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2016 NFL Mock Draft: Dallas Cowboys pick Ezekiel Elliott at No. 4

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With the 4th overall pick in the 2016 Bleeding Green Nation community mock draft, Dallas Cowboys GM kamjam selects ...

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Ezekiel Elliott, RB, Ohio State

Best. Player. Available.

I truly believe that Ezekiel Elliot is the second best football player in this entire, somewhat underwhelming, draft class. There's no need for me to me to post highlight videos or spider graphs for him because this site has been inundated with Zeke-related content. You know he's a powerhouse runner with excellent vision, you know he has great hands and is a weapon in the passing game and you know he's a terrific blocker because he's proved this every time he's stepped on the field. He's done this against the very best competition, a monstrous 230 yard performance against Alabama in the Sugar Bowl being a highlight of a glittering college career.

Despite a terrible 4-12 record last season, it's quite conceivable that Dallas could win the NFC East next season given the general lack of quality in the division. You only have to look as far as 2014 to see the effects that an elite running game, and elite running back at the time, had on the team's ability to win games. If the Cowboys want to load up for a Championship run then it would be wise to build on their strengths. Zeke catapults the Cowboys into relevance again and would make an instant impact. There's also the issue of Tony Romo, who isn't getting any younger, and the Cowboys taking the pressure off him. Zeke's ability to find holes behind arguably the best run-blocking offensive line in football would shorten third downs and reduce the likelihood of Romo taking injury-inducing hits. An underrated aspect of Zeke's game is his blocking ability in pass protection which would also prevent Romo from taking another season ending injury, especially important given the likely improvement of the Giants' and Eagles' pass rush.

There's an argument to be made that the Cowboys should use an anomalous high pick on Romo's successor but the top two QB prospects are off the board in this scenario. It was also hard to pass on Jalen Ramsey with this pick but unless the Cowboys would draft him to play cornerback, which would be an awful misuse of his talents then he wouldn't be a good fit for the team. Byron Jones has proved himself to be a promising young playmaker at free safety and I don't believe the Cowboys want to move him back to cornerback. The Cowboys need to bolster their front 7 but I don't believe that NFL teams think Bosa has the athleticism to dominate at the next level as he did in college. Myles Jack was also a consideration but the torn meniscus raises questions about his athleticism, not to mention a linebacker of his size is limited to a very specific role as a WILL in the 4-3 and a perceived lack of versatility may cause him to fall.

Some of the arguments against Zeke are so obtuse that it seems people will do anything to justify not taking him. Comparisons to Peterson are silly but if "he's not as good as Peterson" is the only thing people can come up with to argue against Zeke then it speaks volumes about his talent. It's even more ridiculous to talk about next year's apparent star studded crop of running backs, this would be a great argument if Zeke was coming out in 2017 but he's not so it's completely irrelevant to talk about Leonard Fournette and Nick Chubb. Who knows where their draft stock will be next year anyway? Furthermore, our own GM has even disputed the narrative that you can find comparable running back production in the later rounds. It seems as though some fans just want to trade out of high picks in fear of reaching and to grab "safer" prospects.

Honestly this draft class has maybe four truly elite prospects and Elliot is the second best of them. It's true that running back is becoming less and less valued in the NFL and for the sake of this pick I'd love there to be an elite pass rusher sitting there at #4 but there isn't. I'd hate this to happen, it probably won't happen, but there's every reason it should because the Cowboys with Elliot is a much scarier proposition in the immediate future than the Cowboys with any other player in this class.

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2016 BGN Mock Draft Order

1) Titans (ablesser88) - Laremy Tunsil, OT, Ole Miss - [Explanation]
2) Browns (EaglesGenius) - Carson Wentz, QB, North Dakota State - [Explanation]
3) Chargers (StoneColeKiller58) - Jared Goff, QB, Cal - [Explanation]
4) Cowboys (kamjam) - Ezekiel Elliott, RB, Ohio State - [Explanation]
5) Jaguars (drc242) -
6) Ravens (rohan915) -
7) 49ers (LAOJoe) -
8) Eagles (slickpablovick) -
9) Buccaneers (OneBucFan47) -
10) Giants (Paulie97) -
11) Bears (Kiko's Delivery Service) -
12) Saints (kylebruneault) -
13) Dolphins (wildcatlh) -
14) Raiders (Luxury_Used_Vehicles_By_Braman) -
15) Rams (NowWhat?) -
16) Lions (bri g) -
17) Falcons (thealien2696) -
18) Colts (ei78) -
19) Bills (naderg43) -
20) Jets (Quacking_Eagle) -
21) Washington (TheCoxishere) -
22) Texans (jeppsforst) -
23) Vikings (WScott151) -
24) Bengals (burkhart_b) -
25) Steelers (theaction) -
26) Seahawks (tfrank9811) -
27) Packers (3Trace) -
28) Chiefs (jawmo) -
N/A) Patriots - Cheaters
29) Cardinals (big DUB) - 
30) Panthers (zatch2k) -
31) Broncos (JALupowitz) -