Eagles claim former 3rd-round running back off waivers


The Eagles on Thursday claimed running back Trey Sermon off waivers, bringing the former third-round pick to Philadelphia.

With the move, the Eagles have four running backs and their 53-man roster is full.

Sermon, 23, was a third-round pick (No. 88 overall) by the 49ers in last year’s draft. He finished up his college career at Ohio State as a grad student in 2020 after playing at Oklahoma before that. Sermon and Jalen Hurts were teammates at Oklahoma in 2019.

According to ESPN, the Eagles and 49ers had discussed a trade for Sermon last week, but the Eagles waited it out and got him for nothing.

Before this move, the Eagles’ three running backs on the active roster were Miles Sanders, Boston Scott and Kenny Gainwell. The Eagles cut Jason Huntley and Kennedy Brooks after training camp, but now they have their four for the start of the 2022 season.

Sermon (6-0, 215) was beat out in 49ers training camp by undrafted rookie Jordan Mason from Georgia Tech. While both players made the Niners’ initial roster, Sermon was cut a day later after a waiver claim.

The 49ers were hoping Sermon cleared waivers.

“If not, we’d love to have Trey back because he really has a bright future in this league,” GM John Lynch said. “It just came down to numbers.”

Sermon is the second 2021 draft pick the Eagles have claimed this week. They also claimed QB Ian Book from New Orleans.

As a rookie in 2021, Sermon played in nine games with two starts. He had 41 carries for 167 yards (4.1) and 1 touchdown and also caught 3 passes for 26 yards. He did play some special teams but was not a return man.

Here’s what NFL.com’s Lance Zierlein wrote about Sermon during last year’s pre-draft process:

“Great-looking running back at a quick glance, but one who suffers from inconsistency in creativity and decisiveness. The regular-season tape at Ohio State was fairly disappointing relative to the talent he showed at Oklahoma, but his monster postseason should quell some concerns. At both schools, the interior vision and decision-making was suspect and would run him into some traffic. He does have potential as an outside-zone back, where he has more time and space to utilize his skills. He has size and open-field speed and will step up and handle his business in pass protection, as well as catch it out of the backfield. So, while Sermon's skill level as a runner is somewhat average, his potential as a three-down backup with upside should create middle-round interest.”

At last year’s combine, Sermon didn’t crush the 40-yard dash (4.61) but showed off an otherwise athletic profile.

In his one season at Ohio State, Sermon had 116 carries for 870 yards (7.5) and 4 touchdowns in just 8 games; he also caught 12 passes for 95 yards.

In his three seasons at Oklahoma, Sermon averaged 6.1 yards per carries and scored 25 total touchdowns. His most productive season came in 2018, when he rushed for 947 yards and 13 touchdowns.

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