Cowboys 2016 NFL Draft: Scouting Ezekiel Elliott
In this series, we look at a potential prospects that the Dallas Cowboys could select fourth overall. Today, it’s Ohio State running back Ezekiel Elliott.
As the highlight of the 2016 NFL offseason draws near, the Dallas Cowboys are picking in prime position with the fourth overall pick. We look at the top prospects in the draft, and how they would fit in Dallas.
Ohio State running back Ezekiel Elliott has been a star for the last two years of his collegiate career. He is without a doubt the most well-known name at the top of this year’s NFL draft, and with good reason. Combining for 41 touchdowns in the last two seasons, to go with 3,700 yards on 6.5 yards per carry, he has been by far the best running back in college football and that has led to being the best running back in this draft.
Unlike another Ohio State standout, Elliott is certainly worth the hype he garners as a potential top-10 draft pick. Where Elliott excels in the run game is his vision as a ball carrier. When running between the tackles, he very rarely hits the wrong hole or makes a bad read, and does a good job keeping his eyes up field. Combine this with his ability to break tackles, and you have a running back that can turn nothing into something.
Another component of Elliott’s game I am a fan of is his use of ball carrier moves. Many college running backs like to try to utilize fancy footwork far too often, leading to them leaving potential yards on the field. Elliott utilizes his juke and spin moves appropriately and when he does, it leaves defenders on skates. At 6ft and 225lbs, Elliott is a force to bring down, often carrying defenders with him, as seen below.
Elliott is also an above average pass blocker; with good technique and a willingness to take on edge rushers one on one. He is also a very solid receiver out of the backfield, which is an underrated quality of his. These two, along with his skills as a runner, make Elliott as complete a running back as you’ll find coming out of college.
The obvious fit is that the Cowboys have one of the most talented offensive lines in football, and could pave the way to a big career for Elliott. There are concerns about how he would adjust to more traditional offense compared to the shotgun-heavy Ohio State playbook, but that should be a smooth transition.
t would no doubt be a fantastic player for the Cowboys, but is he worth pick number four? Teams can historically find running back talent deeper in the draft, and the Cowboys may decide to use this pick to add a piece to their defense, or even draft a quarterback for the future. One thing is for certain, if the team decides to address the running back position early, Elliott will make an impact on this team.
Next: Pass Rushers: The Dallas Cowboys Wanted List
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