Bruce Ellington is a former point guard-turned-wide receiver from the South Carolina Gamecocks. The Atlanta Falcons could use someone to eventually replace Roddy White while also providing a slot presence in the meantime. Ellington could be a great fit there.
The former Gamecock wide receiver has been worked out by quite a few teams, according to Ian Rappoport of NFL.com and Mike Garafolo of Fox Sports 1. Atlanta was just one of the teams that he put on a show for, and it is also one of his best fits.
University of South Carolina
Combine/Pro Day Measurements
Height: 5'9.375" Weight: 197 pounds
Arm Length: 31" Hand Measurement: 9.625"
40-yard dash: 4.45 sec. 10-yard split: 1.63 sec.
20-yard shuttle: 3.95 sec. 3-cone Drill: 6.69 sec. Bench Reps: 15 reps
Vertical Jump: 39.5" Broad Jump: 10'0"
2013: 13 Games Played, 49 Catches, 775 Yards, 8 Touchdowns, 3 Carries, 14 Yards, 3 Punt Returns, 16 Yards, 5 Kick Returns, 108 Yards, 1-of-1 (100.0 percent) Passing, 9 Yards, 1 Touchdown, 2 Tackles
2012: 13 Games Played, 40 Catches, 600 Yards, 7 Touchdowns, 5 Carries, 28 Yards, 18 Kick Returns, 406 Yards, 2 Tackles
2011: 13 Games Played, 17 Catches, 211 Yards, 1 Touchdown, 17 Carries, 106 Yards, 1 Touchdown, 3-of-4 (75.0 percent) Passing, 27 Yards, 20 Kick Returns, 463 Yards, 2 Tackles
Tough as nails is the best way to describe Bruce Ellington. He’s built like a running back but plays wide receiver and understands how to take a hit and keep moving. He’s much stronger than he looks and isn’t afraid to run through a safety after an underneath route.
He’s surprisingly talented as a blocker despite playing primarily quarterback and wide receiver throughout high school and college. He’s also got experience on special teams and will contribute to his team in multiple ways early in his career.
Ellington doesn’t have the size or top-end speed that says he’ll be a great outside receiver at the next level. He has trouble finding the holes in zone coverages underneath and sometimes runs right into a defender sitting in a zone.
He has to get better at translating the subtle fakes he shows on the basketball court into subtle fakes he can show on the football field. He is also a body-catcher instead of a fingertips catcher like he should be, but he didn’t drop many passes.
How does he fit the Comrade Filter?
Ellington is clean off the field and a model teammate. He played basketball for four seasons for the Gamecocks on top of his football eligibility. He also graduated with a degree in just three-and-a-half years so that he could go pro and not have any distractions.
He wasn’t a captain for the Gamecocks on the football team but was a leader. He’s someone the Falcons would love to have in their locker room because of his competitive nature. Atlanta would probably raise him on its boards because of his off-field personality.
Learning under Roddy White and Julio Jones while having a great coach like Terry Robiskie, he could really become something special. The Falcons could have the next Steve Smith on their hands if he develops into the player he can be.
Ellington should definitely go much higher than he probably will in May. He’s a second-round talent that will likely end up in the fourth round because of how deep the wide receiver class is. If the Falcons do luck out and take him, they will love his on- and off-field contributions.
How he would fit into the Falcons' plans
Ellington could be available as late as the Falcons' fifth-round pick. And if he’s there, they should sprint to the podium, as he has the kind of talent that would have put him in the second round had he stayed for his senior year. Ellington is the ideal Falcon off the field too.
The Falcons would be able to seamlessly throw him into the locker room and know that they got a great team player who is willing to contribute on special teams just to make the roster. On top of that, he’ll see time as a slot receiver until he’s ready to eventually contribute more.
All stats used are either from Pro Football Focus' Premium Stats (subscription required), ESPN, CFBStats or the NFL. All combine and pro day info is courtesy NFL Draft Scout. All contract information is courtesy of Spotrac and Rotoworld.
Scott Carasik is a Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report. He covers the Atlanta Falcons, college football, the NFL and the NFL draft. He also runs DraftFalcons.com.