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Eagles top 10 acquisitions of 2017: #6 — Corey Clement

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Fortunate son

Super Bowl LII - Philadelphia Eagles v New England Patriots Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Virtually everything the Eagles touched in 2017 turned to gold silver. With free agency around the corner and the draft to follow, we look back at the top 10 moves the Eagles made on their path to the Super Bowl.

It’s good to be good. It’s nice to be lucky. It’s even better to be both.

The 2017 Eagles embraced the underdog role, but nobody rose from the unknown like Corey Clement. 26 running backs were selected in the draft, none of them were Clement. Lucky him, because he got to choose where to play. There was really only one option:

But in the summer, Clement was on a bad run of luck. LeGarrette Blount had been signed to be the nominal starter dropping Clement down another notch on the depth chart behind Darren Sproles, Wendell Smallwood and Donnel Pumphrey (remember him). But as we saw this year, never count out the underdog. Pumphrey failed to impress in training camp, hurt his hamstring and was put on injured reserve, opening the way for Clement and his hard running to make the 53 man roster as the 4th string running back. Then in Week 3 Darren Sproles broke his arm and tore his ACL. Clement was suddenly needed. From Week 4 on, he’d play double digit snaps in every game. By snap count, he’d end the season as the Eagles #2 running back.

But even by his own coaches he was underestimated. In his first 11 games, Clement was thrown at just 6 times. In retrospect, we should have known something was there when he came up with this catch on Monday Night Football.

Not until Week 12 would Clement fill some of the pass catching void that remained after Sproles’ injury, catching 16 passes on 21 targets the rest of the year. Clement caught 29 passes in his entire college career. In 2017 alone, he caught 20, half of which where in the playoffs. None were better than this:

26 running backs were taken in the draft, and Corey Clement wasn’t one of them. None of those 26 running backs scored a touchdown or led their team in receiving in the Super Bowl. Corey Clement, who entered camp as the fifth stringer, did.

In an alternate universe in which Clement is drafted, signs with another team, or Donnel Pumphrey doesn’t get hurt, the Eagles may not be Super Bowl champions. It’s good to be lucky.