The Eagles’ search for a veteran running back has been dragging for some time now. A recent report citing that the Roseman don’t want to pay much more than a veteran’s minimum explains why the team are still scratching their heads while trying to find a replacement for Jordan Howard. But there’s one running back nobody is talking about…
That man is 5’11, 215 lbs, Elijah Holyfield. Formerly of the Carolina Panthers, the former UDFA signed with the Eagles right at the beginning of the offseason and like Trevor Williams, fell blissfully under the radar.
That sentiment was true for most of his College career too. Holyfield rushes the ball just six times in 2016 as a true freshman, 50 times in 2017, and then shared the load with D’Andre Swift one year later. Somehow, he racked up 1,018 yards on 159 rushing attempts, scoring seven touchdowns in the process. Perhaps this nasty mentality had something to do with it.
Holyfield is an absolute bowling ball and although he clearly has some holes in his game when it comes to discipline when finding the hole, when he gets going, good luck stopping him.
A misleading NFL combine was a huge detriment to his draft stock and he ultimately slipped through the cracks and into the Carolina backfield. It didn’t take long for him to turn heads there either.
Across four games, Holyfield averaged 4.8 yards per carry, tallying 79 yards on 19 attempts. He even caught 6 passes, which is more than he caught in his entire final season as a Georgia Bulldog.
Holyfield may be raw, but if it’s a bowling ball running back the Eagles want on the cheap, then he ticks every box. Letting Duce Staley work his magic will be key and obviously a shortened offseason period doesn’t help much, but a backfield lacking significant depth behind their shiny new toy absolutely does and at just 22-years-old, there’s plenty of room to grow. If he can hit preseason with the same tenacity he’s flashed throughout his career, then that may be enough to carve out a role as Corey Clement before him once did.
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