With the NFL Draft less than 48 hours away, former South Carolina Gamecocks wide receiver Bruce Ellington is getting ready to hear his name called. While he may be lost in the buzz surrounding his teammate, Jadeveon Clowney, the Moncks Corner, South Carolina native shouldn’t be waiting too long–especially if things fall a certain way.
Most of the mocks have Ellington going in the 2nd or 3rd round, which sounds about right (maybe a late 1st round pick–26th!–according to ESPN’s Todd McShay and Mel Kiper Jr., which may be a reach). At 5’9″, he doesn’t have the physical makeup that other NFL wide receivers have, like Calvin Johnson at 6’5″. However, a few of the main strengths that has been noted is his “acceleration” and his “good hands”, as well as his ability to stretch plays (according to Nolan Nawrocki over at NFL.com).
You can certainly see by these videos that Ellington does have the elusiveness and the ability to be a success in this league. One thing that stands out is his ability to use his speed to create separation between himself and the defender, as well as his sure hands (fast forward to 1:20). If anything, the team that picks him may use him more in a Devin Hester role. At times, when returning the football, as you could see in the video, he was virtually uncatchable at times (although he never took one all the away during his Carolina career).
Is Bruce Ellington a #1 receiver? Probably not. Will he make an impact wherever he goes? Definitely. He didn’t put up amazing numbers throughout his college career, so while I don’t think there will be a team that makes that reach in the 1st round, he’ll definitely be there in the 2nd or 3rd round on Friday.