NFl Draft: Ohio State's Ezekiel Elliott Is Off The Board

After three years with the Buckeyes Ezekiel Elliott left Ohio State as the second all-time leading rusher in program history. Now the running back has been selected in the first round, going to the Dallas Cowboys.

RB Ezekiel Elliott: Drafted

Round 1, Pick 4

Team: Dallas Cowboys

Bio Info
St. Louis Burroughs School
4.47 40
31 1/4-inch arm length
10 1/4-inch hands

Scout Pre-Draft Rankings
Five-star prospect
No. 1 running back in the draft
No. 8 overall prospect

Ohio State Career: Elliott arrived at Ohio State as a four-star prospect out of St. Louis in the 2013 recruiting class and showed flashes of brilliance in his first year on campus. Though he was stuck behind eventual second-round draft pick Carlos Hyde, Elliott appeared in 11 games and gained 262 yards on 30 carries, an impressive 9.7 yards-per-carry average. It was all a precursor to a two-year run of dominance. 

Despite nursing a left wrist injury for the entire season, Elliott emerged as one of the best running backs in the country as a sophomore in 2014. After a slow start he cleared 100 yards rushing in his final nine games, including a 696 yards and eight touchdowns in three postseason games as he led the Buckeyes to the 2014 College Football Playoff national championship. He finished the season with 1,878 rushing yards -- the second highest single-season total in school history behind Eddie George's 1,927 yards in 1995 -- and 18 touchdowns.

He rushed for a career-high 246 yards against Oregon in the national championship game, setting the Ohio State bowl-game record, and added four touchdowns in the 42-20 win to earn offensive MVP honors. Elliott added 220 receiving yards to post 2,098 all-purpose yards in 15 games as a sophomore.

Elliott followed up his historic sophomore season with an equally impressive junior season. He cleared 1,800 rushing yards for the second straight season, finishing with 1,821 yards on the ground with 23 touchdowns in just 13 games. As valuable a pass-blocker as he was a runner, Elliott was consistently praised by coaches and teammates for that skill. He was a Associated Press and FWAA second-team All-American as a junior and became the 18th Buckeye to win the Chicago Tribune's Silver Football Award given to the Big Ten's Most Valuable Player.

The running back finished his three-year career with two of the three most prolific rushing seasons in Ohio State history and his 3,961 career rushing yards are the second-most in program history, trailing only Archie Griffin and his 5,589 rushing yards.

Expert Breakdown: “The first thing you notice about him is he never comes off the field. He’s one of those guys whose game translates well into NFL circles because of his ability not only to run the ball but also as an outstanding catcher. He can run the receiver tree of routes as far as I’ve seen, so that gives him a huge advantage right there. He also takes pride in his run blocking. In this day and age, people talk about backs by committee but give me the guy who can stay on the field. Those are the types of guys you need.” – Bryan Broaddus, former NFL scout

Elliott says: “I think the thing that sets me apart is my versatility. 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. Blocking is another thing that running backs aren't really willing to do. I really made it important to me to become very good at.”

Buckeye Sports Top Stories