What to Do About Ezekiel Elliott in Drafts

How to approach Ezekiel Elliott in drafts with holdout uncertainty surrounding him

With each passing day, his value will drop and Pollard’s will rise. We're getting close to a point where Elliott playing Week 1 becomes unlikely, and at that point, as many as six weeks out becomes a lot more likely than before we hit that threshold. Elliott is worth a second-round pick even if we factor in six missed games as Mike Florio speculated and there’s still a non-zero chance Elliott plays Week 1, or shows after Week 1. Week 2 coming and going without Elliott showing up would be more alarming, but a “worst-case scenario” here still likely results in half a season from Elliott and one that would feature the heaviest usage of his career in maybe the best overall surroundings.

It’s pure guesswork, but this still feels like a situation to err on the side of taking Elliott, including in the first round, accompanied with a slight reach for Pollard, or otherwise building a running back group in your draft with a #3 you’d feel comfortable starting early in the season.

Other backs/plans that fit a Zeke build:

Take two in between the 2nd-4th. This gives the potential for the killer feature back flex, and the wide receiver depth in the 5th-9th and real potential for three #1 backs in good situations for the stretch run. A plethora of upside backs in the third and Chris Carson or Sony Michel in the fourth really make this an attractive angle.

Duke Johnson Jr, HOU - Uncertainty about what Houston will do at running back introduces some risk that he will be joined by a back that diminishes his outlook, but there’s just as much chance that they add a replaceable backup type like Carlos Hyde and Johnson’s value gets another boost. He’s good. Deshaun Watson is good. This should be good.

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