Andre Ellington, RB Clemson
Weight: 190 lb
David Wilson, Chris Johnson
New York Jets, Indianapolis Colts, San Diego Chargers
Andre Ellington is a game changer. He is fast. He is quick. He makes big plays on the ground and in the screen game. While he does look a lot like Chris Johnson on tape, he does not have that type of elite long-speed. Not many do.
The more common knock on Ellington will be that he is “undersized” by NFL standards. He has all the tools to prove that wrong. He may weigh the same as Chris Johnson, but he is two inches shorter. Creating a more compact, powerful build, and lower center of gravity. Ellington has elusive moves but also runs with forward lean, balance, and power. He has good feet and leg drive. He’s hard to take down and consistently demonstrates the ability to fight through traffic at the line of scrimmage. When he gets to the second level, his vision and acceleration make him a big play waiting to happen. Ellington runs inside and out with toughness. He can finish in the redzone and short yardage scenarios. Clemson used him as a workhorse, feeding him 25+ touches in several games over the last two seasons.
Concerns about stature also manifest in Ellington’s ability to pass block. He certainly gets driven back. He is a willing blocker though, and does get the best of it on occasion. The toughness he runs with shows up in his willingness to pass protect. He can improve his pass blocking with good coaching and a lot of work.
Andre Ellington will be one of the stars of the Senior Bowl. Especially, now that Montee Ball has decided against participating. He will be drafted in the late first round or the early second round. His best role in the NFL may be, lightning to another back’s thunder. He has a chance to be a full time starter though, a la Chris Johnson. In this regard I think of him very much as a David Wilson type prospect. David Wilson type rookie contributions seem pretty reasonable for Ellington. That type of player is a good add to almost any offense. I do not believe he has Chris Johnson or C.J. Spiller upside. All said and done, 3-5 yr from now, he is a top three running back from this class.