2016 NFL Draft: 6 Buckeyes Who Could Leave College Early

2 of 7

Oct 17, 2015; Columbus, OH, USA; Ohio State Buckeyes running back

Ezekiel Elliott

(15) changes direction against the Penn State Nittany Lions at Ohio Stadium. Ohio State won the game 38-10. Mandatory Credit: Greg Bartram-USA TODAY Sports

Ezekiel Elliott, JR, RB

His post-game rant and already high draft stock make Ezekiel Elliott a likely early departure. We all know that numbers (15 straight 100 yard games, 1,458 yards, 17 touchdowns), but Elliott truly is an NFL back. He has great burst through the hole and can pull away in the open field. His hands also cannot be discounted, as NFL running backs that can be a factor in the passing game are much more valuable than traditional power backs.

Why He Goes: Elliott’s stock may never get higher even with his outburst after losing the Michigan State. He’s shown he can be an every down back and handle a heavy work load. He’ll be hard pressed to get better film than he already has and is likely to go in the first round.

Why He Stays: Obviously that loss to Sparty left a bad taste in his mouth. For a player and team with such lofty goals, maybe Elliott wants another shot at a title and perhaps a Heisman. It’s unlikely, but crazier things have happened.

The Decision: Elliott leaves and goes in the mid-to-late first round.

Next: Michael Thomas