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Could Ezekiel Elliott be the answer in the Titans' backfield?

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The Ohio State star is one of the most complete backs you'll see.

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Position: Running back

School: Ohio State (Junior)

Size: 6-0, 225

Production: 1,800 yards in each of his last two seasons, 41 total touchdowns.

Positives

  • Excellent build -- thick with a low center a gravity.
  • Always runs with great pad level.  Regularly gets those extra 2-3 yards because of his forward lean.
  • Aggressive and nasty pass blocker; sometimes out of control, but you can tell he takes pride in this area. That's something NFL coaches are going to love.
  • Good vision, creative in space.
  • Outstanding strength in his lower body. Shows ability to run through arm tackles and maintain balance.
  • Legs are always churning, maximizing every play.
  • Excellent feet and agility. Able to change direction with ease.

Negatives

  • Doesn't have a great burst, more of a gliding runner.
  • Lacks some top end speed.
  • Limited work as a pass catcher, will have to prove himself in this area.
Examples

Here's a good look at Zeke getting every ounce out of a run.  Watch the legs.  He never stops churning and ends up carrying a defender ten yards. This is commonplace for Elliott.


I notice two things here.  Watch the pad level as he gets through the alley.  He stays low and balanced and is ready for contact.  Second, watch his left arm come in and protect the ball right before contact.  Elliott only fumbled four times during his career at Ohio State.


This next play shows off some of Elliott's open field ability.  He's able to make a guy miss then run through two more defenders on his way to the endzone.

Overview

Elliott just does a little bit of everything.  He can make you miss or run right through you.  His lower body strength and constant leg churn will allow him tons of success in the NFL.  He's relentless in nearly every aspect of the game.  The one thing he lacks is a touch of explosion/burst, which is about the only concern I have with him.  I don't think anyone is close to him in this class, however. Expect Zeke to find a new home somewhere in the middle of the first round.

If the Titans were to trade down, I would think Elliott would be a guy that would interest them.  Mike Mularkey will be looking for his next Michael Turner bell-cow type and Elliott certainly fits that bill.  I would be shocked to see Elliott fall to pick 33, but if that does happen Jon Robinson must pounce.

Round grade: First round

Projected draft slot: Mid-first