Former Ohio State running back Ezekiel Elliott is one of the most intriguing names in this year’s NFL Draft class, and speculation has been abound as to whether the Dallas Cowboys will use their No. 4 pick to select him.
And if one were to ask NFL Media analyst and 13-year NFL veteran Brian Baldinger, who recently appeared on NFL Network, the Cowboys should definitely take Elliott at No. 4.
“I think he might be the best overall player in the whole draft. I don’t think I’m overstating that. I think his tape shows that,” Baldinger said “(I thought) When (Dallas) could not figure out a way to keep DeMarco Murray last year, that this team was going to go down, and they did. They went from 12-4 to 4-12. A lot of things happened, however, I think with that offensive line and the way they want to play football — nothing against what (Darren) McFadden did (last) year, but we know his injury history — they need a stud at that position. I think what their offensive success is predicated on.”
And Elliott certainly is a stud of a running back. He can run east-west just as well as he runs north-south and is incredibly fast. In three years at Ohio State, he had 3,961 rush yards and 43 touchdowns while also figuring in the passing game often.
But as the Cleveland Browns learned the hard way in drafting Trent Richardson at No. 3, taking a running back so high is either a risk or a reach, if not both. Elliott has been impressive to the point where NFL.com’s mock drafts have him going anywhere from No. 4 to No. 8, but running back has become so deep a position that taking one in the first round isn’t an absolute necessity.
Still, Ezekiel Elliott is a unique kind of talent and barring a major drop in his stock over the next month, he’s surely going to wind up being a Top 15 pick in April, if not better than that.
*Featured Photo (above) credit to USA TODAY Sports