Andre Ellington moving from RB to WR for Cardinals
Andre Ellington will have a new position in 2017.
Arizona Cardinals coach Bruce Arians said Wednesday at the Annual League Meeting that Ellington will be a wide receiver this season and would move to the wideout meeting room, per Darren Urban of the team’s official website.
The slightly built, 5-foot-9 Ellington spent his first four seasons in Arizona as a running back, but proved to be better in the passing game than run game. In the one season the Cards tried to make Ellington the featured back, he dealt with injuries and proved to be inefficient between the tackles. After 201 totes in 2014, he saw just 45 carries in 2015 and 34 last season as David Johnson took over the every-down role.
Ellington has speed in open space and can catch the ball — 112 receptions in four seasons — but how he translates to running routes as a receiver and his ability to beat press coverage remains to be seen. His build is already in line with the fast, smallish receivers that clutter the Cardinals’ wideout corps — John Brown (5-foot-10), J.J. Nelson (5-foot-10).
Moving Ellington, who signed a one-year deal to remain in Arizona, to receiver is a way to get him on the field as Johnson gobbles up the backfield snaps.
With Larry Fitzgerald jersey a year closer to retirement, the Cardinals should still be in the market for a big-bodied wideout and red-zone target in the upcoming draft, as well as a backup running back for Johnson.
Could DeShone Kizer be the heir apparent to Carson Palmer in Arizona?
The Cardinals will consider the possibility today as the club hosts the former Notre Dame quarterback on a pre-draft visit, per NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport.
Palmer has thrown for more than 4,000 yards for the Cardinals over each of the last two seasons, and led the team to the NFC title game after the 2015 season. But at age 37, it could be time for the club invest a high draft choice in an understudy at the position. Arizona will host another top quarterback prospect, Clemson’s Deshaun Watson, on a pre-draft visit Wednesday, and has also conducted a private workout with Texas Tech QB Patrick Mahomes.
The NFL draft will be held April 27-29 in Philadelphia.
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Interest in Kizer of late hasn’t been limited to the Cardinals. The Buffalo Bills conducted a private workout with him over the weekend.
The book isn’t yet closed on draft evaluations of Reuben Foster, at least not for the New York Jets or Baltimore Ravens.
The former Alabama star, considered the top linebacker available in the 2017 NFL Draft, was at the Jets’ facility on a pre-draft visit Monday, and will head to Baltimore next to meet with Ravens officials, per NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport.
The draft will be held April 27-29 in Philadelphia.
Foster (6-foot, 229 pounds) led the Crimson Tide’s staunch defense in tackles last year with 115, including 13 for losses and five sacks. Five NFL.com analysts project Foster to be selected within a fairly tight range — between No. 9 and No. 15 overall — in current mock drafts. That’s a little too early for the Ravens, who hold the No. 16 overall selection, though the Jets are in a much stronger position to draft Foster with the sixth pick.
Miami TE David Njoku visited the Jets Monday as well, per Rapoport.