end effects on his NFL draft stock
Ohio State’s Ezekiel Elliott issued an apology Monday for his scathing postgame comments from the weekend, but that won’t put the issue to bed with NFL scouts.
Elliott is expected to be the top draft eligible running back next spring, and league sources say his decision to publicly blast his coaches after Saturday’s 17 14 loss to Michigan State is sure to follow him through every step of the lengthy draft process.
Elliott started the brushfire immediately after the loss that might have ended Ohio State’s hopes of repeating as national champions by blaming "the play caller" offensive coordinator Ed Warriner as the prime culprit while simultaneously announcing his decision to turn pro after the season.
weren put in position to win this game, Elliott said, referring to the mere 12 carries he was given against an average Michigan State defense that resulted in the end of his streak of 15 consecutive 100 yard rushing games.
"I deserve more than  carries, Elliott added. really do. I can speak for the play caller. I don know what was going on."
Elliott put a lengthy apology on Twitter on Monday, saying his "intentions were not to point fingers at anyone for OUR failure" and blaming his comments on being "caught up in emotions."
Ohio State coach Urban Meyer, with his team set to square off with archrival Michigan this weekend, joined Elliott in trying to douse the controversy Monday by saying "we squashed it as a team."
"I couldn’t disagree with his comments," Meyer added. "But that’s not the place, and he knows that."
While at least one scout told The Post on Sunday he didn’t expect Elliott’s comments to affect his draft stock (Elliott is currently the only back projected for the first round), those words were a red flag every team will address with him especially at the scouting combine next February.
"People know he’s a good kid, a team first kid, and that it was out of frustration," the NFC scout said. "But you have to ask about it because you have to know if the guy can control his emotions. Do you want somebody always second guessing the coaches?"
Another personnel executive, also from an NFC team, said Monday the situation was "much ado about nothing" because teams are willing to put up with a lot if the player is talented enough.
"Just look at the Cowboys," the executive said, referring to the ongoing Greg Hardy saga. "No one thinks Elliott is a bad kid. That’s something you never hear about him. Sure, we’ll ask about it, but I don’t think this is a deal breaker for him at all.".