Ezekiel Elliott   RB   Ohio St

STRENGTHS
Ezekiel reminds me of Texans’ RB Arian Forster. He has the same ability to burst laterally making players miss as well as having the upper and lower body strength to break tackles once he gets past the line of scrimmage. He is an excellent blocker, picking up blitzing linebackers as well as any back in the NFL much less at the college level. Ezekiel has excellent hands and can catch the ball down the field like a wide receiver. These talents make Ezekiel the type of back who can stay on the field for all three downs and is a weapon for all three downs. He is a proud running back who wants the ball at important times of a game. His size and speed makes him the type of runner who can break the big play on any down. Ezekiel runs hard through the tackles and can make that yard ALL BY HIMSELF on third down when everyone in the stadium knows he is going to run the ball. He is a potential franchise back that can make an impact like Arian Foster has for the Texans.

CONCERNS
Are there any off field character issues to be concerned about? I don’t think so, but others may think differently. Of course fumbling is always a concern at the next level and injuries but truthfully, I’m nit-picking at this point of the profile.

TALENT BOARD ROUND: 1
There is this belief that you can get a running back in any round or even in free agency. I think there are exceptions to every rule and or belief. In the 2009 draft, Arian Foster was undrafted and so were a lot of excellent running backs -- then again, there are a ton of running backs in the hall of fame that were selected in the first round also. Those running backs were passed over by a lot of GM’s and coaches who have lost their jobs over poor draft classes because they believed they could find an impact running back in any round. The facts are Ezekiel has 1st round talent and if your team NEEDS a running back and passes over selecting him because you believe you can select a better running back with less potential later in the draft, all I can say is, “Shame on you” and the fans will be seeing you on the TV announcing the games in a year or two. I have 25 rules to draft by and I do not consider any of them set in cement. You can’t build a consistent winning team without a THREAT at the running position. On every down and distance, you need the defense to know and think that the running back is a threat to make that first down either running or catching the ball out of the backfield. Ezekiel gives you that threat the day after you select him on every down and distance because he can run the ball through the tackles as well as outside the tackles. He also can block against the blitz and can catch the ball down the field. So draft him in whatever round you want, but if I needed a running back to go along with my young developing quarterback, like the Colts, Raiders, Titans or Redskins, I don’t pass on him in the first round then pray I can select him later in the draft. So go ahead, roll the dice and pass on Ezekiel in the first round, I dare you -- but if you do, I bet you’ll be announcing the games instead of drafting talent in just a few years. I just hope you do that job better.

Drew Boylhart  JAN.2016