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Clemson running back Andre Ellington is an intriguing 2013 NFL Draft prospect. Ellington played 4 years in Clemson, and has never averaged less than 5.1 yards/carry. He had planned to participate in the Senior Bowl, but he had sustained a hamstring injury during practice and subsequently had to withdraw from it. He is explosive, and very fun to watch. Below is a preliminary scouting report on Andre Ellington.
Measurable: 5 ft 10 in 195 lbs
Strengths: The first thought that jumps out at me when watching Ellington is ‘dynamic runner’. Ellington has a smooth style of running, which is possible due to his amazing balance. He is an evasive runner, and even during his sophomore year, he was able to take advantage of this balance. An example of this is in the 2010 Georgia Tech game, where Andre fakes out the LB, despite the large hole already created by his Oline. This helps him gain additional yards. He does not lose much speed when doing a cut back. Ellington shows good lowering of his pads when engaging his opponent, and always falls forward for extra yards. Furthermore, he shows a variety of skills, and utilized them well, including stiff arm, spin moves, and cut backs. His greatest asset is his speed. Ellington has good quickness before the LOS, and shows great open field long speed as well. Andre will win against DBs when he reaches the secondary. Ellington does not rely on cut blocks in pass pro. Often times you’ll see him engage pass rushers head on, which may not always be a good thing (explained in weakness section), but he can still buy the QB enough time. His pass pro skills improved every year. Andre knows how to hold the ball close to his body, and does an adequate job running with the football. Lastly, Ellington is a good receiver, but this skill is underutilized. Ellington has room to grow to become an every down back.
Weakness: A major criticism of Ellington is his lack of functional strength. That is apparent in watching Ellington. Andre does not possess a strong body, and more often than not will get taken down on first contact, therefore, as @Draftinsider noted, don’t expect a high Yards after Contact. This problem is mitigated by his balance, where he sometimes is able to escape a tackle. However, in the pros it will be much harder to escape from a tackler. Andre Ellington also gets pushed back by bigger LBs on pass pro, and he appears indecisive when to perform a cut block. Early in his collegiate career, Ellington would fumble the ball despite good ball handling techniques. The lack of ball security will haunt him at the next level. Durability will be a major concern early on in his professional career.
Injury History: Hamstring (2013), Minor Ankle Surgery (2012), Turf Toe (2010), Knee Surgery for torn cartilage (2010)
Projections: Ellington could be taken as early as mid-2nd round or as late as fourth round, depending on his performance at the Combine and recovery from his hamstring injury.
Prospect Profile completed by:
Chris Cheung is DraftInsider’s Head Scout for RB/OLB
Follow Chris on Twitter @SmthingaboutFB
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