With quarterbacks expected to go first and second overall on Thursday night, the San Diego Chargers at three and Dallas Cowboys at four hold the keys to the 2016 NFL draft.
Where these two teams go will play huge roles in the outcome of the remainder of the first round.
While defensive end and the secondary remain major issues for the Dallas Cowboys, the idea of them selecting former Ohio State running back Ezekiel Elliott seems to be picking up some steam.
One person that wouldn’t be too upset if that were to come to fruition is Elliott himself:
“It would be an honor for any running back to go run behind them,” Elliott told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. “I’m sure every running back in this draft is licking their chops for the opportunity to play behind that line. The commitment to the run and just all the all the veterans, all the superstars around you, is appealing. You’ve got some vets around you that you can learn a lot from.”
Really, any team picking in the top 10 would be just fine with Elliott. After all, a running back going that high in a NFL that doesn’t value this position they way it used to is an accomplishment in and of itself.
For Elliott (or any other running back), Dallas would definitely be the best fit. It boasts the top offensive line in the NFL, and it really isn’t that close.
Even after losing 2014 NFL Offensive Player of the Year DeMarco Murray in free agency, the Cowboys still finished in the top 10 in rushing. For his part, Murray had a horrendous one season away from Dallas before being shipped from Philadelphia to Tennessee back in March.
This tells us a story of a team in Dallas that might actually look to avoid exhausting a valuable high-round pick on a running back. If Darren McFadden can be successful in that system and behind that offensive line, why spend a top-five pick on a running back?
Dallas also added former Washington Redskins running back Alfred Morris to go with McFadden.
Morris did fall out of favor in D.C. this past season, but it’s important to note that he put up nearly 4,000 rushing yards in his first three seasons with the Skins, earning a Pro Bowl spot twice before struggling last season.
But make no mistake about it. If the Cowboys were to add Elliott with what they have up front and the talent at their skill positions, he would immediately become one of the most-productive running backs in the NFL.
That has to be a mighty sexy scenario for the former Buckeye standout.