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2016 NFL Draft: Cowboys select Ezekiel Elliott 4th Overall

Pick AnalysisNot every Cowboys fan will love this right now, but they will by the time the season gets under way. You can argue t


Pick Analysis

Not every Cowboys fan will love this right now, but they will by the time the season gets under way. You can argue that they have bigger needs, but when you are drafting this high, you take an impact player. Elliot is a game changing, instant impact playmaker who wins games. The Cowboys have a superb offensive line, but for all those who say anyone can run behind them, well Zeke will do it better, it’s that simple. Ramsey was still on the board, and he would have been a great choice, but Elliot is equally as talented. The Cowboys need more playmakers on offense outside of Dez Bryant. It takes the pressure off the star wide out, and off of Romo. Those who opposed this choice in the build up, often looked to Bosa as the right choice instead. The Chargers took that option out of their hands, so we’ll never know what might have happened should San Diego gone elsewhere. It would not be a surprise though if Elliott makes as big an impact as a rookie as nayone in this class in the 2016 class.

Player Analysis

The junior back finished up his fantastic Buckeyes career with 1,878 yards on 273 carries, a 6.88 yards per carry (YPC) average, and 23 touchdowns in 2015.  The production was consistently impressive, going over 100 yards in 12 of the 13 Ohio State games this season.  His only blemish being a rather forgettable performance in their costly single loss to Michigan State, with only 12 rushes for 33 yards.  What wasn’t forgettable was the unfortunate comments in the heat of the moment that followed that defeat, as Elliot called out his own coaches for bad playcalling before announcing his departure at the end of the year in a less than ideal manner.  He did respond the right way in the remaining games to close out his college career on a high note in two big time performances versus rivals Michigan, then Notre Dame in the Fiesta Bowl.  Elliot isn’t quite the unique talent Todd Gurley was out of college, but could end up being a higher pick regardless (Gurley went 10th overall).  He is as complete a back as you can get, with no flaws to his game.  Elliot has an ideal combination of size, strength and speed.  He can create both up the middle and laterally, with the ability to churn out the tough yards just as well as he can break away and take the ball the distance on long runs.  His vision and decision-making are superb, allowing him to create even when opponents are loading the box against him.  What is really impressive in particularly is the way Elliot lowers his shoulder to finish runs, initiating the contact and delivering hits himself on defenders rather than the other way around, and always seems to fall forward as he fights for extra yards.  The toughness element is never lacking.  That complete all-round ability extends to the passing game, where Elliot is very accomplished at running routes and catching out of the backfield.  Though he hasn’t had a receiving touchdown since his freshman year, his 55 receptions the past two seasons are a solid contribution, and looks very natural when he is called upon.  Elliot is not just NFL ready, but ready to step in immediately as a focal point of an offense, which should more or less guarantee being another rare back these days to be worthy of an early first round pick.

Grade A-


2016 NFL Draft: Cowboys select Ezekiel Elliott 4th Overall

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