The Eagles have finally drafted a running back.
With the 153rd overall pick (fifth round), the Eagles selected West Virginia running back Wendell Smallwood (see bio).
Smallwood (5-10, 208) is the first running back the Eagles have drafted since the seventh round of the 2012 draft, when they took Bryce Brown from Kansas State. Before the pick, they were the only team in the NFL to not draft a running back since the start of the 2013 draft.
"I'd ask what doesn't he do well?" Eagles vice president of football operations Howie Roseman said of Smallwood. "The production is good, the test numbers are really good. He can run, he can catch, he can pass protect. I'm not sitting up here saying this is LeSean McCoy in the fifth round, but this is a good player."
Smallwood will join a running back room that still includes Ryan Mathews, Darren Sproles and Kenjon Barner.
As a Wilmington, Delaware native, Smallwood grew up as an Eagles fan and was thrilled to meet running backs coach Duce Staley, who used to star for the team. He visited the Eagles shortly before the draft.
"It feels great to be here," Smallwood said after driving to the NovaCare Complex. "I've been a fan of the Eagles all my life and been watching since I was young. It's just a dream come true being at this place. It's a blessing."
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In 2015, as a junior, he was the Big 12's leading rusher, going for 1,519 yards and nine touchdowns in 13 games. He also caught 26 passes out of the backfield for 160 yards.
As a sophomore, he had 148 attempts for 722 yards and two touchdowns. His 2,462 career yards rank ninth on West Virginia's all-time list, playing in 38 games and starting 22.
As a freshman, he returned 30 kicks for an average of 18 yards per return, but returned just one in his last two years of college. Smallwood ran a 4.47 time in the 40 at this year's combine and shaved time at his pro day, when he ran a 4.41.
There appear to be some character concerns with Smallwood. He was arrested in 2014 on a witness tampering charge in a murder case. He was charged with trying to get a witness to recant statements that implicated his friend. Those charges were later dropped when that friend pleaded guilty to second-degree murder.
And shortly after Smallwood was drafted, fans began to find past tweets from Smallwood that were highly questionable and, in some cases, insensitive. Not long after he was drafted, his Twitter account was deleted.
Under Chip Kelly, the Eagles refused to take players with character questions, but with Kelly gone, the Eagles may have relaxed their stance.
Smallwood is the third player the Eagles have taken in this year's draft and the first taken on Day 3.