Shark Bites

After creating some buzz in spring workouts, Eagles RB Donnel Pumphrey "has not stood out" lately, according to insider Jimmy Kempski. The rookie has had ball-security issues and has totaled 2 yards on 7 preseason carries. "For a player listed at 176 pounds to be an effective piece in the NFL, he better be ultra-explosive, or have some kind of elite skill set that sets him apart as a usable role player," Kempski writes. "I personally have not seen extreme explosiveness or any obvious elite traits." Pumphrey remains a fine dynasty stash but isn't worth a roster spot in redraft leagues. Darren Sproles is safe as Philly's change-of-pace, pass-catching RB.

NJ.com's Matt Lombardo writes, "it wouldn't be surprising" if Eagles RB LeGarrette Blount was cut before the start of the season. Lombardo points out Blount's slow start to the preseason (9 carries for 17 yards) and poor fit in HC Doug Pederson's offense as reasons he might be on the chopping block. It's certainly more of an opinion than a fact -- but notable nonetheless. Blount hasn't had much success outside of New England and is now 30. He's not very appealing even at his late-8th-round ADP.

Eagles WR Alshon Jeffery was back at practice on Saturday after missing the previous few days with a shoulder issue. He was limited to individual drills, but it's clear this isn't a significant injury he's dealing with. Jeffery should be full-go come Week 1.

Eagles WR Alshon Jeffery missed his 2nd straight practice Wednesday because of a shoulder injury, according to Matt Lombardo of NJ.com. Jeffery suffered the reportedly minor injury Monday and said "I'm alright" after Tuesday's missed practice. We'll see how long the issue persists.

Eagles RB Donnel Pumphrey suffered a hamstring injury on Sunday and hasn’t practiced since. Per beat writer Jeff McLane, Pumphrey said he’ll only miss “a few days.” The rookie has impressed thus far, but the hammy will be worth monitoring in the short term.

Eagles insider Jimmy Kempski insinuates that RB Wendell Smallwood's roster spot could be in jeopardy. He's currently 4th on the depth chart behind LeGarrette Blount, Darren Sproles and Donnel Pumphrey, according to Kempski, and could be passed by Corey Clement. Smallwood was 5th-round pick a year ago and averaged a decent 4.1 yards per carry on 77 rookie-year totes. But the Eagles' additions to the backfield this offseason were a sign that they weren't overly impressed. Smallwood obviously isn't rosterable in redraft leagues.

Eagles insider Geoff Mosher believes the team's slot job is Nelson Agholor's "to lose." The former 1st-rounder reportedly had an impressive spring filling in for WR Jordan Matthews (knee) with the 1st-team offense. "He showed reliable hands, excellent route-running and, most importantly, a newfound confidence that had been lacking in his rookie and sophomore seasons," Mosher writes. It's unclear if Agholor claiming the slot job would kick Matthews outside or out of the starting lineup altogether. (Alshon Jeffery is locked in, and the Eagles also added Torrey Smith this offseason.) We're also not yet completely buying Agholor's emergence based on pad-less spring practices. It'll certainly be a situation to watch over the next few weeks, though. Jeffery is the only reasonably safe pick in Philly's WR corps right now.

Eagles LB Jordan Hicks suffered a hand injury while on his honeymoon in Greece, according to multiple reports. Philly.com reports that Hicks hurt the hand when he slipped and fell and that it's expected to heal in 3-4 weeks. That would put Hicks on track to have the hand ready for the start of training camp. Of course, we've also seen many defenders play through hand issues. This situation shouldn't affect Hicks' IDP outlook.

ESPN's Tim McManus writes that Eagles WR Nelson Agholor "was easily one of the standouts of the spring." QB Carson Wentz came away from OTAs and minicamp impressed as well. "He's always been an explosive guy, but boy, it sure seems like he might have gotten quicker and more explosive this offseason," said quarterback Carson Wentz. "He's getting open, making plays. It's good to see." Agholor reportedly worked in the slot quite a bit with Jordan Matthews out nursing knee tendinitis. Once Matthews returns, Agholor's likely looking at no better than the #4 WR spot in an Eagles pass offense with plenty to prove. He'll have a tough time returning any fantasy value in 2017. But a potential turnaround keeps the 24-year-old in the mix as a stash for dynasty owners -- especially with Matthews and Alshon Jeffery in contract years.

Eagles RB Donnel Pumphrey has been getting "significant work" with the 1st-team offense, according to insider Zach Berman. The rookie has reportedly been busy as a pass catcher, even seeing some time in the slot. Pumphrey caught 99 balls across 4 seasons at San Diego State. We're not yet ready to consider him a 2017 fantasy option, but he could put a dent in RB Darren Sproles' receiving numbers.

The Eagles have agreed to a 1-year deal with RB LeGarrette Blount, per ESPN's Adam Schefter. Blount toiled on the free-agent market for a while, despite coming off a season that saw him score a whopping 18 TDs. That, of course, was largely fueled by a high-octane Patriots offense. Blount also averaged just 3.9 yards per carry last year and turned 30 this past December. Still, he immediately becomes the best between-the-tackles runner in Philadelphia. And there should be plenty of scoring opportunities on a talented offense. This is a nice landing spot.

