Even with his accomplishments, Donnel Pumphrey has tons to prove.
Well, some of the pieces of this Philadelphia Eagles puzzle has been pieced together. We knew the Eagles needed a running back. There was a theory that was shared by most of us, and it was they’d take one in the 2017 NFL Draft. We argued about who that might be. As it turns out, we all forgot to factor in the NCAA‘s all-time leader in rushing yards, Donnel Pumphrey.
Maybe if he’d seen that type of success in the SEC or the Big Ten, we’d be more excited. Instead, Pumphrey built his resume as part of the San Diego State Aztecs. Still, regardless of who the competition was, what he’s done is impressive. You don’t become the NCAA’s all-time leader of anything without having a tremendous amount of talent.
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The immediate reaction:
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We don’t mean to rain on anyone’s parade, but what’s obvious can’t be debated. Pumphrey achieved a grand total of five reps on the bench press during the NFL Combine. He’s going to have to get some muscle from somewhere. As things currently stand, it’s hard to imagine him carrying the ball more than 15 times a game. On the other hand, a ball carrier with his ability to score from anywhere in the field isn’t going to make anyone complain.
What the numbers say:
In his final season, Pumphrey went 2,133 yards on the ground and scored 17 touchdowns. He also caught 27 passes for 231 yards. He averaged over six yards a carry, but some sources, WalterFootball.com for instance, barely placed him in the top twenty of the running backs in this class.
The Eagles traded up in the fourth round to get him, so obviously they see something. His selection, along with that of wide receiver Mack Hollins, could eventually mean that the fourth round of this draft could be one of the most important rounds in the Eagles’ draft history.
We’ll just have to wait and see if that’s true.