To some, the Dallas Cowboys looked like geniuses drafting Ezekiel Elliott with the fourth-overall selection in the 2016 NFL Draft. To others, it was a bad move that didn’t fill the greatest weaknesses. Now, the former statement seems to be the overall consensus now that Elliott has positioned himself to win the rushing title right out of the gate.
Some pundits have said they believe he proves that running backs are worth a first-round investment now. But talking to some veteran NFL executives, NFL.com‘s Buddy Brooks and Daniel Jeremiah uncovered that what teams will be looking at in the 2017 draft is how the Cowboys invested several high picks in their offensive line before drafting Elliott this year.
Examples of Todd Gurley’s electricity going out this year after winning the Rookie of the Year last season are cited that it’s not just the talent running the ball that matters. Still, teams will have a lot to mull over if it turns out LSU’s Leonard Fournette is the next player in line to take the league by storm.
“Normally, I’d say address other needs in the first round. You can find running backs anywhere and most teams rely on a rotation anyways,” Brooks said on the Move The Sticks Podcast, “However, Fournette is a once-a-decade player. You don’t pass on guys like that. Elliott is a great back. So is Gurley. However, I haven’t seen anything like this kid since Adrian Peterson came out. Just take him.”
Fournette would have been considered the top running back prospect for last year’s draft and should he forgo his senior year, he’ll likely be one of the top overall prospects, making it hard on any franchise to pass up on the next sensation like Elliott.