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2014 NFL Draft Profile: South Carolina wide receiver Bruce Ellington

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The Eagles have been linked to smaller speedsters like Brandin Cooks and Odell Beckham in this year's NFL Draft. However, if those players aren't around in the first round, the Eagles may look into fast athletes later in the draft.

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The Eagles offense has a lot of speed already, but the loss of DeSean Jackson leaves room for a deep threat at the wide receiver position. While the Eagles have been linked to projected first round picks that could fit that mold, chances are that the team may not be able to select one of those talents. If the Eagles decide to go a different route and select a bigger receiver in the early rounds, the team could add a speedster later in the draft. If the Eagles want to add a deep threat later in the draft, South Carolina's Bruce Ellington could be the answer.

College Career

A talented basketball and football player from Moncks Corner, S.C., Ellington committed locally and joined the Gamecocks in 2010. Ellington played basketball as a true freshman and was the Gamecocks starting point guard, who earned SEC All-Freshman honors. He continued to play basketball for South Carolina, but also played wide receiver and kick returner for the football team. He played in all 13 games (two starts) as a sophomore and had 17 catches for 211 receiving yards to go along with 106 rushing yards on 17 attempts and 462 return yards on 20 kickoffs.

Along with averaging 10 points per game for the Gamecocks basketball squad, Ellington started all 13 games for South Carolina as a junior. He had 40 catches for 600 receiving yards and seven touchdowns. He also returned 18 kickoffs for 406 yards. Ellington only played in three games for the basketball team as a senior, as he decided to focus on football. It paid off as he added 49 catches for 775 yards and eight touchdowns to his college resume.

Combine Numbers

Height: 5'9"

Weight: 197 lbs

Arm Length: 31"

Hands: 9 5/8"

40: 4.45 seconds

Bench Press: 15 reps

Vertical Jump: 39.5 inches (tied for third among WRs in 2014)

Broad Jump: 120.0 inches

3 Cone: 6.69 seconds

Shuttle: 3.95 seconds (fifth among WRs in 2014)

Strengths

Ellington is an athlete with ability that exceeds his stature. He is a smart player that understands how to get separation, using his his speed and route running ability to create space. He can beat man or zone coverage and has excellent acceleration. His ability to take a hit and also leap for jump balls makes him surprisingly productive in the redzone. He shows good concentration and toughness in crowded space. He has quality hands and will get YAC with ease.

He has an NFL pedigree as he is the cousin of Arizona Cardinals running back Andre Ellington, who became a prominent weapon as a rookie. Ellington's basketball background as a point guard is valuable as well. It likely has helped his vision and leadership skills. He is also durable for his size, especially when you consider his role as both a starting wide receiver, kick returner and point guard.

Weaknesses

He does have a small frame that is hard to ignore. He is limited as a blocker and could stand to add strength. He had a few games where he disappeared and failed to make an impact. As a returner, he is a bit underwhelming and is not threat in that regard.

Eagles Outlook

Ellington is a very talented player that can be used at several spots on offense. Chip Kelly could really do some interesting things with Ellington, LeSean McCoy and Darren Sproles on the offensive side of the ball. That said, Ellington's appeal to the Eagles will likely be dictated by the availability of Odell Beckham, Marqise Lee and Brandin Cooks in the first round or Philadelphia's willingness to take a wide receiver that high. Perhaps the Eagles will go for two wide receivers in the first two days of draft, but that seems unlikely. If the team misses out on Cooks or Lee or Beckham, Ellington could be a good consolation prize on Day 2.

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