Eagles

Lethal 3-headed monster quickly developing in Eagles' backfield

The Eagles have a ton of high-profile offensive weapons, from Carson Wentz to Alshon Jeffery and now even Jay Ajayi

But it was an undrafted rookie who scored three touchdowns Sunday afternoon in the Eagles' 51-23 beating of the Broncos (see story).

"It was three?" Corey Clement asked, with a smile. "I was just playing football."

Clement, the 23-year-old Glassboro, New Jersey, native, caught a 15-yard touchdown pass in the first quarter. He ran for a two-yard touchdown in the third and added a four-yarder in the fourth. 

Three touchdowns in one game. That's impressive. 

He became the first Eagles rookie to score three touchdowns in the modern era, the first Eagles rookie to have a rushing TD and a receiving touchdown in a game since 1953 and the 19th rookie in NFL history to have two rushing TDs and one receiving touchdown in a game. 

But forget all the stats for a second. To make things simple, Clement is playing at an extremely high level. 

And even with the addition of Ajayi, he's going to have a role on the football team going forward. 

"Yeah, it just shows how the defense has to stay on their toes more," Clement said. "We have great weapons in this group. They have to look out for more backs now. We have me, we have (LeGarrette) Blount, we have (Wendell) Smallwood, we've got (Kenjon) Barner. We've got all these great assets on our offense that they really have to look out for."

Clement got his scoring going with the 15-yard touchdown catch in the first. That score made the game 17-3 and really began to put it away. On 3rd-and-10 in the red zone, Doug Pederson dialed up a screen pass that Clement and Carson Wentz executed to perfection. 

Clement chipped Von Miller off the edge before turning in time to catch the pass and follow a mammoth block from Brandon Brooks into the end zone. 

"It's gotta be quick," Clement said. "Once he goes by, I'm looking at Carson and he looked at me, gave me a nice ball. Caught it and turned inside, spotted my blockers, allowed the defenders to come into me and just fed off my blockers."

Clement wasn't known as a big pass-catcher at Wisconsin but has proven in the NFL that he has the ability. The same goes for his pass protection. The Eagles now rely on him quite often in third-down situations. 

There were 30 running backs taken in the 2017 draft and Clement wasn't one of them. But through nine games, he already has five touchdowns. Clement is the fourth undrafted player in Eagles history to have five touchdowns as a rookie. The other three players played in the '40s and '50s. 

"He's grown a bunch," Wentz said. "Seeing Corey all through training camp, he's just a guy that wanted to learn. He's just always ready whenever his number's called. Today, he made the most of them. He's a heckuva back, heckuva player, heckuva teammate as well. I just love seeing those backs celebrating when the other guy scores."

Clement knew immediately the last three-touchdown game he had was as a senior at Wisconsin against Illinois. He had just two three-touchdown performances in 39 college games. 

With Ajayi in the mix, it's unclear exactly how snaps and carries will be split once the Pro Bowler is completely caught up with the Eagles' offense. But Clement has shown he deserves to still be involved.  

"Once Jay got into the room, we noticed that he is definitely a competitor," Clement said. "A great contribution to a group means a lot. I am pretty sure everyone on the outside thought it was going to create some turmoil in our room but at the same time, we are having fun."