The 2014 wide receiver class left us with high expectations, producing great receivers such as Sammy Watkins, Mike Evans, Odell Beckham Jr, Brandin Cooks, Jordan Matthews, Kelvin Benjamin, Jarvis Landry, Allen Robinson and Donte Moncrief just to name a few. It’s quite amazing the talent that was in that class wide receiver wise. Who’s to say another couldn’t emerge. During that draft, the San Francisco 49ers selected Bruce Ellington with the 106th overall pick out of South Carolina. Bruce was a combine stud pulling out top performances in the 20-yard shuttle, 60-yard shuttle and vertical jump. He’s got great short-area quickness and acceleration but lacks severely in one department, height. At 5’9” he was one of the shortest receivers in the class.
[table id=45 /]
Currently, Ellington is competing at receiver with notable receivers Quinton Patton, Jerome Simpson, DeAndre Smelter, Aaron Burbridge, and Devon Cajuste but looks to be on the inside track to solidifying himself as a slot receiver as well as being the team’s top return man. In college, Ellington was one of the best slot receivers in the SEC, combining for 1,375 yards receiving on 89 receptions with 15 touchdowns during his final two seasons. Between 2014 and 2015 Jordan Matthews from the slot commanded a total of 229 targets, 103 in 2014 and 126 in 2015.
Ellington is slowly but surely earning the trust, support and belief from coaches and teammates.
Here’s what Gabbert had to say regarding Ellington:
Going into his third year, he’s now a vet. He’s a vet in that room. He knows how to prepare himself day in and day out, and it’s really carrying over to the field. He’s balling out right now. The biggest thing I see from him — he’s having fun, he’s enjoying it, and he’s catching a ton of balls right now.
And Chip Backed him up with this statement:
What really is Bruce Ellington? When you look at just the short time that I’ve seen just film of him you’re like ‘Wow.’ That kid can do some interesting things and it’s our job to figure out how we can use that to benefit us to help us win games.”
Ellington is known for having great hands, catching 31 passes over the past two season and only recording 1 drop. Albeit a small sample size, it is impressive nonetheless. Having great hands will benefit him early and often in a numbers friendly offense that lacks receiving options. A lot of people are on Torrey Smith to be the receiver that benefits most but I’d go the contrarian play and take a chance on Ellington’s current ADP of the 97th receiver off the board, 271st overall. Virtually free to stash in dynasty, he’s worth a flier.