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2016 NFL Draft Watch: Part Two

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Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports

Ezekiel Elliot, Running Back, Ohio state
6’0″, 225 lbs.

Ezekiel Elliot has an even shorter list of flaws in that I don’t yet have one.  To explain how good Ezekiel Elliot is, let me first explain a few things about other recent prospects.  I had first round grades on both Todd Gurley and Melvin Gordon, and despite all the “RBs are devalued” talk, both were indeed taken in the first round.  Gurley was the highest rated running back I’d covered since I started doing this stuff formally in 2008.  Gordon I had rated much lower than Gurley, but both were very good prospects with few flaws that could take a team over the top if they landed in the right spot.

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Ezekiel Elliot doesn’t need the right spot. He just needs to be given the football.  Whoever he’s doing that for is going to have what they want in a running back, regardless of what that thing is.  You want someone who can power through defenders?  Make people miss?  Elliot has the size and power to move piles, and knows how to keep his legs churning through tackles.  You need someone to use their vision and burst to find holes, getting small to get through the little creases before using their breakaway speed to fly past the defensive secondary at the second level?  Elliot somehow has that too.  We always hear “The Best RB prospect since Peterson” whenever someone looks good, but Elliot could be on a different level than Peterson was. He is, true to the definition, a freak.

The Detroit Lions took a running back in the 2nd round of the 2015 NFL draft, but that won’t keep them from pulling the trigger on one in the 2016 draft if that RB happens to be Ezekiel Elliot and they are somehow in position to get him.  If he remains healthy, Ezekiel Elliot might be my #1 overall prospect in 2015, at any position.

Next: Taylor Decker, Ohio State