The Philadelphia Eagles signed undrafted rookie free agent running back Adrian Killins following the 2020 NFL Draft. In order to learn more about this emerging fan favorite, I reached out to SB Nation’s UCF blog: Black & Gold Banneret. Knights writer Jeff Sharon was kind enough to answer my questions.
1) Can you recap his college career?
AK was Scott Frost’s first recruit in 2016. He won back-to-back state titles in the 200m in high school, and Frost bringing him in sent a signal that the old three-yards-in-a-cloud-of-dust days of George O’Leary were over. He blasted onto the scene in his true freshman year and established himself as the primary offensive threat. For his career, he recorded 58 plays of 20 yards or more, finished in the top three on the team in rushing all four years, and was also an electrifying kick and punt returner. That’s even more remarkable considering UCF employed a backfield by committee his whole career, and never really used him much in the passing game (averaged 17.5 receptions per season).
2) What are his strengths?
SPEED. He’s going to be the fastest guy on the roster. He is a breakaway threat every time he gets the ball. I mean:
Plus he’s an excellent kick returner. He also showed out in the passing game in the Shrine Bowl (7 catches, 91 yards), clearly trying to show scouts that he wanted to emphasize that part of his game more heading into the draft.
3) What are his weaknesses?
Size. He’s 5-7, 165. Now, that could be an asset, depending on how he’s used (See: Tarik Cohen, who’s 5-6, 179). But he’s not going to be an every-down guy, unless Doug Pederson decides to move him outside and use him like his old boss Andy Reid uses Tyreek Hill.
4) Are you surprised he went undrafted?
Not really. He has a very specific skill set that fits a very specific system. Fortunately, it looks like he’s found exactly that in Philly with Doug Pederson’s offense.
5) How do you see his NFL career playing out?
Best case scenario: Tyreek Hill but in green. Worst case scenario: He gets swallowed whole by a hungry Javon Hargrave in training camp.
6) Anything to know about him off the field?
Nothing, other than he’s a serious competitor who was beloved by his teammates and the fans. He grabbed the torch for the new UCF and never let it go. He’ll always be seen as a transformative player for the UCF program, and hopefully he’ll be that for the Eagles.
BLG’s take: The Eagles paid Killins the eighth highest guarantee out of their 13 UDFA signings. (Fellow UDFA running back Mike Warren was sixth.) Despite this, some already seem to think Killins is a lock to make either the practice squad or the roster. Killins’ speed is intriguing and his highlight videos are fun, so I get it! It’d be great to see Killins become a valuable role player in the Eagles’ offense. Who doesn’t love a diamond in the rough? But he’s not just going to be handed anything in Philly. He’ll have to prove why he deserves to stick around and that could be even more of an uphill battle during an offseason shortened by COVID-19. Killins has an outside chance to make the roster but the practice squad is a more likely landing spot. And please spare me the “he definitely won’t clear waivers” sentiment. About 3% of the ~1,184 players who were waived in final cuts last year immediately got claimed.