Eagles land a running back after trading back in fourth round

After a couple of trade-backs in the fourth round, the Eagles finally made a pick at No. 127, taking running back Will Shipley from Clemson.

Shipley, 21, was a three-year starter at Clemson and had his best season in 2022 when he rushed for 1,182 yards with 15 touchdowns. Shipley wasn’t able to duplicate that success in 2023 but was still productive with 827 rushing yards and 244 receiving yards.

In Philly, Shipley (5-11, 206) will join a running back room that includes Saquon Barkley and Kenny Gainwell. The Eagles signed Barkley to a three-year deal this offseason and Gainwell is entering his fourth and final year under contract.

During his college career, Shipley proved to be a dual-threat running back who can catch the ball out of the backfield.

“I’m the No. 1 all-purpose back in this draft,” Shipley said at the Combine. “There’s no doubt about it. I can catch the football. I’m versatile. You can put me out in the slot and I catch the ball, make plays, make DBs miss, but I can also take 20 carries up the gut and make an impact that way while also protecting the quarterback which is a huge deal in the NFL.”

As a North Carolina native, Shipley likes to compare his game to Christian McCaffrey’s and developed a relationship with the All-Pro when McCaffrey was with the Panthers.

The Eagles traded down twice before picking Shipley on Saturday afternoon. They traded away 4-120 for a 2025 third-round pick and then traded 123 for 127 and a 2025 fifth-rounder before making their first pick of Day 3.

In 36 college games, Shipley rushed for 2,748 yards (5.2 per carry) with 31 touchdowns. He also caught 85 passes for 602 yards and 2 more scores. He was also a very good kick returner, averaging 26.6 yards per carry.

While Shipley wasn’t able to compete at the 2024 NFL Combine because of a knee injury, he did test at the Clemson pro day and ran a 4.39 in the 40-yard dash. He also had a vertical jump of 38 1/2 inches and a broad jump of 10-2. That 40-yard time would have tied him for third among running backs at the Combine, while his vert would have been fourth and his broad eighth.

Here’s the scouting report on Shipley from’s Lance Zierlein:

“Versatile running back with talent as a runner, receiver and kick returner. Shipley possesses early speed, allowing him to whip through creases and outrun linebackers to the corner. He’s a flexible runner who reads up to the linebackers and curates his runs with a feel for both defensive positioning and run lane development. He can balance through contact but is unlikely to move NFL piles. Shipley does a nice job of setting up opponents from anywhere on the field and has the agility to hop and hurdle over bodies. He’s not a workhorse and still has work to do in order to solidify himself as a third-down option, but the athletic talent and skill level could create an early pathway into a spot as a productive RB2.”

Shipley is the first running back the Eagles have selected since Gainwell in the fifth round in 2021 and he’s the highest running back pick for the team since Miles Sanders in the second round in 2019.

And Shipley is the first Clemson player selected by the Eagles since K’Von Wallace in the fourth-round in 2020.

Previous selections:

No. 22 overall – CB Quinyon Mitchell
No. 40 overall – CB Cooper DeJean
No. 94 overall – Edge Jalyx Hunt

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