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Ezekiel Elliott Easily Eclipses Entire 2016 NFL Draft Class In Social Media

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The excitement Elliott brings to the Dallas Cowboys is palpable and can be seen on social media and in jersey sales.

Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports

Almost a week after the Cowboys selected Ezekiel Elliott in the first round of the 2016 NFL Draft, some Cowboys fans are still in theoretical discussions about such abstract concepts as draft value, the devaluation of the RB position, or need over BPA.

Other fans have long since moved on. With their wallets and their clicks, they have declared Ezekiel Elliott a great draft pick.

In a recent article from The Dallas Morning News, Jon Machota points out that Ezekiel Elliott jerseys are selling faster than those of any other rookie:

According to sports apparel company Fanatics.com, Elliott has been the top-selling 2016 NFL draft pick since Thursday. Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz, the second overall pick, is second and first overall pick, Rams QB Jared Goff, is third.

The excitement Elliott has brought to large parts of the Cowboys is perhaps best reflected in a video by Shango of the dallascowboysshow. Shango has been quite vocal (!) and critical about the Cowboys over the last few years, but the Elliott pick may have changed all that:

And that excitement could be seen in social media as well, where Zeke and the Cowboys "won" social media. Hookit.com, a company that measures social media impact, tracked the social media reaction to the NFL draft, and they shared some of their findings with us.

Elliott was easily the biggest social media entity of the draft class, generating 341,560 total interactions, which is about as many as the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th ranking athlete social presences combined (Carson Wentz, Vernon Hargreaves, and Jaylon Smith).

Zeke gained 146,000 new followers, which is over 3.5 times as many as the first overall draft pick gained (Jared Goff).

You can find the full data in the table below.

Social Media Impact Of Top 35 draft picks (click blue column headers to sort)
Pick Player
Total Followers
New Followers Total Interactions
1 Jared Goff 81,344 43,177 46,860
2 Carson Wentz 146,112 94,049 145,245
3 Joey Bosa 407,384 28,912 60,685
4 Ezekiel Elliott 802,605 146,086 341,560
5 Jalen Ramsey 127,794 35,367 55,875
6 Ronnie Stanley 19,608 8,668 13,952
7 DeForest Buckner 53,946 20,290 15,615
8 Jack Conklin 15,072 5,328 5,736
9 Leonard Floyd 24,132 7,824 9,912
10 Eli Apple 103,156 24,507 42,528
11 Vernon Hargreaves 116,078 34,239 142,854
12 Sheldon Rankins 6,322 432 0
13 Laremy Tunsil 42,501 9,087 5,874
14 Karl Joseph 52,707 10,942 34,500
15 Corey Coleman 55,956 16,850 32,046
16 Taylor Decker 57,164 6,334 14,492
17 Keanu Neal 28,462 5,000 11,903
18 Ryan Kelly 17,124 5,024 4,123
19 Shaq Lawson 68,805 18,025 35,958
20 Darron Lee 64,524 9,184 32,711
21 William Fuller 82,666 24,280 40,695
22 Josh Doctson 51,792 17,044 13,392
23 Laquon Treadwell 200,696 42,986 24,572
24 William Jackson 4,475 3,158 3,216
25 Artie Burns 43,820 4,939 11,241
26 Paxton Lynch 72,215 9,823 34,945
27 Kenny Clark 24,922 18,194 19,903
28 Joshua Garnett 12,957 8,726 7,334
29 Robert Nkemdiche 52,983 9,262 14,897
30 Vernon Butler 12,274 5,180 5,787
31 Germain Ifedi 24,722 14,607 11,172
32 Emmanuel Ogbah 20,872 7,689 14,599
33 Kevin Dodd 13,303 4,857 5,294
34 Jaylon Smith 111,969 28,073 71,411
35 Derrick Henry 415,177 11,888 65,225

If you sort the table, you'll see that even the Cowboys' second-round pick, Godbacker Jaylon Smith generated a lot of excitement on social media and ranks near the top in both new followers and total interactions.

No surprise then that the best performing team overall was the Cowboys. They led the field in all social categories, showing 11.6 million social followers, gaining 46k followers (More twice as much as the next best team), and accrued 1.5 million interactions.

There are still a lot of questions this draft class needs to answer, but the excitement over this draft class is palpable, and the Elliott pick alone has generated more excitement than any other pick in a long time.