Kenneth Gainwell Ranks Among Top Graded Rookies via PFF
Pro Football Focus put out it’s highest and lowest graded rookies for every NFL team yesterday. For reference these PFF grades are a very good indication on how well a player is performing on every single play. This is a really great day for my personal brand. I don’t mean to toot my own horn, but I have been a huge fan of Gainwell since the beginning of the 2021 draft process. I wish I had someone recording my reaction when the Eagles picked him in the fifth round. I celebrated as if the Eagles won the NFC East.
Kenneth Gainwell finished preseason with a 78.7 grade. Which is the highest among rookies on the Eagles as well as the NFL. On top of that, Gainwell finished preseason as the 10th highest graded runningback, out of 164.
The fifth-round running back did more than enough this preseason to make veterans like Jordan Howard expendable. Gainwell impressed through the air, just as he did at Memphis, with nine catches for 66 yards on only 33 routes. He’s firmly a change-of-pace back from Miles Sanders.Michael Renner – Pro Football Focus
Many were left confused when the Eagles cut Jordan Howard the other day. Even though he was retained the Eagles practice squad. Gainwell’s early emergence could be the reasoning behind this. Jordan Howard was having himself a pretty nice training camp as well and the Eagles running back rotation is still up in the air. Miles Sanders will obviously take a bulk of the snaps but it is remain to be seen how the rest of the backs will be used.
Boston Scott seems to be a safe bet for the runningback #2 spot. Considering his experience and versatility as a pass catcher. However, Gainwell could compete for snaps over him if he keeps up his efforts. Gainwell is a younger and more talented player. The Eagles rarely use draft capital on runningbacks. So they clearly liked what they saw from him in college to invest a fifth rounder on him. Even with Miles Sanders on the roster.
Miles Sanders is on everyone’s list to take the next step this season but he still struggles with catching the football consistently, as well as staying healthy. With that said, Gainwell could really carve out a role with the Eagles if he can continue to be a threat in the passing game. If he continues to improve at running between the tackles and blitz pickup, he will be a very productive player in the NFL.
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