Andre Ellington, RB, Cardinals
Cardinals tailback Andre Ellington, one of my favorite backs in the year’s class, has been involved early on--playing significant snaps behind starter Rashard Mendenhall. You can read Ellington’s pre-draft scouting report here. It’s got some good highlight footage from his days at Clemson.
Mendenhall, though he looked quite good in Week 2, has a history of missing time, so Ellington getting increased snaps is news. Ellington played 18 out of 72 offensive snaps against the Lions. What I also found interesting was that, on a lot of those snaps, he and Mendenhall were in the backfield at the same time. This was the case on Ellington’s 36-yard touchdown reception in the 2nd quarter.
Here’s what I had to say on Ellington in our initial rookie rankings, which are intended mostly for dynasty and long term purposes.
"Right now, Rashard Mendenhall appears to have the inside track in Arizona, but Mendy has some mileage on him and he has some dents in his frame. Ellington could be very good at some point, especially if he is afforded time to learn the system and get healthy. Check out our full scouting report on Ellington linked at the bottom of the page. The key for Ellington is to get ahead of fellow rookie Stepfan Taylor. Taylor is talented too and is a little better in pass protection. Ellington is a high upside pick that will likely require some patience. He was a potential steal for Arizona in the 6th round. He can be a steal for you too if you can afford to be patient."
It appears that Ellington’s play-making ability has caught the eye of HC Bruce Arians and the fact that Ellington is getting snaps on the field with Mendenhall is obviously a good sign. It says a few positive things. First, they want the rookie involved. Second, they will find ways to get him involved, even if they are somewhat unconventional.
Arians indicated today that Ellington is a back that, he thinks, can carry the load. This kid is a back to own in all long term leagues and larger redraft formats as well.