Cardinals, 6th round. Clemson: Below-average size. Average hand size.
Positives: Excellent balance after contact. Very good speed and burst. Fair vision for cutbacks. Willing downfield blocker. Adequate hands that have improved since 2011. Can extend and snag tough passes. Nice body control. Very decisive. Very quick stop-and-start — hard to get a good hit on him. Runs inside and outside well. Good ball security technique. Fair leg drive. Keeps squared when making moves.
Negatives: Suspect conditioning — looked tired early in 2011 bowl game. Seems to lack overall strength — is pretty easy to bring down once defender latches on and also seems to lack strength in hands, fumbling even when he shows good ball-security technique. Invited to Senior Bowl but injured hamstring on first day and was out the whole week.
Projection: I had a 2nd-round grade on him before the draft, so his late draft spot is puzzling. May never be a feature back — who is nowadays? — but will be a very good complementary back. Has enough inside running ability that he can have success on any down. And since his on-field defects are easy to fix, I suspect he will eventually turn into a very solid top-10 back. Will battle Stepfan Taylor for 3rd-down back role, and though I love Stepfan Taylor, Ellington is better in everything except blocking. Draft as an RB3 with RB1 potential if he eventually starts.