Running backs are becoming more of a commodity to NFL teams in the past decade or so. But that doesn't mean teams will pass on a running back if he makes sense. Just last year, two running backs went in the first round. Todd Gurley was arguably the best running back in football for a small portion of last year and while the jury is still out on Melvin Gordon, it should be said that Gordon showed at Wisconsin that he was deserving of his first-round praise.
Just one year later, another running back that will be taken in the first round is Ohio State's Ezekiel Elliott. The focal point of Ohio State's offense over the past two years, Elliott really took national attention by storm towards the end of the 2014 college football season when Ohio State knocked off the likes of Alabama and Oregon in the College Football Playoffs. In an interview with NFL Now, Elliott had this to say when asked about which he'd like to be drafted by:
"The Dallas Cowboys (are my pick). I want to go play behind that great offensive line they have down in Dallas," Elliott said.
Elliott's comment marks the second running back in this draft class to say he'd like to play for the Cowboys. Derrick Henry also mentioned he'd like to play for the team. But really, with an offensive line consisting of three All-Pros in Tyron Smith, Travis Frederick, and La'el Collins as well as a budding talent in La'el Collins, who wouldn't want to play behind the Cowboys' offensive line?
Elliott is the consensus best running back in the draft class. He mentioned in the interview that he'd like to run in the 4.3 range in the 40-yard dash. If he does just that and he shows off some more quickness to go with his pure power at the NFL Scouting Combine in just a few weeks, there's really no chance he makes it to the second round.
Dallas got a ton out of veteran Darren McFadden in 2015, but when you add in his injury history as well as his age, the Cowboys will be in the market for a running back this offseason. And if Elliott is the guy they want to complete their offense, then they may have to bite the bullet and use their fourth-overall pick on him.
You can view the full Elliott interview here.