Donnel Pumphrey

Donnel Pumphrey finds a new team ... in the XFL

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Donnel Pumphrey finds a new team ... in the XFL

Former Eagles draft pick Donnel Pumphrey has found a new home. Just not in the NFL. 

Pumphrey on Tuesday morning was taken in the XFL draft by the Washington DC Defenders. Pumphrey, 24, was taken with the first pick in the seventh round in the skill position players draft (the XFL is breaking it up by positions; they included QB, RB, WR and TE). 

Overall, Pumphrey was the 49th skill position player selected. To put that into perspective, when he was selected by the Eagles in 2017, Pumphrey was the 43rd skill position player (by the XFL criteria) in the NFL draft. 

The Eagles actually traded up in the fourth round in 2017 to take Pumphrey, who is the all-time leader in rushing yards in NCAA Division 1 history. The Eagles tried to make Pumphrey, with his slight frame (5-8, 176), into a utility slot receiver type weapon, but that wasn’t what he did in college and the pick was basically wasted. 

Pumphrey made the Eagles' roster in 2017 but was placed on IR. He didn’t make the team in 2018 and spent a few weeks on the Lions’ practice squad. Pumphrey returned to the Eagles’ practice squad last October and was with them this last training camp but failed to make the team again. He has never played in an NFL game. 

The Eagles clearly whiffed with their Pumphrey pick and it looks even worse based on some of the players who were drafted after him: Jamaal Williams, Marlon Mack, Aaron Jones, Chris Carson. Howie Roseman once called the 2017 running back draft class “historic” and the Eagles ended up with a guy who never played in the NFL. 

On Tuesday, Pumphrey wasn’t the only former Eagle to get taken in the XFL skill position draft. 

Receiver Rashard Davis, who was with the Eagles’ practice squad in 2017 and 2018, was actually the first overall pick to the Defenders. The Defenders also took former Penn State receiver DeAndre Thompkins in the fourth round. He was with the Eagles during this past training camp. 

Seantavius Jones, who was with the Eagles for a few months in the 2016 offseason, was taken in the second round by the Tampa Bay Vipers.

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Eagles sign running back Donnel Pumphrey to practice squad

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Eagles sign running back Donnel Pumphrey to practice squad

This isn't exactly the running back most Eagles fans had in mind.

The Eagles on Tuesday re-signed running back Donnel Pumphrey, a former fourth-round pick, to their practice squad.

Pumphrey, 23, was a fourth-round pick in 2017, but he's never played in a regular-season NFL game. He made the initial 53-man roster as a rookie but was then stashed on IR. This season, he got hurt during training camp and was released.

He spent most of September on the Lions' practice squad.

Pumphrey actually looked like the frontrunner to win that fourth running back job early in the summer, but then he got hurt and fell behind. The Eagles kept Wendell Smallwood on the 53-man roster and kept Josh Adams on their practice squad as Pump went elsewhere.

With Pumphrey on the practice squad, the Eagles have all 10 spots filled. They called up Bruce Hector to the active roster late last week, so there was one empty spot.

Right now, the Eagles have Smallwood, Corey Clement, Adams and Darren Sproles on their 53-man roster. Sproles has been out with a hamstring injury since after Week 1. Jay Ajayi is on IR after tearing his ACL.

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Former Eagle Donnel Pumphrey signs with Lions

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Former Eagle Donnel Pumphrey signs with Lions

Donnel Pumphrey has found a new home. And it didn’t take that long.

According to NFL Network, the Detroit Lions are signing the Eagles’ fourth-round pick from a year ago to their practice squad.

Despite clearing waivers after the Eagles released him, Pumphrey is already back in the NFL.

Pumphrey, 23, was waived by the Eagles on Saturday as the team decided to keep Wendell Smallwood as its fourth running back. Pumphrey got off to a pretty good start this summer at training camp but a hamstring injury derailed most of his summer.

It was a disappointing two years for Pump in Philly. The Eagles traded up in the fourth round to get the small running back out of San Diego State after his prolific college career, but he never got going here. He struggled last spring and summer and after making the initial 53-man roster, was stashed on IR. He never played in a regular season game with the Birds.

It seemed like Pump was going to have a good shot to make this year’s team, but the injury never let that happen. The Eagles cut ties with him after just two disappointing years.

In Detroit, Pump will reunite with former Eagles running back LeGarrette Blount, who signed with the Lions as a free agent this offseason.

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