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Tuesday, April 29, 2014
Rams prospect profile: Bruce Ellington

By Nick Wagoner

The 2014 NFL draft is still nine days away. Before we get there, we'll take a look at a prospect or two in the NFL draft who could be of interest to the St. Louis Rams.

By now, we've covered most of the big names, so the focus here will be on vetting some potential additions beyond the top 10 of the draft.

BRUCE ELLINGTON

Position: Wide receiver

School: University of South Carolina

Height/Weight: 5-9 3/8, 197 pounds

Projected round: 3 or 4

Pros: Rare two-sport athlete who also played basketball for the Gamecocks. Strong, muscular frame with good speed shown in all of the pre-draft tests. Surprisingly durable for playing two sports, missing only small chunks of time with hamstring and shoulder issues. Well-respected for his leadership and work ethic. Runs very good routes and creates separation on a consistent basis. Good hands capable of plucking the ball without it getting into his body. Unafraid to go across the middle with toughness that belies his lack of size. Outstanding competitor.

Cons: Lacks ideal height though weight isn't as much of an issue because of his bulky frame. Solid if unspectacular production. Short arms combined with lack of size limits his catch radius making it difficult for him to catch balls thrown outside his frame. Average at best making defenders miss and breaking tackles after the catch and though he's a good athlete, isn't good enough to overcome lack of height and win contested passes on a consistent basis.

Fit with Rams: Reports indicate Ellington also paid a pre-draft visit to St. Louis, meaning the team has showed at least some interest in his services. But it's a bit harder to see how he'd be a fit for this team. That's not a knock on Ellington so much as a commentary on what the team already has in place at his position. Tavon Austin and Stedman Bailey were 2013 draft picks who don't bring much size to the table and have plenty of overlap in the "pros" department with what Ellington would bring to the table. It's hard not to like Ellington as a prospect but imagining where he fits into the offense and the receiver depth chart is more of a stretch.