The Bucs should draft the best player available come Thursday night. And the flat-out best player is Ohio State Running Back Ezekiel Elliott . The Bucs should draft him. Really.
Yeah, yeah, they resigned Doug Martin this offseason and gave him $15 million guaranteed. Bucs fans will grumble that there are other needs on the team. And that’s the question: Do you draft the best player on the board or do you reach for a need? The Bucs aren’t one player away from the Super Bowl. Three years from now will you remember what the Bucs needs were going into the 2016 Draft? Nope. But you will know that you might have the best running back in football on your team.
The love for Zeke Elliott has been rampant and with good reason. If there was Tinder for NFL running backs Elliott would be the hot girl we would swipe right on even though we would know she wouldn’t love us back. SCREW IT, SWIPE ANYWAY! A lot has been made over the years about how the running back position has been devalued. If you look at the top four rushers in the NFL last year (Adrian Peterson, Doug Martin, Todd Gurley and Darren McFadden) they were all first-round draft picks.
The best way to take care of a young quarterback is with a running game. You know Jameis is feeling Zeke. Also, How do you assist a defense that might have a hole or two? With a top running game. Remember back in 2008 when the Panthers had DeAngelo Williams and then drafted Jonathan Stewart in the first round? That year DeAngelo rushed for 1515 YARDS and 18 TDS while Stewart had 836 and 10. Both guys are still in the NFL. The two-headed monster might have prolonged both of their careers.
Here is the some of the gushing over Zeke Elliott:
At 6-foot, 224 pounds and 6-foot, 225 pounds, respectively, David Johnson and Elliott are both bigger backs with the strength to pick up yards after contact and the speed to rip off chunks of yards - Steve Muench ESPN
Todd Gurley proved that rare talents at running back can still warrant a top selection, and Elliott is the one runner in this year's class worthy of a first-round pick. His rare blend of vision, burst, patience and power should allow him to make an instant impact at the next level, especially if he goes to a team with a strong group of blockers up front. He may not go top-10, but Elliott is worth a top-15 pick, regardless of any loss of value the running back position may have experienced in recent years. – Luke Easterling BucsBlitz.com
A true three-down back, Elliott runs with authority and plays with great patience and vision, showing natural (and underrated) pass-catching skills. – Todd McShay ESPN
It was hard to find weaknesses for Adrian Peterson coming out and it's hard to find weaknesses for Elliott- An AFC Running Backs Coach
I think he might be the best overall player in the whole draft. I don't think I'm overstating that. I think his tape shows that."- Brian Baldinger
You get in trouble trying to fill “needs” in the draft. Just take a look at the Darrelle Revis trade or the Mark Barron pick. You can never have too many “talented” players on a team. TAMPA BAY should add an elite building block with their 9thpick and take Elliott. Swipe right, Bucs.
Share your opinion with us on twitter...@TBBucsonScout
Listen to our latest podcast here: