Eagles May Have Found ‘Overlooked’ Replacement for Darren Sproles

Adrian Killins

Getty Adrian Killins surprisingly went undrafted out of Central Florida.

Not everyone gets to meet one of their childhood heroes, although it’s becoming pretty commonplace at Eagles camp.

No one can forget that heartwarming moment between Carson Wentz and Giovanni Hamilton last year followed by a dozen more mini-miracles throughout the season. Those types of things are what separate the Eagles from a lot of other NFL franchises. Another cause the organization remains dedicated to is putting former players into front-office roles or giving them coaching jobs.

For instance, Darren Sproles has been mentoring the young running backs this summer. The future Hall-of-Famer has much knowledge to share after 16 incredible seasons, including six of them in midnight green. So please excuse Adrian Killins for being a little star-struck upon meeting Sproles.

“When I finally got a chance to talk to him on the phone, it was like a dream come true,” Killins told reporters earlier this week. “Just hearing his voice and just to know that what he sees in me, what I’m capable of doing, it was great to just let him feel me out and just give me some pointers on the game. Being undersized, you get overlooked a lot, and you have to play the game differently. You can’t take too many hits, and you have to be very smart.”

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Versatility Could Earn Killins Spot on 53

Killins, the undrafted rookie out of Central Florida, has been a surprise standout during padded practices thanks to an electrifying skillset of lightning-quick speed (4.39 in the 40), great football intelligence and soft, reliable hands.

The multi-purpose back has been making it tough for the Eagles to cut him, mainly due to his best attribute: versatility. He has seen time at running back, wide receiver and on special teams where he has returned kicks and punts. Killins, based on size alone, could literally be the next Sproles.

“Having him here throughout training camp has been awesome,” Killins said of Sproles. “He tells me something new each and every day and tells me good job tell me I could do better on this could do better on that.”

Killins’ confident swagger isn’t hurting his chances at making the 53-man roster either. He wears a heavy chip on his shoulder like a badge of honor, a 5-foot-8, 177-pound badge of honor. He almost single-handedly led the Black Knights to a national championship in 2017 when he racked up 959 all-scrimmage yards and 11 touchdowns. The Florida native — and high school track standout — left the school with 4,361 career all-purpose yards, good for fourth all-time at UCF.

“It was a ride and we did just what we wanted to do, go undefeated,” Killins said while poking fun at Jalen Hurts’ Alabama team that took the title that year. “And I honestly feel we were the best team in the nation. We can compete with them all, from whatever school it was, top 5 or top 10 or whatever. We proved we could go out there and win them all and beat them all and we did just that. That team there, it was a dream team for sure.”

Now Killins finds himself on another dream team of sorts. The Eagles are three years removed from a Lombardi Trophy and coming off three straight playoff appearances, plus two NFC East crowns. No pressure or anything.

“I’m just coming in here and just watching the vets do what they do day in and day out<‘ Killins said. “Learning running back and slot receiver is tough, but the more I’m available to do on the field for this organization, the more I’ll be able to get on the field and just show what I can do.”

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