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The Eagles moved up seven spots in the fourth round to select another offensive playmaker on Saturday, drafting San Diego State running back Donnel Pumphrey with the 132nd-overall pick.
A native of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, McCoy grew up rooting for the Eagles. He attended the University of Pittsburgh, where he rushed for 2,816 yards and 35 touchdowns in two seasons. After foregoing his final two seasons of college eligibility, he was selected by Philadelphia in the second round of the 2009 NFL Draft. Once in the pros, he quickly established himself as one of the best running backs in the league, rushing for a franchise-record 6,792 yards and 44 touchdowns in six seasons.
The game tape backs up the numbers. Mack shows lateral explosion and long speed. He has good vision, which is critical for a running back. All the physical talent in the world doesn’t help you if you can’t find the hole. He has excellent burst. Mack is elusive, with the ability to make defenders miss in traffic or out in space. He isn’t a power runner, but will go through some arm tackles. The downside with Mack is that he loves big plays and will run himself into some losses because of that. LeSean McCoy did the same thing when he was an Eagle. When Mack stays north-south, he is a very good runner.
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The Eagles could use more speed and big-play ability in the backfield. The 5-11, 213-pound Mack would provide both. The Eagles were able to move the chains in 2016. Now, they want to add chunk plays. Mack had runs of 49, 52, 56, 60, 65, and 85 yards last year. The Eagles would love to put a weapon like that on the field beside Wentz every week.
LeSean McCoy vividly remembers the cheers from the Philadelphia faithful, he remembers the tight-knit bond he established with his teammates and he remembers with pride the success he had during his six years as a member of the Philadelphia Eagles.
A lot was made heading into this week’s meeting between the Eagles and Bills about the return of running back LeSean McCoy to Philadelphia. A native of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, McCoy grew up rooting for the Eagles, and after two stellar seasons at the University of Pittsburgh he was selected by Philadelphia in the second round of the 2009 Draft. Once in the pros, he quickly established himself as one of the best running backs in the league, rushing for a franchise-record 6,792 yards and 44 touchdowns in six seasons.
McCoy expects a mixed response when he returns to Lincoln Financial Field on Sunday, but he’s looking to put the past behind him and focus solely on the task at hand. He says it’s a big game for him, but not because of any of the perceived theater surrounding the contest. His Bills (6-6) are currently one game out of an AFC Wild Card spot, and the Eagles (5-7) are currently tied for the division lead in the NFC East with four games left to play.
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To move up, the Eagles traded picks 139 (fourth round) and 230 (seventh round) to the Minnesota Vikings.
The Eagles satisfied some very important need positions in last weekend’s draft, including defensive end and cornerback, and they may or may not have done the same with the fourth-round selection of Pumphrey, the record-setting running back from San Diego State whose incredible production, 6,405 rushing yards, belies his 5-9, 180-pound (dripping wet) frame.
Running back didn’t get addressed as expected. The Eagles didn’t add a star runner to come in and fight for the starting job. They drafted Donnel Pumphrey in the fourth round. Pumphrey is a talented runner, but he is also a weapon as a receiver. He can be devastating on screens, with his ability to Philadelphia Eagles jersey authentic hide behind blockers and then make quick cuts in the open field. Pumphrey can also line up in the slot and get open like a receiver would. Beyond that, the play is just starting when he gets the ball in his hands. His 4.48 speed makes him a challenge for defensive backs and just kills linebackers.
Alright, so this isn’t the traditional ‘running back vs linebacker’ or ‘running back vs safety’ matchup that I typically save for this piece, but you should know about the two running backs facing off in this Mountain West Conference Title Game. San Diego State’s Donnel Pumphrey is downright tiny at 5’8, 170 pounds, but he plays with a real edge out of the backfield as both a runner and a receiver. Pumphrey has good vision, is willing to work in between the tackles, and has consistently stepped up his game against the best teams on the schedule throughout his career. That being said, Pumphrey’s been in a bit of a slump lately, failing to reach 100 yards rushing in consecutive games for the first time since September of 2015, a streak that started when the Aztecs faced Wyoming a couple of weeks ago in a last-second loss.