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May 30, 2024

Eagles rookie NFL player comparisons: RB Will Shipley

Shipley was a big factor in Clemson's offense. What might his role be in the NFL?

Eagles NFL
Will-Shipley-Eagles-Clemson Ken Ruinard/USA Today Sports

New Eagles running back Will Shipley during his time at Clemson.

As we do every offseason, we'll be comparing each of the Philadelphia Eagles' rookies to current or former NFL players. Today we'll find a comp for fourth-round running back Will Shipley.


CB Quinyon Mitchell | DB Cooper DeJean | EDGE Jalyx Hunt | RB Will Shipley | WR Ainias Smith

Shipley was an immediate contributor in Clemson's offense as a freshman, and he had a big sophomore season when he rushed for 1182 yards and 15 TDs. His junior season was somewhat disappointing on a Clemson team that was no longer the powerhouse it once was. His career numbers as a runner:

Will Shipley Rush Yards YPC TD 
2021 149 739 5.0 11 
2022 210 1182 5.6 15 
2023 167 827 5.0 

And as a receiver: 

Will Shipley Rec Yards YPC TD 
2021 16 116 7.3 
2022 38 242 6.4 
2023 31 244 7.9 

Shipley had an impressive pro day, running a 4.39 40, to go along with 1.54 10 yard split. As you can see in the highlight reel below, he runs with speed and balance, and is able to stack multiple cuts in succession to make defenders miss. 

The way that Shipley is able to slalom through defenders reminds me a bit of the running style of the Bills' James Cook. If you watch Shipley's highlight reel above and then Cook's immediately thereafter, you can see the similarities.

Neither back is going to be a pile mover, but both guys can squirm for extra yards after they're already wrapped up.

Their size and athletic measurables are also quite similar:

Measurable Will Shipley James Cook 
 Weight 206  199 
 40 time 4.39  4.42 
 10-yard split 1.54  1.55 
Vertical jump   38.5"  33" 
 Broad jump 122"  124" 

Both Shipley and Cook were thought of as "complementary" backs coming out of college, because neither player possesses ideal size, though Cook carried the ball 237 times for 1122 yards and caught 44 passes for 445 yards for the Bills in 2023.

Next up: WR Ainias Smith.

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