Eagles Land Versatile RB Kenneth Gainwell in Round 5
The Eagles gave quarterback Jalen Hurts a new weapon in the passing game: on Thursday night, Alabama wide receiver, DeVonta Smith and on Saturday he got another running back to play with, taking Memphis' Kenneth Gainwell with the No. 150 overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft.
Gainwell will likely compete with Boston Scott and Jordan Howard for carries behind Miles Sanders.
Gainwell, 22, opted-out of the 2020 season, but was a big-play threat during his college career. His best season coming in 2019 where he had 51 catches for 610 yards and three receiving scores to go along with 1,459 yards and 13 touchdowns on 219 carries.
"I was surprised," Gainwell said about still being around in the fifth-round. "But I'm happy now. I'm happy y'all got me. I'm happy I'm with the Eagles. That really don't matter. It's time to work. It's time to put in the work. Getting drafted first, getting drafted at the fifth, it don't really matter about all that. I am ready to ball for the Eagles."
Many thought Gainwell would be selected on day two of the draft, and that there was an outside shot he could have been picked in round-one.
He has been described as a Darren Sproles type of running back, a guy he looked up to growing up, due to his 5-foot-11, 190-pound stature.
"Growing up, I mean, I used to love Darren Sproles," Gainwell said. "My favorite, favorite running back. He kind of put the inspiration on me. Short guys, fast guys, that's what they use. So, I mean, that kind of motivated me."
Gainwell possess plenty of speed, running a unofficial 4.42 seconds during his pro day in the 40-yard dash.
"We do see the ability to create those mismatches with the linebackers and the safeties, whether inside or outside, with that player; whether he's in the slot, whether he's in the backfield, whether he's outside," Eagles head coach Nick Sirianni stated.
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