What will Kenneth Gainwell’s role be in the Philadelphia Eagles offense?
Opting out of the 2020 season was likely a reason for his drop in the draft but Eagles fans aren’t complaining. Gainwell followed in the footsteps of former Memphis running backs Tony Pollard, Darrell Henderson, and Antonio Gibson who were all drafted in the two drafts before this year.
While rookie head coach Nick Sirianni likely won’t bring over the same scheme from Indianapolis, don’t be surprised if Gainwell is utilized similarly to Nyheim Hines. Both are excellent change of pace backs.
Gainwell is listed at five-foot-eleven, 191 pounds, and runs a 4.44-second forty-yard dash. On tape, he looks a bit faster. Hines is five-foot-nine, 196 pounds, and runs a 4.38-second forty-yard dash.
Both are primarily shotgun backs who can run between the tackles, split out wide, play in the slot, and run routes out of the backfield. Hines also offers value on special teams. While Gainwell didn’t return kicks or punts at Memphis, some fans are hoping that the Birds will put him back deep on occasion.
One area that Gainwell has an edge in is his strength and contact balance. Not only did it show at his pro-day with 21 bench reps but it also showed on tape when he bounced off of defenders. Gainwell does a lot of things well, and here are a few thoughts about what we can expect from him during training camp and the regular season.