NFL Hot Press: Sources See Ezekiel Elliott as a First-Rounder

Sources See Ezekiel Elliott as a First-Rounder

Updated Sept. 17, 2015
By Charlie Campbell. Follow Charlie on Twitter @draftcampbell.

In recent years, it has been hard for running backs to grade out as first-round picks. Even talented young impact runners like the Packers’ Eddie Lacy and Bengals’ Jeremy Hill fell to the second round because the trend in the pass-driven NFL has gone away from taking running backs in the first round. That streak was broken by Todd Gurley and Melvin Gordon, and our NFL sources have told us that running backs should make it to Thursday night two years in a row, thanks to Ohio State’s Ezekiel Elliott.

Elliott was the workhorse of Ohio State’s national championship team last year and has picked up where he left off. In two games, Elliott has averaged 5.9 yards per carry for 223 yards and four touchdowns. The 6-foot-1, 225-pounder has a serious burst to the hole, is a strong runner, and happens to be very elusive. Sources say that Elliott is going to grade out as a first-rounder as long as he stays healthy and maintains his terrific level of play. They like his overall skill set and versatility.

With Ohio State fielding a lot of talent on the offensive line, in the receiving corps, and at quarterback, Elliott looks likely to stay consistent with the tear that he has been on. Check out where I have him in my mock draft.

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