After opting out of his last season at Memphis due to COVID, Kenny Gainwell was drafted by the Philadelphia Eagles in the 5th round of this year’s NFL Draft. The football world knew what the Eagles were getting out of Gainwell. A small elusive back with great speed that will strengthen the receiving game out of the backfield. Many compared his stature to Current Eagles RB Boston Scott but Gainwell could prove to be so much more.
Miles Sanders led all running backs in dropped passes last season which could’ve led to the Gainwell pick. A 1-2 punch of Sanders and Gainwell for four quarters could cause defenses fits all season long if they’re both used correctly. With Nick Sirianni at the helm, we might see more than a healthy dose of Gainwell.
Sirianni saw his run game in Indianapolis flourish on the back of rookie Jonathan Taylor, who rushed for 1,169 yards in just 15 games. The rookie back also caught 36 passes out of 39 targets for 299 receiving yards. To add to the firepower of Taylor, Sirianni and Frank Reich used Nyheim Hines to alleviate the workload from Taylor’s shoulders at times.
Hines was considered to be the better receiver out of the two and he proved them right as caught 63 passes for 482 receiving yards and 4 touchdowns. This is where Kenny Gainwell may find his place within the Eagles’ offense. While Boston Scott provides similar firepower; he lacked consistency during the 2020 season.
Gainwell is built to be what the Eagles need for the 2021 season. The only question is how much will the Eagles use the rookie being that he is just that. The advantage the team has with Gainwell is that he has fresh legs after opting out of last season but that could also be a disadvantage if he is a step slow when it comes to actual game speed. Preseason will be vital.
In his last season At Memphis, Kenny G tallied 1,459 yards on the ground with 13 touchdowns. He accomplished this while averaging 6.3 yards per carry. Gainwell was also a weapon in the passing game as he caught 51 for 610 receiving yards. If the Eagles are to lean on the run game this season then they have to do so without restrictions. If Gainwell is good enough to be your RB2 then you have to make that move and put all of your faith behind it. Until then, keep your eyes on Gainwell in this week’s preseason matchup against the New England Patriots.
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