Early mock drafts with both Yahoo and ESPN leagues have Ezekiel Elliot with an ADP of between 8-10. Granted, it’s early and we have to see how the pre-season shakes up, but we think that is too high for the rookie running back. Here’s why.
First off, running backs have become increasingly inconsistent and injury prone in recent years. Look at the running backs drafted in the first round last year. Other than Adrian Peterson, almost all of them disappointed. I’m talking to you LeVeon Bell (suspended, then hurt), Jamaal Charles (hurt, as always), Eddie Lacy (fat), Marshawn Lynch (injured and uninterested). Zeke was not prone to injuries in college, but that was college. If Dallas plans on running him as much as they say they will, then he’s going to take a beating and chances are good that he may get injured.
Secondly, Dallas is not that good. Granted, a healthy Romo and Dez Bryant should help the offense and keep defenses from stacking the box against the run, but how much faith do you have in that collar bone of the Cowboy’s gunslinger? It’s very possible Romo may have a tough year, which would mean that Dez will check out mentally and then all of the sudden, teams are back to stacking the box against a one-dimensional run offense. I don’t care how good your offensive line is, it’s hard to run when the other guys know it’s coming.
Lastly, he’s a rookie. He could be amazing. He could fall on his face. You just never know what guys are going to do in their first year.
For us, a first round draft pick is a big risk to take on Zeke. The reward could be huge, but we’d rather wait and watch him for a year to get a better gauge on what kind of NFL runner he will be. A safer bet at the end of the first round would be a high end WR like DeAndre Hopkins or a running back with more experience like Todd Gurley, Peterson or David Johnson.