I would love for Wendell Smallwood to come in, win the RB job and start right away. I know that won’t happen but it’s clear the Eagles needed depth at RB position. He joins in all honesty a less than stellar group consisting of Ryan Mathews, Darren Sproles and Kenjon Barner. Now that Chip is no longer there I think the writing is on the wall for Barner. Barring a camp or preseason injury he will be playing somewhere else. Wendell Smallwood will be taking his spot. Although he doesn’t have ideal size at 5-10 208 he will be able to compete with this group.
Smallwood is an interesting cat. The Wilmington, DE product led the Big 12 in rushing with over 1500 yards however at the same time has a very interesting and checkered past. Smallwood was questioned in regards to witness intimidation involving a murder years back. No charges were filed as the suspect was found guilty. In addition to that he had some interesting tweets characterizing local Philadelphians. None that we need to get into on this particular blog. People that followed Wendell said he needed to familiarize himself with some better people. He was involved with he wrong crowd. The Eagles clearly did some homework and research and apparently aren’t concerned. After being drafted Smallwood told Josh Paunil of PhillyMag.com – “I don’t believe anything I said. I’ve grown.” “I’m sorry if I offended anyone.”
Here are his strengths and weaknesses from NFL.com – STRENGTHS Hits the crease with proper pad level and can spin off of initial tackle attempt on his way to additional yardage. Attacks his foes with lead shoulder at the end of the run for an aggressive finish. Runs a disciplined track as zone runner using solid vision and steady tempo. One of the sharpest players on the offense. Scans and spots blitzers on the creep and steps over to meet them as a blocker. Possesses exceptional hands as an option out of the backfield.
WEAKNESSES Can use more beef on his frame to handle the rigors of the NFL. Monotone runner who tends to keep his runs at one speed. Not flashy or particularly creative as a runner. Gets what is blocked and is more of a physical finisher than tackle breaker. Has an extended gear down on outside zone to hit downhill cuts. Average athleticism and lacks the sudden jump cut – NFL.com.
Sources: NFL.com, philadelphiaeagles.com (picture), profootballtalk.com (quote)
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