‘Exciting’ New Candidate Emerges to Lead Eagles Backfield

Trey Sermon

Getty Former 49ers RB Trey Sermon could be in line for a much bigger role in the Eagles' offense in 2023.

The leading candidate to replace Miles Sanders was thought to be Rashaad Penny. The former first-round pick has proven he can carry the load on the biggest stage, albeit in limites spurts due to his well-documented injury history. But, after hearing Nick Sirianni speak at the NFL Annual Meeting, watch out for another guy down on the depth chart.

The Philadelphia Eagles head coach made a point to hype up third-year running back Trey Sermon. Was it a publicity stunt? Or was Sirianni being genuine in his praise? Well, let’s review exactly what Sirianni – a guy who views competition as a core value – said about the 6-foot, 215-pounder.

“Really excited about him,” Sirianni said of Sermon. “I can’t tell you how many times at practice, and Trey didn’t get an opportunity to showcase his talents except for that game against Jacksonville, but I can’t tell you how many times at practice he made a cut or you just saw him in his pads. Or he made a play on a screen or whatever it was, it was like, ‘Man, this guy’s got a chance to be really good.’ Wish we could get him touches but it just wasn’t [possible], we just couldn’t do it last year.”

Sermon, a third-round pick in 2021, has had very limited opportunities over his first two NFL seasons: 43 carries for 186 yards, including 2 touches for 19 yards last season in that Jacksonville game referenced by Sirianni. He was buried on the depth chart in San Francisco, then suffered an unfortunate ankle injury.

There were also reports that he carried an attitude of entitlement (via Inside the Birds’ Adam Caplan) during his time in the Bay Area. That didn’t fly with head coach Kyle Shanahan, so the 49ers released him at the end of training camp.

Looking at the Eagles RB Depth Chart

Sermon should have every opportunity to make an impact under Sirianni’s watch this summer. While Penny will presumably get the first crack at first-team carries, the Eagles will probably want to take a long look at Sermon. Remember, the team inked him after camp broke in 2022 so they didn’t get a full evaluation. Now the running back position is up for grabs and Sermon might have a legitimate claim at the job.

Sirianni knows what he has in Boston Scott, with Kennedy Brooks there for depth. The wild card in the whole equation is Kenny Gainwell. His breakout postseason – 33 carries for 181 yards, including a 112-yard performance in the NFC Divisional Round – has people thinking Gainwell could be more than just a third-down back. Time will tell.

“We all saw Kenny Gainwell’s playoff run,” Sirianni said, “and it seems like anytime Kenny’s in the game he makes big plays. Whether that’s in the passing game or in the running game. So I’m really excited about that room. I’m really excited about the guys we have in that room.”

NFL Mock Draft: Bijan Robinson at No. 10

The rumors of the Eagles selecting Bijan Robinson in next month’s NFL draft won’t go away. He’ll likely be sitting there for them at No. 10 if they want him. The 33rd Team recently compiled a mock draft where Robinson heads to the City of Brotherly Love in a headline-making move.

In a move that would make headlines, the Eagles pick the player that helps them the most right now — Bijan Robinson. Philadelphia lost Miles Sanders, and it is close to winning a Super Bowl; this pick would mean the franchise is all in. The Eagles lost a lot of players on defense, but they still have pick No. 30 to add defensive talent.

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