March 5, 2010 was no normal day in Philadelphia Eagles history. This is the day that the Eagles front office decided to let go Brian Westbrook and give the starting job to Lesean Mccoy. It was a tough pill to swallow for any Eagles fans because of the fond memories we have of Westbrook. Whether it be the miracle at the Meadowlands, or the famous kneel down play we will certainly miss "36 West". But what if I told you that there was a player in this year’s draft that was a Brian Westbrook clone and the Eagles could grab him and it would be like 2002 all over again.
Allow me to introduce you to a 5'8, 172 pound RB from Ole Miss by the name of Dexter McCluster. McCluster rushed for 1,169 yards on 181 attempts. Averaging 6.5 yards a carry he added 8 TD to his 2009 resume for the Rebels. He also caught 44 balls for 520 yards and scored 3 more TD.
Like Westbrook, McCluster is a small back who five years ago probably would have been a 3rd-5th round pick but because of guys like Westbrook, who changed the perception of small backs in the NFL, McCluster will likely be a second round pick in this April's draft. Also like Westbrook, McCluster is a small back who is a great blocker and is one of the better blocking RB in this draft. The Eagles have had big problems with past RB not being able to block and pick up the blitz but if they were to take McCluster they certainly wouldn’t have to worry about it.
Another similarity to Westbrook is McCluster's ability to catch a ball out of the backfield. One of the many reasons the Eagles have been so successful in the past is the ability to use the screen pass so well and Brian Westbrook's ability to catch the ball was a big part of that. With Westbrook gone McCluster could fill that vacancy and the Eagles wouldn’t have to worry about losing a big part of their offense.
The Eagles number one RB is LeSean Mccoy but their backup is Mike Bell who signed just a one year deal with the team. A lot of teams have decided as of late to insert a duel back system into their offense, keeping fresh legs on the field. Carolina is a perfect example taking a RB in the first round two out of three drafts and now they have one of the best RB tandems in the league.
With two picks in the second round it isn’t inconceivable to think they could take McCluster with one of the picks. While I still think the Eagles will definitely use most of their picks to move up in the draft and take Eric Berry I do think they will leave themselves with one second round pick in which they could look at the speedy RB from Ole Miss. A RB tandem of Mccoy, McCluster, and throw in FB Leonard Weaver gives the Eagles a three headed monster better than the one that fans saw in 2003.