As we enter the final week of the college football season, it's time to start focusing our attention on the 2017 NFL Draft. LSU running back Leonard Fournette is expected to be one of the marquee players in this year's draft class -- he announced his intentions to enter the draft last month. Despite an injury plagued junior season, Fournette is still viewed as one of the best players at his position to enter the draft in the last decade.
The top running back from last year's draft class just wrapped up an unbelievably successful regular season. Ezekiel Elliott led the league in rushing and earned a Pro Bowl berth in his inaugural season with the Cowboys. So, which player would NFL executives rather have on their roster, Elliott or Fournette? I reached out to five execs to find out whom they would choose. Here are their answers.
Executive 1: Fournette
"Fournette is faster and he can hold his speed longer than Elliott. Elliott was further along as a blocker and receiver at Ohio State, but I thought Fournette made some small improvements in those areas this year."
Executive 2: Elliott
"Zeke is more versatile and would fit in any offense. Fournette is a stronger, more violent runner but there is more uncertainty with him, mainly pass protection. By the way, look at Zeke's numbers vs. Alabama and compare them to Fournette's."
Executive 3: Fournette
"I really like Elliott, but Fournette is an animal. Guys like him don't come around very often."
Executive 4: Elliott
"Fournette is a physical stud, but Zeke is just a better all-around football player."
Executive 5: Fournette
"You don't see guys with Fournette's size/speed combination very often. He's a rare, rare talent. He's the most talented runner to come out since Adrian Peterson."
Summary: That's three votes for Fournette and two for Elliott.
Conclusion: This is one of those debates that really comes down to what you're looking for in a player. I think everyone agrees Elliott is the more versatile player, while also agreeing Fournette has superior power/speed combination. If you want to really want to feature your running back in the passing game, I think Elliott makes more sense. However, if you are looking for a physical identity, Fournette is the perfect choice. Unfortunately for Fournette, he won't have a chance to run behind the best offensive line in football -- that job is already taken.