Andre Ellington, RB, Clemson, 5-foot-9, 195 pounds
PROS: Electric in the open field, very quick in and out of his breaks, elusive, very difficult to tackle in space.
CONS: Not as fast as most ‘speed backs’ are desired and legit questions persist on whether he can withstand the pounding in the NFL. Vision also a concern. He was able to take advantage in college with a mobile quarterback Tahj Boyd under center and a lethal passing game. He won’t have the same luxury in the NFL.
DRAFT BRIEFING: There’s a lot to like, but enough questions and alternative options that he should slip deep into Day 2; maybe even the very beginning of Day 3. Seems appropriate. I like him; I am just not comfortable taking him early.
2013 OUTLOOK: Ignore. At best he will be a change-of-pace back even if the starter he is paired with goes down. He will still share the load.
DYNASTY OUTLOOK: Interesting. Interesting enough that his situation will dictate whether I target him in early Round 2 or let someone else take him in Round 3.
Le’Veon Bell, RB, Michigan State, 6-foot-2, 235 pounds
PROS: Big, strong, fast once he has a couple of steps, and surprisingly efficient in the passing game.
CONS: Not as powerful as most would want from a big back and his first step is quite simply way too slow. Effective in college, won’t work in the NFL.
DRAFT BRIEFING: He opened some eyes at the NFL Combine. Someone will take the plunge early on Day 2. Whether he is worth it or not depends if he can play football the same way in his newly trimmed physique. There weren’t any official weigh-ins during the season, but Bell was obviously thicker and it looked like it on film … and not in a good way. This thinner version of Bell moved much more fluidly than the one from Michigan State. Any gains will be lost if he can’t translate his playing style to his ‘new body.’
2013 OUTLOOK: Definitely a name to keep an eye on. Opportunity is so important with running backs, and if he is drafted early on Day 2 as I suspect, there will be opportunities for him in Year 1.
DYNASTY OUTLOOK: I’ll bet I’m passing. I’ve watched enough film of his that I can’t get a faster T.J. Duckett with passing game skills out of my head. Fear of the unknown with his new physique leaves me wanting to take the risk/reward in Round 2, and I can’t imagine he is available then.
Stedman Bailey, WR, West Virginia, 5-foot-10, 195 pounds
PROS: Exceptional route runner, quick, and has an extra gear too, makes difficult catches, makes plays downfield and in the intermediate passing game, tough as nails, and is difficult to jam.
CONS: Going to be difficult to beat the undersized stigma, but really it’s the only thing about him to dislike.
DRAFT BRIEFING: Happy bargain shopping. He will fall to Day 2 and could fall to Day 3. He shouldn’t. Teams needing an upgrade in the slot should target him early in Round 2. He can also double as an outside wide receiver, too, but he’ll make bank in the slot. Not coverable.
2013 OUTLOOK: I doubt he gets the opportunity to do much, but he absolutely has the ability to translate quickly. He reminds me a lot of
T.Y. Hilton, just more advanced at this stage of his career in the passing game.
DYNASTY OUTLOOK: Buy. Fantasy owners, like many in the NFL, are so fixated with size and it costs them buying opportunities for the undersized types that can just flat out ball. I expect he is there in Round 3 and he should not be.