Is Corey Clement the next great Eagles running back?

Is Corey Clement the next great Eagles running back? 

Philadelphia Eagles running back Corey Clement burst onto the scene last year as an undrafted free agent. The former Wisconsin Badger was able to carve out a steady roll that increased as the season went along. From fighting to make the 53 man roster during the preseason to catching a critical touchdown in the Super Bowl. The Eagles currently have a very talented yet crowded backfield.

There is also a lot of uncertainty in the group. Darren Sproles is returning for one more year while Jay Ajayi is entering into a contract year and there has been speculation this could be his last year in Philly. With that said an opportunity for more playing time will be there. The Eagles decided to let LeGarrette Blount walk in free agency so there will be more carries to go around. Clement stated last week that “I want to be more of a key contributor”. The Eagles have a long list of great running backs from LeSean McCoy to Brian Westbrook and Wilbert Montgomery. Does the former Badger have what it takes to join these ranks?

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Earning your stripes

Clement has capitalized on his opportunities from the moment he arrived in Philly. The undrafted free agent was able to see a lot of action in the preseason due to players resting. In the teams opening preseason game against the Green Bay Packers Clement received seven carries and gained 13 yards. He also caught two passes for 31 yards.  The following week he would score his first touchdown against the Buffalo Bills. He would finish the preseason with 28 carries for 105 yards and two touchdowns. With the Eagles lacking running back depth and Donnel Pumphrey landing on Season ending IR Clement made the 53 man roster.

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Clement saw his first action week three against the New York Giants and would score his first career touchdown. Fast forward to the end of the year and even after acquiring Ajayi he finished with 321 rushing yards and four touchdowns as a solidified part of the committee.

Badger power

While at Wisconsin Clement had no problem handling the lead back role. During his senior season, he received 314 carries and ran for 1375 yards and 15 touchdowns. He finished his career with 3,092 rushing yards and 36 rushing touchdowns. He spent time backing up James White and former first-round pick Melvin Gordon. Following his strong senior season, Clement was named first team all Big-Ten.

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Greatness awaits

Clement has all the intangibles you would want in a lead back. He’s already earned his way from an undrafted free agent to a featured part of this rotation. He has also showcased his catching ability during the playoffs he totaled 10 catches for 139 yards. He should have opportunities to impress during the pre-season with Ajayi and Sproles likely to see very little action.

So far in OTA’s he has already received some reps as the teams’ number one back. The former Badger is focusing on strengthening his lower body to be able to better handle more carries. At 5’10 215 pounds Clement also has a nice balance of power and speed and as the season goes along the New Jersey Native could be in store for the bigger role he is seeking.

Photo via Flickr/ Thomas Gerling

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