Eagles Rookie Profile: 6 things to know about Kenny Gainwell


The Philadelphia Eagles chosen Kenny Gainwell with decide No. 150 within the 2021 NFL Draft. So as to study extra in regards to the Memphis working again, I reached out to SB Nation’s faculty weblog that features AAC protection: Underdog Dynasty. The jovial Joe Broback was sort sufficient to reply my questions.

1) Are you able to recap his faculty profession?

Gainwell sat behind two of the higher backs Memphis has seen in Darrell Henderson and Patrick Taylor his freshman 12 months. In 2019, Henderson turned professional and Taylor went down with an damage. In stepped Gainwell, who exploded from the minute he received the beginning job. Mike Norvell put him within the highlight together with his talents as a runner and a pass-catcher, and he rapidly turned one of the dynamic gamers in faculty soccer. In 2020, he sat out as a consequence of COVID issues, which restrict the movie he was in a position to put out for groups to look at. In 2019, he rushed for 1,459 yards and 13 touchdowns, but additionally caught 51 passes for 610 yards and three touchdowns.

2) What are his strengths?

Versatility is the most important one. He can run within the trenches, however may line up out vast and act as a large receiver. He’s an explosive participant who could make a sudden lower to open the sphere up and gash an opposing protection, and he retains his pads sq. to bounce off of tacklers coming from totally different angles. His steadiness permits him to make one transfer after one other due to fast footwork, and that received him out of a ton of tight jams in 2019.

3) What are his weaknesses?

The most important one is inexperience. Whereas he dominated in 2019, it was his solely full 12 months of expertise. Groups weren’t fully positive what they had been getting once they watched him, although that shouldn’t be an enormous concern going ahead. He’ll have to discover a method to keep away from contact extra, as he takes a ton of hits for a man that isn’t constructed to resist that sort of play. Throw that on prime of the truth that he’s not probably the most highly effective runner, and an influence run recreation isn’t one thing he ought to give attention to.

4) Are you shocked the place he was drafted? Increased or decrease than anticipated? Excellent?

I assumed he ought to have been drafted a lot increased. With the distinctive talent set he brings to the NFL, I assumed groups could be lining as much as draft him. His pass-catching talents make him particular, and I assumed that might push him into Day 2.

5) How do you see his NFL profession enjoying out?

If he learns to keep away from a lot contact, he’ll be within the league for a very long time. His agility and playmaking within the open subject could make him one of the harmful gamers within the NFL. He generally is a matchup nightmare for any protection, and discovering a method to be a three-down again stays the most important purpose.

6) Something to find out about him off the sphere?

He misplaced 4 members of the family to COVID, which lots of people nonetheless don’t know. He needed to play for Memphis final 12 months, however the pandemic hit too near house for him to danger it. Gainwell additionally selected Memphis over rival Ole Miss to play faculty ball.

BLG’s take: Gainwell ought to make for a pleasant addition to the Eagles’ working again rotation. There’s thought he could possibly be Nick Sirianni’s Philly model of Nyheim Hines. For perspective, Hines averages 4.7 dashing makes an attempt per recreation and three.5 receptions per recreation. I don’t think about Gainwell will see these numbers proper out of the gate; he’ll need to take advantage of out of restricted alternatives to earn extra enjoying time.


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