The second Buckeye to enter the top-10, Ezekiel Elliott is the Ohio State running back who carried the team to a national championship in 2015, and a Fiesta Bowl victory in 2016.
Having purged themselves of just about everything Chip Kelly, the Eagles will move forward now trying to re-establish their own identity. Coming from a city built on hard work and determination, the team needs a player who embodies the same attitude.
The only question sitting in the minds of scouts and GMs was whether or not the junior running back could be an effective weapon as a receiver. At his pro day he showed soft hands and a consistent ability to catch the ball away from his body. Solid route running and stamina to go with it will make him a three-down back in the league, and give Sam Bradford the multi-dimensional running back he needed last year.
Ryan Matthews is staying in Philly for the time being, and may even open the season as the starter, but you can believe Elliott will gradually take the feature role with the Eagles sooner rather than later. As the only running back in the draft who can do it all, he’ll be a strong candidate for Offensive Rookie of the Year, and help the Eagles climb back to the top of the NFC East.
Previously: Joey Bosa – DE – Ohio State
Next: 9. Tampa Bay Buccaneers