Photo of Donnel Pumphrey
Drafted By: Eagles

Combine Results

5.32 ?
  • 4.48 SEC
    Top Performer
  • 5 REPS
    Top Performer
  • 33.5 INCH
    Top Performer
  • 117.0 INCH
    Top Performer

Draft Analysis:

For an undersized, multi-purpose scatback/returner, is there a better veteran to learn from than Darren Sproles, who happens to be entering contract year? Eagles fans may be looking at his eventual replacement in Pumphrey. --Mark Dulgerian

  • 5'8" Height
  • 29" Arm Length
  • 176LBS. Weight
  • 8 1/2" Hands


Pumphrey and Ron Dayne are now the top two rushers in FBS history, even though San Diego State's small and quick runner (listed at 5-foot-9, 180 pounds) couldn't be any different in style than the brutish former Heisman Trophy winner. Pumphrey beat the record in his final game, finishing off an All-American season where he led with nation with 2,133 rushing yards on 349 carries (tied for most in FBS) and 17 scores (along with 27-231 receiving). He won the Mountain West Offensive Player of the Year this fall, repeating the honor he was given in 2015 for covering 1,653 yards and scoring 17 touchdowns on 309 carries. He also led the Aztecs with 28 receptions, accumulating 416 yards and three scores. Pumphrey set a school record with 1,867 yards while scoring 20 times as a sophomore, earning the first of three first-team All-Mountain West accolades. As a freshman, he only started one game but still had 256 totes for 1,244 yards and 15 touchdowns (with 22-234, two TD receiving).



Produced at high levels. Patient but decisive when he sees it. Accesses instant turbo burst. Rarely loses races to and around the edge. Plus vision creates ability to navigate shifting run creases like a seasoned veteran. Slaloms through traffic from side to side with seamless, tight jump cuts. Keeps tight track through the gaps, maintaining distance from defensive linemen. Able to string moves together. Razor-sharp cutbacks at challenging angles are his thing. Made a rare 90-degree cut out of a downhill run against South Alabama. Excels in outside zone but has courage to stick it between tackles. Extremely elusive in open field after catch. Used as matchup weapon out of backfield. Good route runner who creates necessary separation.


Undersized. Lacks the leg thickness and overall physical strength desired out of an NFL running back. Spirit is willing but flesh is weak. Arm tackles are able to end his journey. Willing to accelerate into defender, but doesn't have the pop to break tackles or fall forward after contact. Quicker than fast. Will get caught from behind. Body catcher with average hands that lead to double catches. Too small to protect against NFL blitzers as third-down back.

Draft Projection

Round 5-6

Sources Tell Us

"I don't care how big he is, he's a good player. Look, he's tiny so you can't take him too early because there's risk in putting a skinny runner out there. You have to have an offense that makes sense for him but everyone I talk to on the road likes the talent. The size is going to be the only concern." -- AFC West scout

NFL Comparison

Tyler Ervin

Bottom Line

Pumphrey is an efficient, natural back who runs with outstanding tempo and vision. Has outstanding agility and ability to disappear and leave tacklers grasping at air in open field. While he has good burst and quickness, he does lack the home-run speed expected from such small running backs. He won't even be an option for teams married to physical minimums, but there is a place on the roster for his talent provided he can become a return man or viable receiving option as well.
-Lance Zierlein
Grade Title
9.00-10 Once-in-lifetime player
8.00-9.00 Perennial All-Pro
7.50-7.99 Future All-Pro
7.00-7.49 Pro Bowl to All-Pro Ability
6.50-6.99 Good NFL Starter with Pro Bowl Potential
6.00-6.49 Chance to become good NFL starter
5.70-5.99 Could become early NFL starter
5.30-5.69 Backup or eventual starter
5.15-5.29 Developmental prospect or special teams potential
5.01-5.14 Back end of the roster
5.00 50/50 Chance of making the roster