Wendell Lynn Smallwood Jr.[9] (born January 20, 1994) is an American football running back for the Philadelphia Eagles of the National Football League (NFL). He played college football at West Virginia, and was selected by the Eagles in the fifth round of the 2016 NFL Draft.

 

 

Early years

Smallwood attended Red Lion Academy in Bear, Delaware before transferring to Eastern Christian Academy in Elkton, Maryland for his senior year.[10] He was rated by Rivals.com as a three-star recruit and committed to West Virginia University (WVU) to play college football.[11]

College career

As a true freshman at West Virginia in 2013, Smallwood played in 12 games and rushed for 221 yards on 39 carries with one touchdown. He also served as a kick returner, returning 30 kickoffs for a total of 541 yards.[10] As a sophomore, he played in all 13 games and made nine starts. He had 722 rushing yards on 148 carries and two touchdowns.[12] He also recorded 31 receptions, fifth most in school history for a single season.[10] As a junior in 2015, Smallwood rushed for 1,519 yards on 238 carries with nine touchdowns.[13] After the season, he decided to forego his senior season and entered the 2016 NFL Draft.[14][5] While at West Virginia, he majored in criminology with a minor in communications.[10]

Career statistics

SeasonRushingReceivingFumbles
YearTeamGPGSCar.YardsAvgTDLongRec.YardsAvg.LongTDFumLost
2013WVU121392215.71381113212.030000
2014WVU1391487224.92353132610.550000
2015WVU13122381,5196.4952261606.215000
Career[10]38224252,4625.81252686189.150000

Professional career

Pre-draft measurables
HtWtArm lengthHand size40‑yd dash10-yd split20-yd split20‑ss3‑coneVert jumpBroadBP
5 ft 10 in
(1.78 m)
208 lb
(94 kg)
30 12 in
(0.77 m)
9 14 in
(0.23 m)
4.47 s1.57 s2.63 s4.28 s6.83 s33 12 in
(0.85 m)
10 ft 00 in
(3.05 m)
14 reps
All values from NFL Combine.[15][16]

Philadelphia Eagles

 

Smallwood was selected by the Philadelphia Eagles in the fifth round of the 2016 NFL Draft with the 153rd overall pick. He signed his rookie four-year contract on May 4, 2016.[9]

Rookie season: 2016

On September 25, 2016, Smallwood scored his first career rushing touchdown in a 34–3 win against the Pittsburgh Steelers. Due to an ankle injury limiting starter Ryan Mathews to only two carries, Smallwood was the featured back for the Eagles, recording 89 yards and the touchdown on 17 carries. In Week 6 against the Washington Redskins, he scored his first kickoff return touchdown and the NFL's first kickoff return touchdown of the season. He was placed on injured reserve on December 12, 2016, finishing his rookie season with 312 rushing yards and a touchdown.[9]

Career statistics

YearTeamGamesRushingReceivingKick return
GPGSAttYdsAvgLngTDRecYdsAvgLngTDAttYdsLngTD
2016PHI131773124.11916559.2180926186T1
Career[9]131773124.11916559.2180926186T1

Personal life

Smallwood is the son of Nichelle Barber and Wendell Smallwood. Growing up, he was a Philadelphia Eagles fan, his favorite player being Duce Staley, who became his position coach upon Smallwood being drafted by the Eagles.[10]

In July 2014, Smallwood was arrested in Delaware on charges of witness tampering.[9] Smallwood was accused of trying to get a witness to recant statements they made implicating a friend of Smallwood's, Zakee Lloyd, charged with first-degree murder.[9][9] Two weeks later, the charges against Smallwood were dropped when Lloyd pleaded guilty to second-degree murder.[9][9][9][9]