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Ezekiel Elliott Scouting Report, RB, Ohio State, 2016 NFL Draft

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The best running back in the class and a special talent ready to make his mark in the NFL.

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Introduction

Hometown: Alton, Illinois
High School: Ladue Burroughs
Recruitment: 4-Star Recruit by ESPN, 4-Star recruit by Rivals
Injuries/Discipline: Nothing notable

Awards

Graham-George Offensive Player of the Year (2015)
Ameche-Dayne Running Back of the Year (2015)
Unanimous First Team All-Big Ten (2015)
James E. Sullivan Award (2015)
CFP National Champion (2015)
CFP National Championship Offensive MVP (2015)
Sugar Bowl Champion (2015)
Sugar Bowl Offensive MVP (2015)
Big Ten Champion (2014)

Measurables

Height: 6'0"
Weight: 225
Class: Junior
Projected 40 Time: 4.42

Stats

2015: 289 attempts, 1821 yards, 6.3 average, 23 TD's. 27 receptions, 206 yards, 7.6 average, 0 TD's
2014: 273 attempts, 1878 yards, 6.9 average, 18 TD's. 28 receptions, 220 yards, 7.9 0 TD's.
2013: 30 attempts, 262 yards, 8.7 average, 2 TD's. 3 receptions, 23 yards, 7.7 average, 1 TD

Positives

• Perfect size for a running back.
• Good speed and quickness.
• Plays with balance and patience
• Plays with good pad level
• Excellent feet.
• Excellent change of direction ability.
• Runs physical, fights for extra yards.
• Patient to allow blocks to develop
• Excellent awareness and instincts
• Vision is exceptional, always finds the right lane.
• Bounces off tacklers without losing momentum.
• Excelled even with extra attention given to him by defences.
• Performs on the big stage, multiple Bowl game MVP awards.
• Plays with a lot of passion.
• Never takes a play off.
• Runs inside and outside without any hesitation
• Doesn't put the ball on the ground. 3 lost fumbles total in 3 years.

Negatives

• Needs to improve his receiving ability
• Criticised coaches during the season.

Conclusion

I find it very hard to pick negatives with Ezekiel Elliott, he is a complete back, capable of doing absolutely everything to an elite level. He's a special talent who should be a top 15 selection when the NFL draft comes along, and whoever drafts him will get one hell of a player.

Before I started to evaluate Elliott, I knew he was a good player, I didn't know just how good he was until I started watching the tape. His footwork is unbelievably good, there is no wasted motion. He makes crisp cuts and then explodes. His understanding of leverage and how to ensure that tacklers don't get a clean shot at him will ensure extra yardage at any level.

Teams designed game plans to stop him and he still excelled. He's been highly productive because he works harder and trains harder than his peers. He's a highly passionate player who leaves it all out on the field. Unfortunately that did get him into hot water this year with his comments following the Ohio State loss to Michigan. We know that what he said was accurate, but you just can't do it, not at the high school level, not at the college level and certainly not at the NFL level.

He is well respected by everyone within the Ohio State program. He performs in the biggest spots. Including 220 yards in the Big Ten Championship game against Wisconsin. Then 230 yards in the Sugar Bowl against Alabama and finally 246 yards in the National Championship game against Oregon. That was 2014, in the 2015 Fiesta Bowl against Notre Dame, he ran for 149 yards and 4 TD's.

I love Elliott; I think he is an elite talent who will become one of the best running backs in the NFL. If he was there at #20, I would run that selection up to the podium.However I think when all is said and done, he'll go in the top 10.

Draft Grade:  97

90-100 = Exceptional Talent

80-90 = Impact Player

70-80 = NFL Starter

60-70 = Solid NFL Potential

50-60 = Draftable - Lot of work needed

>50 = Undraftable, - Long Shot To Stick