This is where things get interesting. The Eagles didn’t do much to address their need at running back in this offseason. Ryan Mathews probably won’t be back next season and Darren Sproles is set to retire at the end of the year. At 33 years old (he will turn 34 in June), Sproles isn’t capable of handling a full load anymore. Once again, it appears the Eagles will use a committee scheme in the backfield.
Wendell Smallwood showed some good signs as a rookie, rushing for 312 yards on 77 carries. He also returned a kickoff for a touchdown against the Washington Redskins in Week 6. It’s fair to assume the Eagles will like to give him an increased role next season.
Along with Smallwood, don’t be surprised if undrafted rookie Corey Clement plays a significant role. A large reason why Clement went unclaimed in the draft is because of his character issues. But make no mistake. He can play. Clement is a physical runner who will best be used on early downs.
Let’s also not forget about Donnel Pumphrey, who the Eagles drafted in the fifth round of this year’s draft. In four seasons at San Diego State, Pumphrey set an FBS record with 6,290 career rushing yards. At just 5’8″ and 170 pounds, it’s fair to wonder if he’ll be able to endure a large workload. Luckily, his floor is high and appears to be the heir apparent to Sproles once he calls it quits.