is where you truly start to find your goldmines hidden beneath 30 pounds of dirt. Players like Trent Cole and Brent Celek were both players taken in the fifth round by the Eagles, and both have panned out tremendously even though Celek had a down year.
Eagles fans have been clamoring for a “big back” ever since Duce Staley took his talents to Pittsburgh and ended up putting on more pounds than touchdowns. Dion Lewis is anything but that coming in at a miniscule, Darren Sproles-esque 5’6” and under 200 pounds. For the better part of the new millennium, this is how Reid has preferred his running backs to be. Whether it’s Brian Westbrook, Ryan Moats, Lorenzo Booker, Correll Buckhalter, or LeSean McCoy, he’s always preferred the smaller, shiftier backs that can catch out of the backfield and pass protect.
With that said though, Lewis doesn’t necessarily play as small as his build. He finished fourth overall out of all the running backs at the combine in Bench Press throwing up 225 pounds 17 times. It’s even been reported that he can rack up 400 pounds. Man muscles!
With the future of incumbent backup Jerome Harrison up in the air, we could be looking at an all Pittsburgh backfield between LeSean McCoy and now Dion Lewis. Panthers represent! For what it’s worth, Lewis actually outperformed McCoy at Pittsburgh and McCoy seems to be on the right path to being a top running back in this league.
I'm hoping that Lewis can provide the lightning to LeSean McCoy's, well, lightning for years to come. We all know that lightning is what kills, not thunder.