Wednesday, June 29, 2022

Eagles Sign Jalen Hurt’s College Teammates: Ex-Oklahoma ‘Little Old Man’

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The Philadelphia Eagles are fully behind Jalen Hurts. The football team not only says the right things, but also shows them boldly with their actions. The Eagles continue to draft, sign and act for Hurt’s friends. The newest? Ex-Oklahoma running back Kennedy Brooks.

Brooks has struck the fifth-highest deal for an undrafted rookie worth $2.57 million over three years (via Spotrac). And he has the third highest guaranteed contract with the Eagles at $240,000. That’s nice reward for the explosive rusher Hurts once dubbed “little old man” in college.

The double threat quarterback joked about it Brooks lack of speed when the two were teammates in Oklahoma in 2019. To be fair, the 5-foot-11, 209-pounder ran the 40-yard dash in a disappointing 4.59 seconds NFL Scouting Combine. Or maybe Hurts was trying to drop his draft stash.

“I call him Paw because he walks around like a little old man.” Hurts said in 2019. “But no, he’s a great running back.”

Brooks has been quite explosive for the Sooners, rushing for 1,253 yards and 13 points in 13 games as a senior. He left school with 3,320 rushing yards and 31 scores, and 209 receiving yards on 29 receptions in 38 career games. He averaged 7.0 yards per carry in Oklahoma and earned the Alamo Bowl Offensive MVP award after rushing for 142 yards and 3 touchdowns in that game.

Brooks also won the coveted Landry Award in 2016, given to the top high school player in the state of Texas. NFL Media’s Lance Zierlein called him an “RB2 with benefits” and thought he could be drafted in Round 6 or Round 7.

“Brooks is being knocked out for a lack of suddenness and explosiveness, but could end up being a more effective NFL runner than reviewers are anticipating,” Zierlein wrote. “He’s a pace-based runner with the ability to change gears mid-run if needed.”

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Brooks’ contract details weren’t the only ones that caused a stir on Tuesday. NBC Sports Philadelphia did a deep dive on all the financials and what they might mean moving forward. Rookie quarterback Carson Strong received a $20,000 signing bonus with $320,000 guaranteed — that’s the one highest guaranteed contract for one of the undrafted rookie free agents from the class of 2022.

Interestingly, Philadelphia also struck lucrative deals with Noah Elliss ($250,000) and Clemson cornerback Mario Goodrich ($217,000). The Eagles distributed $1.747 million in guaranteed money among 12 players, according to NBC Sports. Compare that to $480,000 spread across seven players in 2021. The franchise knew there would be a lot of undrafted talent in this draft.

“We’re just trying to be as aggressive as possible and we know just like in the draft that we’re going to get some guys and miss some guys,” GM Howie Roseman told reporters April 30. “I think we managed a good class and there will still be open roster spots when this is all over because we will continue to look for opportunities.”

The Eagles named Jeremy Gray as their new Assistant Director of Pro Scouting Billy Embody. Gray spent his final season at the University of Arizona as the coordinator of college scouting after serving two years as a pro personnel scout for the Minnesota Vikings.

Philadelphia also hired Temple University’s Rod Streater as an area scout, per Neil Stratton. Streater has worked for a number of NFL organizations including Cleveland, Kansas City, San Francisco, Buffalo and Las Vegas.

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