2016 NFL Draft – Ezekiel Elliott Scouting Report

Dalbin Osorio with a scouting report on Ohio State running back Ezekiel Elliot

For today’s scouting report, Dalbin Osorio breaks down Ohio State running back Ezekiel Elliot. Should the New York Jets take him with the 20th overall pick?

Player Card
Height: 6 foot
Weight: 225 pounds
Stats: 592 carries, 3,961 rushing yards, 43 rushing TDs, 58 receptions, 449 yards, 1 receiving TD

Strengths
A true three down back who will transition seamlessly into this NFL. He can pass protect, is an explosive runner, and is a weapon as a pass catcher out of the backfield. Zeke displays good vision with the ball in his hands, and is a strong one cut runner. He doesn’t dance behind the line of scrimmage, and this is a trait that will serve him well in the NFL. Elliot keeps his legs churning. He displays a motivation to hit holes, whereas you usually see different backs want to hesitate behind the line.  At 6 foot and 225 pounds, he is a little smaller than Todd Gurley (the last RB I felt okay with being taken in round one) so you do wonder about Zeke’s ability to take the punishment of the NFL. Ivory has struggled with nagging injuries, and you wonder if Elliott will be able to withstand that kind of every down running back beating. He is one of only two running backs in this draft that doesn’t have to come off the field on third downs. In this NFL, that is a vital component because it gives your roster flexibility.

Weaknesses
As a pass catcher, he does have lapses in concentration at times but is dynamic otherwise. He could get a little better as a pass protector as well, because he does have the tendency to get pushed back at times fairly easily for a back his size. He also threw his coaches under the bus after a loss this past season. There will be questions about that in the pre-draft process.

How Does He Fit With Jets
He would instantly be the team’s number one running back unless Chris Ivory was brought back. He can catch, pass protect, run between the tackles, and is a nightmare in space. Bilal Powell and Elliot compliment each other well. An interesting, and not often talked about scenario, is what if the Jets choose to re-sign Chris Ivory and draft Elliott? He would then replace Powell as the third down and spell back for Ivory. He’d be a great insurance policy to have for Ivory, and he’d fit in seamlessly into packages that only belonged to Ivory last year. He’d also give the Jets a built in replacement for Ivory when his next contract expires or if he becomes ineffective and the Jets choose to move on. Whereas Ivory did struggle at times to run behind the Jets offensive line due to his at times too impatient nature, Elliott doesn’t display the same issues. He would also allow the Jets to only have to carry two running backs on game day, giving them more flexibility.

Highest Draft Spot: 10 to the New York Giants
Lowest Draft spot: 22 to the Houston Texans
Big Board Ranking: 30/100 (Last Week: N/A)

Photo Credit: Buckeyes Dispatch

Author: Dalbin Osorio

Dalbin Osorio is a Case Planner for Graham-Windham, New York's oldest child welfare agency. He is, also, a student at the Silberman School of Social Work at Hunter College. Dalbin graduated from Monroe College with a degree in Business Administration. A 3 sport utility man in high school (think a mix of Jerome WIlliams, Brad Smith, and Jayson Nix), he joined TOJ in 2013.