Here’s what Philadelphia Eagles fans should expect from Gainwell in 2021.
Miles Sanders will still be the lead back but the Eagles would be smart to take a page out of the Washington Football Team’s playbook. Offensive coordinator Scott Turner did an excellent job of utilizing both Antonio Gibson and J.D. McKissic in 21 personnel. It’s also worth noting that Gainwell has a higher ceiling than McKissic as a change of pace back.
As mentioned, Gainwell is an above-average pass-protector. Not only does he have a good eye for defensive fronts but he also demonstrates impressive technique with his hands and feet when picking up blitzers and free rushers.
Last year, it was difficult to keep Corey Clement on the field due to his struggles as a blocker. Having running backs who can effectively pass protect allows teams to keep them on the field without tipping their hand.
When Clement and Boston Scott were on the field, defenses had a pretty good idea that they wouldn’t be pass protecting. Even if they were staying in to block, teams were going to send pressure at them.
Expect the Eagles’ fifth-round pick to have a big season as both a runner and receiver. His field vision is second to none. He is elusive in the open field. His footwork is clean. His route running is better than some wideouts. He gains yards after contact.
His all-around skill set is what coaches look for in the draft every year. It was on full display in his 2019 season as he posted 2,069 scrimmage yards and 16 touchdowns. Philly hit on this pick. Gainwell is going to be a key weapon in the Birds offense this upcoming season and beyond.