Bruce is a clone of the Panthers Steve Smith. He plays bigger than his size
because he understands his athletic talent and how to use it to his advantage on
the field. He is stout, has good speed and quickness and excellent football
intelligence. He can work inside or outside, but his best attribute is that he
has excellent eye hand coordination to catch the ball and adjusts to the ball in
the air to increase his catch radius and make the difficult catch. He has
excellent lower body strength and in the red zone will use his body to get in
between the ball and his opponent to make the tough catch. He has no problems
catching the ball over the middle and is smart enough to understand how NOT to
take the big hit. He is an excellent teammate and will give up his body to make
a block. He runs excellent routes, changes gears with ease and is a patient
runner with a smooth stride that is deceiving for a player his size. Bruce plays
the game with a calm exterior that gives the impression that he might not be
working that hard when in fact he is one of the hardest thinking and working
players on the field. To be honest, I think Bruce could play any one of the
skilled positions if he wanted to and play them all at a very high level, but he
knows with his size that playing receiver is his best chance to get to the NFL.
Bruce needs to learn to read defenses better so that he understands when to cut
off his routes to help his quarterback out when teams are blitzing. I have no
doubt he will acquire this talent also because of an excellent work ethic.
First of all, I donít expect Bruce to be selected in the first round in this
draft. There are too many bigger receivers that are getting all the attention.
Bruce is the type of player (because of his size) that are usually selected in
the third or fourth rounds and in this draft Bruce might slide even further
down, but believe me when I tell you, Bruce will impact and, in the future,
could work his way into becoming a #1 receiver for the team that selects him.
Steve Smith was drafted by the Panthers in the third round of the 2001 draft.
They never thought he would be anything more than a special teams player and 4th
receiver when most teams didnít even use 4 or 5 receiver sets. Steve returned
kick offs and punts his first year for a combined yardage of 1795 and three
touchdowns. By the 2003 Super Bowl year, Steve was the #1 WR with 1110 yds and 7
touchdowns, requiring opponents to double team to stop him. He still returned
punts and kickoffs, but was more limited to just punt returns. Bruce Ellington
has the chance to start his career off the same way and end his career the same
way because he is smart, can catch a ball in a monsoon and is strong enough not
to get pushed of his routes when he plays inside or outside. If youíre looking
for the next Steve Smith, I suggest you look no further. Give Bruce a chance,
draft him, put him on the field and let the magic begin. He will impact far more
than most others in this draft and become a core player of your passing game
with the ability to become THE player of your passing game. The fans are going
to love this kid.