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Will Miles Sanders be a Downfield Receiving Threat in 2020?

The 2019 Eagles were decimated at the receiver position all season long. With DeSean Jackson, Alshon Jeffery, and Nelson Agholor all experiencing long absences due to injuries, the Eagles had to rely on other receivers to step up. JJ Arcega-Whiteside flopped in his opportunity to step up, so instead of throwing to his wide receivers, Carson Wentz threw the ball to his tight ends and Miles Sanders.

Sanders came up big in the receiving game for the Eagles offense. After only catching 32 passes in college, it was unclear whether or not Sanders could be effective catching the ball at the next level. When forced into the spotlight, Sanders shined by catching 50 of the 63 total passes thrown his way, adding 503 receiving yards and three receiving touchdowns.

Not only was Sanders able to produce on screen plays and short passes, he was also the most productive receiving 'back on deep throws.

Here's a look back at some of those big plays downfield where Wentz connected with Sanders.

So what's in store for Miles Sanders in the passing game in 2020? I would suspect that Sanders ends up with less downfield receiving plays this upcoming season.

With DeSean Jackson (hopefully) healthy and the addition of three speedy rookie receivers, the Eagles offense should rely on those players to make plays down the field. There's also the possibility of JJ Arcega-Whiteside making strides in his second season and receiving more of those passing targets. Waiting for Sanders to get from the backfield to downfield will be a huge risk, especially now with Brandon Brooks and Andre Dillard sidelined for the season and not being able to give Carson Wentz the time he'd need to make those types of plays happen.

Sanders should still be a major factor in the passing game overall though, as Doug Pederson relies on screens to move the chains. The 2nd-year 'back was a huge factor in that part of the game plan in 2019, and even with Boston Scott active, he should still be the go-to guy for screens this season.

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