Position: Running Back
Weight: 225 pounds
School: Ohio State Buckeyes
Combine Performance Data
40-yard dash: 4.47 seconds
Vertical jump: 32.5 inches
Broad jump: 9 feet, 10 inches
Ezekiel Elliott 2016 NFL Draft Profile
Few players at Elliott’s position will be bringing as much hype as he is heading into this year’s draft. The St. Louis, MO native burst onto the scene late last season and was an integral part of Ohio State’s national championship run. In the Buckeyes’ final three games, Elliott averaged 232 yards per game and added eight touchdowns. That included an 85-yard scamper late in the fourth quarter against Alabama in the inaugural College Football Playoff semifinals. A little more than a week later, he scored the final three touchdowns in the national championship game against Oregon in a 42-20 victory that gave OSU its first national title in 12 years.
Elliott came into 2015 as a bona fide Heisman Trophy candidate and picked up right where he left off from the previous year. Despite the fact the Buckeyes were unsuccessful in their quest to repeat as national champions, Elliott would finish as the nation’s sixth-leading rusher. He also ended up finishing his collegiate career gaining 100 or more yards on the ground in 17 of his final 18 games, including 15 in a row at one point. In his final two games against archrival Michigan and Notre Dame in the Fiesta Bowl, Elliott combined for 57 carries, 363 yards and six touchdowns.
- Decisive, north-south runner who hits the gaps with tremendous speed and authority.
- Exceptional vision with ability to anticipate holes created by blockers upfront.
- Tough, physical running style which makes him tough to bring down after first contact.
- According to Pro Football Focus, didn’t allow a sack, hit or quarterback hurry in any pass blocking situation in 2015.
- Almost impossible to arm tackle.
- Phenomenal lateral movement which helps him greatly when breaking into second and third level.
- Prodigious work ethic.
- Turns in standout performances on big stages.
- Potential instant impact at next level.
- Has tendency to take too much contact; could be an issue in a more physical NFL.
- Had a high workload in college; can he maintain it in pros?
- Though read option scheme is becoming more prevalent at next level, he could have to adjust to more pro-style system.
- Might need to improve pass-catching ability; didn’t have a single receiving touchdown last two seasons.
- Lost just four games at Ohio State; can he handle adversity if he goes to a rebuilding team?
- Openly criticized coaching staff about perceived lack of reps after Michigan State loss last season.
NFL Comparison: Fred Taylor
Teams with needs at the position: Houston Texans, Washington Redskins, Tennessee Titans, New York Giants, Oakland Raiders
Projection: Mid-to-late first round
It’s almost impossible to find a more NFL-ready back in this year’s draft class than Elliott. According to an NFL.com report, a certain AFC executive considers him to be a “no risk, high reward” prospect. He’s blessed with a potent combination of size, shiftiness and athleticism. Combine that with his immense competitive streak and you have a player who could become an immediate contributor to whoever drafts him. Expect his name to be called on day one.