PFF scouting report: Ezekiel Elliott, RB, Ohio State
Here is the PFF draft profile for Ohio State’s Ezekiel Elliot, which incorporates PFF’s college grades and scouting intel from our team of analysts. To see all of PFF’s 2016 scouting reports, click here.
Bell-cow running back from day one.
Stat to know:
Allowed one solitary sack (and no more pressure) from 108 pass-blocking snaps.
What he does best:
• Blocks better than any back in this class. Highest PFF blocking grade of any RB in the nation this year. As both a pass-blocker and run blocker (not to mention screens), Elliott does the dirty work that goes largely unnoticed until somebody fails with his assignment—he rarely fails on his.
• Solid receiver out of the backfield; caught 92.9 percent of the passes thrown his way in 2015.
• Is a monster after contact. One of only two running backs in the class to gain over 1,000 yards after contact this season, and had 105 fewer carries than the other (Derrick Henry).
• May be the most well-rounded running back to come out in years. Highest overall grade of all backs in the class.
• Has the skills that often takes time for young backs to learn, keeping them off the field early in their NFL careers. Team can entrust passing downs and protection of their QB to Elliott.
• He isn’t Adrian Peterson (or even Todd Gurley) purely as a runner. In extreme nitpicking terms, Elliott doesn’t have the blinding athleticism and cuts of the best runners in the NFL, and may not go the distance when a big enough hole opens up.
• Has been productive when called upon, but was not used heavily as a receiver at Ohio State. Remains a minor question mark.
• Questions about his speed were largely answered at the combine, where he posted a time of 4.47 in the 40-yard dash.
In years gone by—when running back was one of the league’s most important positions—Ezekiel Elliott would be seen as one of the marquee names in the draft. Now, with most backfield jobs held by committee, he may slip in the draft because he doesn’t have the most spectacular pure-running skills. Make no mistake though, Elliott is one of the best available players in this draft, and can step in and carry an offense from day one.