Running back #15
Junior 5’11” 225
- He’s a home run waiting to happen
- Good vision
- Good speed
- Solid balance
- Has the shiftiness to get back to the line. Not a lot of negative plays despite defensive penetration.
- Simply a hard runner who wants yards
- Blocks like a fullback
Ezekiel Elliott is a stud. There’s no other way to put it. He will be the first runningback to hear his name in this draft. Every play, even when he doesn’t get the ball, he is effective. Elliott is a bigger back than what he originally appears. He possesses a lot of power and physicality. He isn’t afraid to initiate a hit when he believes that is the best way to gain extra yardage. He also has the ability to make a cut.
As far as lining up around formations, he was primarily in the backfield next to the quarterback out of the shotgun.He lined up in some slot (mainly out of a bunch) and Z receiver but was used primarily as a decoy in those formations as he often faked a bubble screen or a flare route. I think he could be effective lining up other places on the field due to his ability and willingness to run routes hard even when he isn’t expecting the ball.
One of the two knocks I could come up with about Elliott was that I’d like to see him line up in some single back formations.
The other issue was that he muffed a punt in the first game this past season against Virginia Tech. He returned and fielded the next punt. I don’t see him returning kicks in the NFL so I don’t think this is a true issue.
Even though he appears to be a guy who wants the ball in his hand, he has a high willingness to block. Blocks by Elliott caused a lot of the big run plays by Ohio State quarterbacks.
Round Value: 1
If your team wants to take a back in the first round, they’re taking Elliott.