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Draft Insiders' Yearbook Scouting Report and Review of RB Ezekiel Elliott Chosen #4th overall by the Dallas Cowboys
NFL Draft Review 2016 - June 2016
The Cowboys drafted running back Ezekiel Elliott in the first round after both top QBs went off the board with the first two selections. Elliott is a terrific fit here and capable of being the biggest impact rookie in the entire class. He is a complete back and highly developed to step in immediately. With starting veteran Darren McFadden out with a dislocated elbow, Elliott gets a chance this preseason to claim the job and never look back. He gives this offense an impact runner that can lengthen Tony Romo’s career with a more balanced attack. He has the makings of an instant star in Dallas and a great selection. - Frank Coyle
Draft Insiders' Yearbook 2016 - March 2016
1. * Ezekiel Elliott #15 - 6-0, 225 - Ohio St - Sp. 4.45 Rating 92
Hindu Theory:Jamal Lewis
Explosive powerful junior is one of the most gifted backs over the past decade. His short career included several major performances on a big stage including the national title game as a freshman. Possesses an NFL body with a well-developed muscular frame with the natural ability to drop his pads and square up when attacking the line. Shows the burst to make the corner consistently and go the distance. Cutting skills of a smaller back with the power to break and bounces off tacklers. Shows natural vision and balance as a runner with the power and toughness to consistently get the most of each attempt. Reads his initial blocks very well and shows a feel for finding daylight and the speed to hit the opening and break plays. Powers through creases with authority and the speed to stick-and-go with an extreme burst out of his cuts. Shows the ability to juke and shift his weight very well, especially for a 225 lb. back. Able to string multiple moves together, including jump cuts that can leave tacklers flatfooted. Natural soft hands as a receiver out of the backfield and capable of a big play once he catches the ball. Needs route running work and is still raw in that area. Physical and willing blocker in pass protection. Rare combination of speed and power with early impact as a pro feature runner. Very strong lower body with good straight arm move and can maintain balance well after contact. Appears to effortlessly run through attempted arm tackles. His speed makes him a threat to score from anywhere on the field and he did over his career. Extremely tough to tackle from an angle. Presses line very well to set up cut-back opportunities. Able to decisively get downhill, showing fine bend and forward lean and effectively slips through small holes and explode out. Shows quick, tight footwork for a big back and gets to the second level effortlessly. Can sink his hips and explode through a tackler or burst through an opening, causing safeties to hesitate when coming downhill. Able to turn speed into power between tackles or when turning the corner. Seldom looks to go out of bounds and works to finish. Strong hands and carries ball securely close to his body. Highly developed as a receiver to be an immediate three down feature back, combining excellent hands and explosive big play ability after the catch. As a blocker, he will face up with linebackers, but needs hand technique development to be a finished complete feature back.
The Numbers: As a junior, he started the 13 games and rushed for 1821 yards on 289 carries for a 6.3 average and 23 TDs. He added 27 receptions for 206 yards that earned 1st team Big Ten honors including Offensive Player of the Year. For the 2014 season, he rushed for 1878 yards on 273 attempts for 6.9 yard average and 18 TDs. He added 28 receptions for 220 yards. As a freshman in 2013, he backed up future #2 pick Carlos Hyde. He rushed for 262 yards on just 30 carries for an 8.7 average and 2 TDs and added 3 receptions for 23 yards. Over his career, he rushed for 3961 yards on 592 attempts for a fine 6.7 average and 43 TDs plus totaled 58 receptions for 449 yards and 1 TD. At the NFL Combine, he came in at 6’ and 225 lbs. and ran a 4.45 time with a 1.58 ten yard split. He did not lift. He did a 32.5” VL and a 9’10” BJ. He was impressive in the positional drills.
The Skinny: Fast physical downhill thumper with the talent to be an immediate feature back. He can be his own blocker and runs both equally well. His receiving skills have developed nicely with reps, though he must continue to improve in that role. As a blocker, he shows quick reactions and toughness to face up with defenders and use his strong frame and agility. Natural running skills to be a difference maker and is similar to former feature back Jamal Lewis in size, running style and big play abilities. Very well rounded back and excellent early round addition with the skill set to be a rookie impact player and core weapon. Top 10 prospect with talent to be among the leagues’ best backs within a short time.
Draft Projection: 1st Round - Top Ten
Frank Coyle is a long time scout with nationwide ties with coaches, scouts and player agents. He is a long time member of the FWAA and voter in College player awards - Heisman, Outland, Nagurski, Lombardi, Thorpe, Biletnikoff etc for the past 20 years. He writes College Football Mondays weekly during the season. He is a longtime scouting consultant for the Senior Bowl, the nation’s premier postseason All-star game. He does sports radio shows for ESPN, Fox Sports and Sporting News on a year round basis related to College Football especially during the postseason team and All-star Bowl time. He has worked for CBS Sports, NBC Sports, Yahoo and Rivals sports publications and web sites