“Research,” Ezekiel Elliott And Charles Sims

April 18th, 2016

Ohio State running back Ezekiel Elliott

Longtime NFL writer Mike Tanier set out to bust what he believes is a popular misnomer among fans and stat nerds: good running backs are found everywhere, therefore, they aren’t worth a first-round pick.

Joe applauds the deep work by Tanier, blending 10 years of data with a healthy dose of reality, and not ignoring a running back’s execution in the passing game.

His findings provoke more thought. Day 1 and Day 2 picks at running back are more productive than you might think. Tanier concludes that an elite-talent running back should never be discounted, especially during this era of a rookie salary cap.

But there are still special running backs who can do things a committee cannot replicate, guys who can run like CJ2K at his peak or enter Beast Mode or just be Adrian Peterson. There may only be three or four of them in the draft every five years, but when they do arrive, they are now available at a fraction of the old [Reggie] Bush price. It makes no sense, analytically, economically or old-school football-wise, to pass on a player like that.

Ezekiel Elliott is one of those special players. His game film reminds me of LaDainian Tomlinson. His skill package, from power and speed and big-play ability to blocking, places him a thick notch above “interchangeable.”

Teams may pass on Elliott because they rank Laremy Tunsil, Jalen Ramsey or someone else higher. Fair enough. But if you think teams should pass on Elliott because of the “research,” then you had better take a closer look at the research.

Yes, Ezekiel Elliott, the terror of a do-it-all-great running back out of Ohio State, might be on the draft board and staring the Bucs in the face when they pick at No. 9 overall.

Now what?

Joe could imagine (keyword: imagine) Jason Licht pulling the trigger on Elliott if Licht simultaneously was able to trade Charles Sims for a late-second-round or third-round pick. That way, the Bucs upgrade the position without devaluing what they developed in Sims.

This is all one giant fantasy for Bucs fans aching for a pass rusher. But if Licht, like Tanier and many others, really believes Elliott is a game-changing franchise running back, then anything is on the table. Doug Martin likely has two years of juice remaining. Elliott is just 20 years old.

19 Responses to ““Research,” Ezekiel Elliott And Charles Sims”

  1. MadMax Says:

    Well, a great run game opens the pass game and a great pass game opens the run game. This could very well be a great move IF we move Simms in a trade, perhaps along with Glennon.

  2. JAB83 Says:

    We would have the original Triplets… Troy, Mike and Emit!!!!!!!!! Jamies, Mike and Elliott!!!!!!!!!

    I would not mind this move at all…. Except I say keep Simms!!!!!! Use him as a Slot Receiver… That would be a dynamic YOUNG core…

  3. TheRealJoe Says:

    I thought you weren’t part of the “best avaliable” crowd. This would be a terrible pick and would not represent a pick based on need at all. Stanley, Hargreaves, Rankins, Floyd all are better choices at 9. RBs also get hurt more than any position. There’s a reason why rbs are paid so little compared to other positions.

  4. Buc'd Up Says:

    I watched him at Ohio state his whole career, that being said he not only runs well,he also blocks like a maniac. Great attitude to compete. Seamless transition from Doug to Zeke with two runners who are angry. Pick him and grab DL in second. Mike smith will clean up the defense a lot with his willingness to use the players correctly. Control the clock with Doug and Zeke and remove double teams on the outside with safety up in box. Get speed/slot receiver in 3/4 round to blow the top off and compete with bell

  5. Tom Edrington Says:

    Hopefully it is true that Dallas has fallen in love with Zeke and he’ll be off the board, saving the Bucs from that awful scenario!

  6. Lou. Says:

    The whole point of re-upping Martin was to free up the #9 and other slots to draft positions we need.

    In two or three years we will take more RBs. And this year we will take a FB, hopefully in Round 6.

    While Elliott is a nice player, the Bucs as a team need DT, DE, FS, SS, CB and at least one LB. and that’s just the defense. Offense needs at least one WR, a developmental RT, a C, and a TE.

    Rome wasn’t built in a day, and the Bucs won’t be either. But with Jameis, we may be able to slide around some needs or patch up some positions with band aids and FA long enough to become good again.

  7. scott fitzgerald Says:

    Your forgetting though Doug was rated top2 by PFF “stats” but, Sims was still in the top 10. His rushing and pass catching make him a valuable asset on a cheap third round contract

  8. scott fitzgerald Says:

    I was on board with getting Elliot but only if Martin left. Now I just hope we trade back

  9. Dave Says:

    Not a chance joe.

    They have a young tandem for years.
    If he is there and someone wants him maybe they trade down a few picks. That’d be ideal.

  10. CalBucsFan Says:

    This should be the last year the Bucs draft in the top 10 for at least a decade, so how about tradings Sims, Glennon and next year’s no. 1 pick to Denver for their first round pick this year, then Bucs take Zeke at 9 and Spence at 32 and Nkemdiche at 39 (or vice versa). This would build one great DL for years to come instantly making the DBs better, and gives the offense a powerful run & pass attack.

  11. Architek Says:


    Fellas, Joe did not endorse this, just exploring scenarios facing the GM. –Joe

  12. Pickgrin Says:

    So Joe could “imagine” a scenario where Licht goes BPA and gets a talented running back which we don’t need at all – but believes it is impossible for the Bucs to draft a legit franchise tackle at #9 which is a rare opportunity and a major investment in the franchise QB….

    SMH Joes

    In this imaginary world, Joe doesn’t see the GM believing he’ll get the right value with a tackle in this draft. As for “need” intersecting with BPA, keep in mind Licht is the same guy who drafted ASJ and Sims, two positions that were not of need. And Licht passed on a QB in 2014. Don’t shoot the messenger. –Joe

  13. martinii Says:

    As an avid OSU fan and Alum I definitely find Zeke intriguing. Licht has in my opinion a tough decision if he is there at 9. So many options in this years draft. The only thing I know for sure is we will know in 10 days.

  14. Trubucfan22 Says:

    Elliot might be a rare talent type of running back, but it would go against your “need” based GM you think we have. Sure it would be great to have the #1 rb in the league instead of the #3 or 6 rb in the league. But it isnt a need. If licht ever put much thought into drafting elliot then he would not have signed doug and would have gambled on drafting elliot.

    If we didnt sign doug i would pull the trigger on elliot if the next best DE is not as valued as Elliot.

    But we signed doug Martin. End of story. There will be other RBs in the next 2 or 3 years that are as good or better, and younger than elliot, when we actually need a RB.

  15. Jeremy Says:

    The only thing I want more than a Hall of Fame DE out of this draft would be Ezekiel Elliott. Do some research on his life and game!! Btw, i’m a Huge Dougy and Charles fan!

  16. Destinjohnny Says:

    Henry is better and isn’t a punk

  17. Pete Mitchell Says:

    If you hang on to Simms in this scenario he now becomes your speedster/slot receiver.

  18. Red86 Says:

    If a top pass rusher isn’t available,then I think we should consider Wide Receiver with the 9th pick since it’s not that deep talent wise. The best player at wide out would most likely be available at 9, hopefully a speedster at that. Then focus on the D line for majority of the draft.

  19. David Says:

    We did lose Rainey.