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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