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Ezekiel Elliott: Versatility is what sets me apart

GLENDALE, AZ - JANUARY 01:  Running back Ezekiel Elliott #15 of the Ohio State Buckeyes during the BattleFrog Fiesta Bowl against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish at University of Phoenix Stadium on January 1, 2016 in Glendale, Arizona. The Buckeyes defeated the Fighting Irish 44-28.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) Getty Images

After a couple of years out of the first round, running backs made a pair of appearances in 2015 when Todd Gurley and Melvin Gordon both came off the board in the first 15 picks.

It looks like there’s a good chance that running backs will continue to be represented in the first round of this year’s draft. Ohio State’s Ezekiel Elliott ran for 3,699 yards and 41 touchdowns over the last two seasons and is generally regarded as both the draft’s top back and a likely selection somewhere in the first 20 picks of the first round.

Elliott says that the reasons why he should make good on those projections go beyond what he does when looking for a hole created by his offensive line.

“I think the thing that sets me apart is just my versatility,” Elliott said, via ESPN.com. “I’m a guy that can play three downs. You don’t have to take me off the field. I value blocking more than anything. I obviously love to run the ball, and I think I have great hands out of the backfield.”

Elliott felt that versatility was not put to the proper use during a loss to Michigan State last season and didn’t hold back from a public criticism of Ohio State’s coaches after the game. He expects to hear questions from teams about it and calls it a “great learning moment,” but believes what “teams want is a competitor” and that his outburst was a byproduct of his competitiveness.

It didn’t seem to bother the Buckeyes, who rode Elliott hard in two wins to end their season, and it probably won’t do much to hurt Elliott come draft day.

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18 Responses to “Ezekiel Elliott: Versatility is what sets me apart”
  1. tylereifertisunstoppable says: Feb 26, 2016 8:24 AM

    This guy will be a great pro. One of my favorite Buckeyes of all time. Amazing player, great teammate. Good luck to you Zeke, just really hoping you don’t land in the AFC North, unless it’s Cincy!

  2. contract says: Feb 26, 2016 8:34 AM

    What moron would draft this guy in the 1st round after he publicly turned on his head coach? He’s immature, entitled, and selfish.

  3. bucks4ever13 says: Feb 26, 2016 8:44 AM

    He’s a great college back who could literally do everything a RB would be asked to do. He blocked like his life depended on it. I hope his game translates well and he lands in a spot that will use him appropriately. Maybe not the highest ceiling but he should be a damn good NFL back. Best of luck Zeke.

  4. orivar says: Feb 26, 2016 8:44 AM

    He’ll probably have a short season too.

  5. vottorific says: Feb 26, 2016 8:49 AM

    Stud!

  6. jacind22 says: Feb 26, 2016 8:50 AM

    If Dallas drafts him they would take back the league.

  7. imsomeguy says: Feb 26, 2016 8:56 AM

    I think he will be an impact player right away, but how high is too high for a team to take him will be the draft question.

  8. suhmonster90 says: Feb 26, 2016 9:00 AM

    Wanted him since last year when he practically won a championship by himself. The Lions have other needs but if he is on their radar I would not complain at all

  9. jerry944 says: Feb 26, 2016 9:01 AM

    I say if u need a back then take him..#4 is 10 picks too early they say..but he would be perfect in dallas

  10. igornathanhiggers says: Feb 26, 2016 9:01 AM

    Which ever team drafts this kid…make sure you make him sit the 1st year and develop.

    Teams are just throwing these young kids into the frying pan.

    Signed,
    Clueless GM making excuses for when his picks don’t work out.

  11. tylereifertisunstoppable says: Feb 26, 2016 9:32 AM

    Zeke will not be sitting his first year. More like offensive rookie of the year. That comment is laughable.

  12. mazenblue says: Feb 26, 2016 9:52 AM

    Good, selfish player. A lot of them guys floating around the NFL.

  13. tylereifertisunstoppable says: Feb 26, 2016 10:10 AM

    mazenblue says:
    Feb 26, 2016 9:52 AM

    Good, selfish player. A lot of them guys floating around the NFL.

    ——-

    Yeah, watch this guy block all game long and call him selfish. Here’s why you don’t like him – 47 carries for 335 yards and four touchdowns, 2-0 as the starting running back vs. UM

  14. vottorific says: Feb 26, 2016 10:12 AM

    Of course. Coming from a Meechigan fan.

  15. ee00ee says: Feb 26, 2016 10:56 AM

    In what reality wont that effect his draft position? You can bet he’s been taken off some boards simply for calling out the coaches alone despite how talented he is. He’s got holdout written all over him for his last year of rooke contract unless “I get paid what Im worth”. They’ll get 3-4 good years out of him prior though.

  16. thraiderskin says: Feb 26, 2016 11:09 AM

    He’s the best pass blocking RB in the NFL and he hasn’t even been drafted yet.

  17. hahalolrofl says: Feb 26, 2016 12:24 PM

    cam newton mentality. great for winning against chump teams, but when you face adversity, you fold up and become a baby.

  18. steelerben says: Feb 26, 2016 1:29 PM

    It is hard to say which team in the top 20 could afford to ignore the holes in their roster and take a luxury like a running back in the first round.

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