The Corey Question

Posted: February 26th, 2018 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | Comments Off on The Corey Question

What do you do with Corey Clement?

The undrafted rookie earned a roster spot with a good summer and then proved to be a valuable role player during the season. He took his game up a notch in the playoffs, especially the Super Bowl. Clement was 4-100-1 as a receiver. He ran the ball three times and had a KOR.

Based on what you saw in the playoffs, it is easy to think Clement could become a key player for the Eagles in 2018. We know Jay Ajayi will be the feature back. After that, things are wide open. Darren Sproles and LeGarrette Blount are free agents. Wendell Smallwood is coming off a disappointing season. Clement could be the #2 RB and see a greatly expanded role.

There is a lot to get excited about when you see his highlights.

Offseason reminder…be careful with having the sound up on these videos. The music is often NSFW.

Clement flashed good potential throughout the season.

There is always the concern of projecting someone from role player to key backup. Think about this. Clement caught 10 passes in the playoffs. He also caught 10 passes in the regular season. He made some impressive catches and some critical plays in the playoffs. You just wonder if that is something that can definitely carry over to a whole season.

The offense was red hot in the last couple of games. Those defenses were focused on Ertz, Jeffery, Agholor, Ajayi and Blount. Clement was not at the top of the list. I love the fact he made such key plays, but things will be different in 2018 if he’s the #2 RB. Defenses will focus more on him. They will study his tape and be better prepared.

Timmy Smith was a role player for the Skins in his rookie year of 1987. He ran for 126 yards that year. He then ran for 204 yards in the Super Bowl, a record-setting performance. He ran for 470 yards in 1988 and was gone soon after that.

I think Clement is in a far different situation, but we shouldn’t completely ignore the Timmy Smith lesson.

Clement deserves an expanded role in 2018. The question is whether you trust him enough to be the backup RB. Is he a guy you would want starting or building the offense around if anything happened to Ajayi?

I love the thought of Clement as the #3 RB. He can do a great job in that role. He could turn out to be a terrific primary backup. He might thrive if you gave him 8 to 10 carries and 3 or 4 catches a game. I’m just less certain about that.

Clement was coachable in 2017 and that’s important. Duce Staley got him to lose weight so he’d be more athletic. Staley worked with him as a receiver and blocker. Clement showed a good work ethic. Going undrafted clearly got his attention and he worked hard to earn a spot and then to earn playing time.

I’ll be very interested to see what Howie Roseman, Joe Douglas and Doug Pederson do at RB. The draft class is loaded. Free agents won’t have a high price tag. They have options. They could bring Blount back to have the same trio of RBs. Donnel Pumphrey could take Kenjon Barner’s role. Some rookie could come in to challenge Smallwood for a spot.

Or maybe Pederson decides Clement is a sleeping giant and needs to be a bigger part of the offense this year.

*****

This is great.

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