We all knew the Eagles were going to take a RB at some point in this draft. I like when and where they selected him. I’m glad they didn’t take a RB in the first round. In my opinion the value just isn’t there in a passing league. Pumphrey could see some time in the slot according to Daniel Jeremiah. I’m not sure how I feel about that but we’ll see what happens. We might see more slot time from another player they drafted after Pumphrey (more on him next blog). Pumphrey was extremely productive during his time at San Diego State. He and Ron Dayne are now 1 – 2 on the FBS rushing list. As Darren Sproles enters the final year of his contract with the Eagles drafting Pumphrey could provide a seamless transition.
“For an undersized, multi-purpose scatback/returner, is there a better veteran to learn from than Darren Sproles, who happens to be entering contract year? Eagles fans may be looking at his eventual replacement in Pumphrey.” – Mark Dulgerian
Here are the strengths and weaknesses for Donnel Pumphrey per NFL.com – STRENGTHS Produced at high levels. Patient but decisive when he sees it. Accesses instant turbo burst. Rarely loses races to and around the edge. Plus vision creates ability to navigate shifting run creases like a seasoned veteran. Slaloms through traffic from side to side with seamless, tight jump cuts. Keeps tight track through the gaps, maintaining distance from defensive linemen. Able to string moves together. Razor-sharp cutbacks at challenging angles are his thing. Made a rare 90-degree cut out of a downhill run against South Alabama. Excels in outside zone but has courage to stick it between tackles. Extremely elusive in open field after catch. Used as matchup weapon out of backfield. Good route runner who creates necessary separation.
WEAKNESSES Undersized. Lacks the leg thickness and overall physical strength desired out of an NFL running back. Spirit is willing but flesh is weak. Arm tackles are able to end his journey. Willing to accelerate into defender, but doesn’t have the pop to break tackles or fall forward after contact. Quicker than fast. Will get caught from behind. Body catcher with average hands that lead to double catches. Too small to protect against NFL blitzers as third-down back.
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Source(s) philadelphiaeagles.com – picture, Mark Dulgerian – quote, nfl.com – scouting report