2019 NFL Draft Profile: Miles Sanders

Miles Sanders

#6 Running Back by Football Addicts

Born: May 1st, 1997 (21 years old)
Height: 5’11
Weight: 211 Lbs
Position: Running Back
University: Penn State

About Miles

Saquon Barkley brought plenty of attention to Penn State with his 3 year career with the Lions, but behind him was an even more coveted recruit. In 2015, Sanders was awarded Pennsylvania’s Mr Football award Miles Sanders was a 5 star recruit out of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and the #1 ranked running back coming out of the 2016 class by Rivals, 247Sports, and Scout. In 2016 and 17, the only impact Sanders really made was on special teams as a returner, and only combined for 89 touches in his first two seasons.  Sanders waited behind Barkley for two years but finally became the feature back in 2018. In 13 games, he would rush for 1,274 yards, and 9 touchdowns and helped lead the team to the 2019 Citrus Bowl. Those 1,274 yards would only put him behind Jonathan Taylor in rushing yards for the Big-10, and gave him second-team All Big-10 honors.

Strengths & Weaknesses


Sitting behind Barkley for two seasons allowed him to just have 276 career carries, which makes Sanders one of the least used backs in the draft class. Sanders is a very elusive back, and does a great job at making his first defender miss. He is very agile behind the line of scrimmage, and can make quick jump cuts to the open hole. For example, versus Pittsburgh, Sanders got touched in his own end zone but was able to cut back outside for a 79 yard run. They didn’t use him as much as Barkley, but Sanders has shown a natural ability to catch the ball when needed too. He can run good routes that you would ask from a running back such as the swing, wheel, and short outs. He runs very hard, and will drive for extra yards. Arm tackles are not the move if you are looking to take down Sanders in an open space.


Though he is a powerful runner, he isn’t a bruiser. He is a good but not great blocker. I would like to see him engage in his blocks more and not let the defender come to him. I believe this would help him a lot because he can be caught being straight up, without any momentum into his block. Another thing to note is the ball hit the ground far too often when which Penn State tape. I don’t blame this all on Sanders, as many were on read option runs, but there should have been a better understanding on game day.

NFL Draft Projection/ NFL Comp

NFL Draft Projection

Sanders could very easily be the Nick Chubb of this draft class. With that being said, I believe he is currently still in the mix of Top 6-10 running backs, which will probably make him a Day 3 pick. Picks 68 through 74 will most likely when you hear his name called, as 6 of those 7 teams need help at the position. If the Bucs haven’t taken a running back yet, I find it hard they let Sanders slide past them at the 70th pick. They haven’t had a lick of a run game since Doug Martin fell off, and Ronald Jones looked really bad in his rookie season. If Sanders doesn’t push Peyton Barber to the bench, he will at least give the Buccaneers what they wanted from Ronald Jones.

NFL Comparison

Miles Sanders is a really good running back, but by no means is a game breaking type of a player. I personally think he would be best off as a complementary back, behind someone like a Gurley or Bell.  I find him very comparable to a player like Bilal Powell, a spell back with potential to become a full 3 down back. For most of his career, Powell was the 2nd running back, but just recently became a full time starter. If Sanders is drafted into the right situation, I could see a similar path for him down the road.