Wendell Smallwood, RB/KR, West Virginia – 2016


Eagles, Round 5.

Postseason Events: NFL Combine.

Positives: Adequate height and hand size for the position. As a kick returner, he shows good vision in the open field and is able to pick his way well through traffic. On running plays, he runs with high knees to avoid arm tackles. Has quick feet also allow him to avoid traffic at the line. He shows very good second effort through contact, and has good body lean – churning his legs and using his hands very well to get away from tacklers. Keeps his feet pretty squared underneath him when making cuts to avoid slipping. Fair concentration on tipped passes. Tracks well over his outside shoulder. Above-average track speed for the position. Adequate vertical leap and above-average broad jump for the position. Very quick change of direction at Combine.

Negatives: Slightly below-average bulk for the position. Questionable kick return decisions and will run sideways near his own goal line. Though he has good open field vision, his vision on running plays behind the line is questionable, and he will miss cutback opportunities. Though he has quick feet, he seems a little hesitant to change directions, and will use his feet more as a distraction than as a way to accelerate out of cuts. Below-average upper-body strength. Inconsistent hands and concentration and will drop some passes that are very easy, though he had reportedly improved by his April pro day. Below-average ball security in the open field earlier in his career, but improved by 2015. On outside runs, he needs to be more patient and stretch some runs farther outside instead of immediately turning it inside. He sometimes runs a little top-heavy, making it easier to trip him up. Arrested in July 2014 for witness tampering but charges were dropped.

Pre-Draft Projection: Round 5. His high athleticism and demonstrated returner ability should keep him on a roster, and he may be able to contribute as a returner and a committee running back.

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