The Patriots this week applied a May 9 tender to RB LeGarrette Blount. It's a rarely used tool that doesn't keep Blount from signing with another team or mean that a signing team would have to send a draft pick to New England. Instead, signing Blount would work against his new team's compensatory-pick formula for 2018 and help that of the Patriots. For our purposes, it means that Blount could sign the tender at any stage and further crowd an already unwieldy New England backfield. Also, the tender means that Blount can only play for the Pats this season if he doesn't sign elsewhere by July 22. Count this as another interesting Patriots situation to watch.

The Eagles signed undrafted free agent RB Corey Clement on Saturday night. The former Wisconsin back closed out his college career with a 314-1,375-15 rushing line, but the 4.4 yards per rush marked the lowest rate of his career. Clement struggled to stay healthy curing his Badgers career and then delivered poor testing numbers at the Combine. The landing spot makes him interesting, though, as the Eagles boast 3 small RBs -- Darren Sproles, Wendell Smallwood and Donnel Pumphrey -- an oft-injured veteran who might be a cap casualty this offseason (Ryan Mathews), Byron Marshall and Terrell Watson. There's room for Clement to carve out a role with a strong summer.

After the Eagles drafted WR Mack Hollins in Round 4, some posited that they grabbed him primarily for the special teams value. GM Howie Roseman said that wasn't the motivation, however, according to Zach Berman of the Philadelphia Inquirer. While calling that a plus, Roseman reportedly said they drafted the 6'4 wideout because he brings "starter potential." Hollins will be interesting to watch in a young offense and will carry upside late in dynasty rookie drafts.

The Eagles added some speed to their WR corps in the 5th round with WR Shelton Gibson. The West Virginia product averaged a sizzling 22.6 yards per catch across 3 college seasons. The last 2 resulted in lines of 37-887-9 and 43-951-8. Gibson also returned 53 career kickoffs with 1 TD. He disappointed with a 4.50-second 40 at the Combine but was clocked in the 4.4s at his Pro Day. (He plays like a 4.4 guy.) The 5’11, 191-pounder will never be a high-volume guy but could certainly emerge as a guy with weekly fantasy upside. Of course, he’s well off the 2017 redraft radar in a loaded Eagles WR corps.

The Eagles grabbed San Diego State RB Donnel Pumphrey in the 4th round of the 2017 NFL Draft. The pint-sized 5’8, 176-pounder was a college workhorse, compiling an FBS record 6,405 rushing yards on 1,059 totes over the past 4 years. Pumphrey also caught 99 balls. The size is obviously a concern, though, and he tested as a 15th percentile athlete for his position. On the plus side, Pumphrey can learn a lot from — and eventually replace — new teammate Darren Sproles.

The Eagles added North Carolina WR Mack Hollins in the 4th round of the 2017 NFL Draft. He totaled 65 catches, 1,358 yards and 16 scores across 2014 and 2015 before missing time this past year with a collarbone injury that required surgery. Hollins is a big 6'4, 221-pounder and is considered 1 of the better blockers and special teamers in this year's WR class. There's some long-term upside here, but Hollins figures to be buried in Philadelphia's deep WR group this season.

The Eagles spent their 1st-round pick on Tennessee DE Derek Barnett. He joins a defense that dumped DE Connor Barwin in the offseason, but Philly still sports Brandon Graham and Vinny Curry at the position, and added Chris Long this offseason. Barnett still has a shot to start right away and should at least quickly earn a role in the rotation. He'll make for a solid dynasty IDP selection, with 2017 upside in redraft.

ESPN's Josina Anderson reports that the Eagles have reached a 1-year deal with WR Alshon Jeffery worth $14 million. The fact that he settled for a 1-year deal suggests that teams weren't keen on committing long-term money to the former Bear. The 1-year term can only help the motivation for a player's whose drive has been questioned since he was entering the league. Jeffery just turned 27 in February and should be in his prime. He has delivered quality fantasy numbers when healthy but lost 11 games to injury over the past 2 seasons. Carson Wentz looks like an upgrade over the QB collage that piloted a sluggish Bears pass offense through last season, and Philly ranked 6th in the league in pass attempts. The overall target picture looks nice, but Jeffery will need to compete with WR Jordan Matthews and TE Zach Ertz for top honors. Wentz, meanwhile, has seen significant upgrades to his pass-catching corps on the 1st day of the 2017 league year. He could challenge for fantasy's top 12 at the position this year.

The Eagles have agreed to a 3-year, $15 million deal with WR Torrey Smith. Philly trotted out 1 of the weaker WR corps in the league last year, with no field-stretching presence. Smith will change that. He owns a career 17.0 yards-per-catch average with 25 receptions of 40+ yards across 6 seasons. Smith struggled the past 2 years in San Francisco but remains just 28 and will get much better QB play in Philadelphia. We'll see exactly how the WR depth chart shakes out with Smith, Jordan Matthews, Nelson Agholor and Dorial Green-Beckham.

 
 
 

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