By Charlie Campbell
Summary: It took some time to break into the lineup, but Elflein eventually turned into a big contributor for the Buckeyes. A foot injury cost him the entire 2012 season, for which he took a redshirt. Elflein was a backup for Ohio State the following season, but as a sophomore, Elflein became the starter at right guard and had an impressive debut. He helped open a lot of holes for Ezekiel Elliott, and the running game was critical during the Buckeyes’ National Championship run in 2014. As a junior and senior, Elflein blocked well as a steady contributor for Ohio State.
As a power run blocker, Elflein is at his best. He has a strong upper body that he uses to get a push at the point of attack. Constantly, Elflein would fire out of his stance and push defensive tackles out of their gaps to open a hole for his running back. Elflein seals lanes by getting on the hip of the defender, and defensive linemen have a really hard time holding their gaps when Elflein locks onto them. He plays with excellent leverage to lean on and push his defender.
Elflein blocks through the whistle and has an aggressive demeanor. He is a quality blocker in short-yardage situations to get a push at the point of attack though. While Elflein isn’t bad at pulling, he isn’t that quick at looping around the line. The same goes for getting to the second level. He does it, but he isn’t a fast offensive lineman. That weakness will get exposed more in the NFL. Elflein is at his most effective in downhill runs straight up the middle. He’s just an average athlete with average arms who lacks length and is not very quick. Elflein wouldn’t be a great fit in a zone-blocking system and is definitely a better fit for a power-man scheme.
Elflein is reliable and solid in pass protection. He sustains his blocks well and has the strong base to anchor against bull rushers. Elflein shows some intelligence to help out his teammates when teams don’t send a rusher against him. A challenge for him will be the speed rushers of the NFL.
Elflein could be a mid-round pick in 2017 NFL Draft. He has a shot at going in the third round, but sliding well into Day 3 is possible as well.
Player Comparison: Russell Bodine. Bodine (6-3, 308) earned a starting job for Cincinnati, but has had some ups and downs in the NFL because of limitations in his skill set. I could see Elflein having some similar issues. They are also nearly identical in size. Bodine was a fourth-round pick in the 2014 NFL Draft, and Elflein could go in the same range in 2017.
NFL Matches: Minnesota, Denver, Seattle, Cincinnati and Washington
There are a number of teams that could consider looking to get younger and more talented on the interior of their offensive line. The Vikings’ offensive line was a crushing weakness in 2016. Minnesota signed some offensive tackles, but could easily look to get younger and more talented up front. The organization also has two third-round picks, so it could decide Elflein is good fit.
The Broncos have Matt Paradis could have going into restricted free agency next year. They could draft Elflein and play him at guard, which would give them an option at center if Paradis isn’t signed to a long-term deal.
The Seahawks have to improve their offensive line this offseason. If they draft Elflein to be their center, they could move Justin Britt to guard and improve their line at a couple of spots.
Cincinnati could use an upgrade over Russell Bodine at center, and Elflein could play quickly. The Redskins could give consideration to Elflein following Kory Lichtensteiger retiring. If Washington drafts Elflein, Spencer Long could be moved back to guard.
2017 NFL Mock Draft: Charlie’s | Walt’s
2017 NFL Draft Prospect Rankings
2017 NFL Draft Scouting Reports
NFL Power Rankings - Feb. 22
2024 NFL Mock Draft - Feb. 21
Fantasy Football Rankings - Feb. 19
NFL Picks - Feb. 12