Andre Ellington enters this season as the #1 ranked senior RB. After sharing the backfield at Clemson his first two years, Ellington got the chance to show the world what he could do as a number one guy in 2011. Despite battling nagging injury issues all season, he finished the season with 1,178 yards, 11 TDs, and 90 yds/game which was good for 4th among ACC RBs.
Needs 1,611 yards this year to surpass Raymond Priester as Clemson’s all-time leading rusher. Comes from a school with a solid pedigree at putting RBs in the NFL with James Davis, CJ Spiller, and Jaime Harper recently entering the league. If Ellington can play at 100% all season long, the ACC’s 1st team preseason RB should solidify himself atop of the senior rankings.
Grade: 2nd Round Pick
- Great acceleration and top end speed; Gets to second gear in a hurry
- A threat to score every time he has the ball in his hands
- Very elusive and extremely hard to tackle in the open field
- Great cut back runner
- Tremendous vision. If there is a hole, Ellington will find it and hits it in a hurry
- Patient runner who will set up his blocks and let the play develop
- Plays light on his feet
- Runs with good pad level
- Game changer on special teams
- Not the receiver out of the backfield that you would like him to be
- Inconsistent hands
- Not a pile mover, momentum stops when he meets contact
- Concerns if he could become an in-between the tackles runner at the next level
- Doesn’t have the size to carry a full workload
- Durability concerns
Ellington is the top senior RB in less than stellar class. He brings speed that only a few in this draft can match. After finally getting the carries, Ellington showed scouts what he can do with the ball in his hands. Has the wiggle to make defenders miss and won’t get caught from behind once he’s on the edge. A great athlete who has extra value in the return game. Ellington shows patience which is key trait when projecting to the NFL. Waits for his plays to develop then uses his speed to his advantage
Even though he’s my number RB now, don’t expect to see Ellington’s name called on Day 1 of the draft. He lacks the size to be a full time starter, especially at the next level, and needs to improve on pass protection. Will work best as a change of pace back in a two back system. Ellington isn’t quite on the same level as former Tiger CJ SPiller. Just like Spiller, Ellington has trouble picking up blitzes, and being reliable in pass protection. But what really separates them from each other is Ellington’s lack of production as a receiver. He only amassed 102 receiving yards on 22 catches out of the backfield, with a season high 42 yards on 3 catches against Wake Forest. Now it could be because the offense never allowed him the opportunity to be a pass catching weapon out of the backfield, but regardless, you would like someone with that speed to be a more of a multidimensional RB.
Jeremy Cabler covers the NFL Draft and College Football for Rant Sports. Check out his Scouting Reports