The Eagles are light when it comes to running back depth right now and with Miles Sanders battling a low-grade ankle sprain alongside Jordan Howard’s slower recovery, it made sense to add some depth behind Boston Scott.
Enter Elijah Holyfield. A UDFA out of Georgia earlier this year, the 5’11, 215 lbs, running back caught on with the Panthers and looked really impressive during preseason, rushing for 79 yards and a touchdown.
As of right now, Holyfield is on the final-53. This could mean that either Jordan Howard’s injury is a little more significant than expected, especially given his confusing lack of snaps on Sunday, or they just want an insurance policy given the even remote chance that both Sanders and Howard are down for the team’s playoff game on Sunday.
The move comes after the Eagles placed DE Daeshon Hall on IR with a torn ACL.
It’s better to be overprepared than underprepared, and signing Holyfield was a very smart decision given what he can do with the football in his hands.
Here’s a full scout-report from our writer Morgan Burkett, who broke down Holyfield’s game prior to the Draft.
Elijah Holyfield – Georgia
Walter Football Rank: 12
CBS Rank: 7
DraftTek Rank: 7
Draft Wire Rank: 8
The Draft Network Rank: 8
Range: Third to Fifth Round
Size: 5’11”, 215 lbs
Breakdown: The son of Evander, Georgia prospect Elijah Holyfield is an absolute hammer. Don’t let the tag fool you though, he’s got some speed and wiggle to boot. He’s got a nasty jump cut and is regularly one of the more athletic players on the field. The big man runs with tenacity and has a mean streak that jumps off the screen. Log-jammed behind Sony Michel and Nick Chubb last season, he’s still a pretty raw product, but his ceiling is high and he has the requisite traits that teams love.
Pros: Fantastic contact balance, not afraid to take defenders head on. Chiseled upper body, loves the weight room. There’s a possibility he could still add weight to his frame, which would be a scary prospect. Championship pedigree bound to turn some heads in terms of work ethic and athletic potential. Not a lot of tread taken off his tires and will come into camp fresher than most. Averaged 6.5 yards per carry in 2018.
Cons: One year starter with a limited sample size. Won’t always follow his blocks, looks to do a lot by himself — may improve with more playing time. Used as a pure runner at Georgia, and is not a proven factor in the passing game. Will take some unnecessary hits, which is in his nature. Durability hasn’t been a problem, but the NFL is a different monster.
How he fits: The Eagles will no doubt be weary of his limited time as a starter, but the athleticism and potential may be too much to overlook. He’s not generally the type of back that Philly looks for, and as such, I think it would be a long shot. Likewise, a run-heavy team is bound to take his physicality as a premium. I would say he’s likely not a large blip on Howie’s radar. Nevertheless, he’s got some Blount in him, and perhaps 2018 made the organization realize how valuable that is to their title contention.
If Elijah Holyfield is coming at you, just get out of the way.
Mandatory Credit: Daniel Bartel-USA TODAY Sports