Donnel Pumphrey versus Corey Clement: Who makes Eagles’ roster?

PHILADELPHIA, PA - AUGUST 17: Byron Marshall
PHILADELPHIA, PA - AUGUST 17: Byron Marshall /

Running backs Donnel Pumphrey and Corey Clement figure to battle down to the wire for a chance to make this Eagles squad.

It’s a sad but true fact about the NFL preseason. We know the Philadelphia Eagles can’t take everybody into the regular season. There are only 53 available slots on the team’s active roster. There aren’t many who have thought about that more often than running backs Corey Clement and Donnel Pumphrey.

The latter was the Eagles’ 4th-round draft choice (the 132nd-overall selection). He’s also the NCAA Division I FBS’ all-time leader in rushing yards. The former wasn’t drafted by anyone, mostly due to the 2017 NFL Draft being littered with running backs and character concerns that have followed him.

What we’ve seen to this point:

More from Inside the Iggles

Both have shown flashes. Unfortunately, most of Pumphrey’s have been seen during practice settings. He laid an egg during the Eagles’ first preseason game. Then, injuries kicked in.

Clement had a hill to climb being the odd-man-out when camp started. There were already six guys on the roster at his position. Ryan Mathews is gone now. That leaves Byron MarshallLeGarrette Blount, Darren Sproles, Wendell Smallwood (who was on the bubble but is gaining the faith of his coaches), Pumphrey and Clement.

Again, all of these guys won’t be on the active roster.

ITI’s prediction:

There are two scenarios. This is the first:

The Eagles keep five running backs (highly unlikely).

Philly keeps Blount, Smallwood, Sproles, Pumphrey and Clement. Marshall is the odd-man-out.

Related Story: Doug Pederson has no plans of releasing LeGarrette Blount

Here’s the second option:

When it’s all said and done, Pumphrey and Cement won’t be able to fight their way to a higher position on the depth chart. The Eagles figure to take four ball carriers into the regular season. That will be Blount, Sproles, Smallwood and Pumphrey. Marshall is given his walking papers or is placed on the practice squad. Clement, who’s proven he belongs in the NFL and his errors in judgement are behind him, will find his way to the team’s practice squad. Then, some other team will pluck him away.

He’ll probably go on to have a magnificent career after that and win a Super Bowl somewhere.