Not only did Ezekiel Elliott run Ohio State to a National Championship last season, he also ran himself into the national spotlight. After an illustrious career in Columbus, Elliott has joined great company which includes Archie Griffin, Eddie George, along with recent running backs such as “Beanie” Wells and Carlos Hyde. He finished his career as the 2nd leading rusher in school history.
Following Ohio State’s disappointing home loss to Michigan State this past season, he announced he would forego his senior season and enter the NFL Draft.
Name: Ezekiel Elliott
College: Ohio State
Projection: First round
Comparison: Arian Foster
- Complete back
- 2nd effort
- Stiff arm
- In-between the tackles
- One-cut ability
- Making defenders miss/elusiveness
- Breakaway speed
- Doesn’t hit the hole with speed
Entering the season, the sky was the limit for Ezekiel Elliott. It looked like he had everything you needed in a running back, some even projected him as a top 10 pick in this year’s class. He surely hasn’t disappointed in 2015 with yet another productive season for the Buckeyes.
Elliott has all the tools that make him a complete back. He has great power to go along with his speed. His pass protection has improved this year which was a big concern entering the season. His receiving numbers have dipped, but he still offers a solid receiver out of the backfield, although his route running needs improvement.
While he runs in the 4.4s, I don’t think that speed translates onto the field. He definitely has good speed for a player his size, but he doesn’t look that fast. Elliott hits the hole with minimal speed, although he makes up for it with his burst. He can break off big runs but he lacks prototypical breakaway speed you’d like to see. I like him much better as an in-between the tackles type runner, but he can run it outside as well.
The trait you don’t see in most running backs is patience. Elliott has tremendous patience and waits for a hole to open up. His patience and vision make for a great combination. If he does get stopped in the backfield, his power, strength and 2nd effort ability can get him at least out of negative yardage. While he has great power and carry the pile, he lacks elusiveness and has trouble making defenders miss.
After a great career at Ohio State, Elliott will find himself being picked in the first round – ending the “no RB in first round” trend. Speaking of first round RBs, I don’t think he will be quite on the level of a Todd Gurley, but Elliott should have a good, long career in the NFL and make an immediate impact. Elliott reminds me a lot like former Buckeye, Carlos Hyde due to their combination of power and speed along with their great frames for the position.