NFL Scouting Combine Watch: Elijah Holyfield

Could he be the next Georgia back to make it big in the NFL?

With the NFL Scouting Combine just around the corner, it's time to take a look at some intriguing prospects to keep an eye on in Indianapolis.

 

Next up — Georgia running back Elijah Holyfield.

 

Yes, he is the son of the legendary boxer, but Elijah Holyfield has arrived at the doorstep of the NFL on his own merits.

 

Together with teammate D'Andre Swift, Holyfield helped replace one of the most talented running back duos (Nick Chubb and Sony Michel) the Georgia program has ever seen. Given the history of the running back position at Georgia, those were big shoes to fill. When it comes to programs that churn out quality backs who go on to have great success at the next level, there aren't many that do it better than the school in Athens.

 

Despite that high bar, Holyfield did his part to get the Bulldogs back to the SEC Championship Game and into the College Football Playoff conversation once again. Splitting carries with Swift, he ran for 1,108 yards and seven touchdowns — averaging 6.4 yards per carry.

 

As a runner, he's the total package — good size and power, good speed, elite agility, and outstanding vision. He also has limited wear and tear, having only carried the ball 215 times during his three-year college career.

 

If there is a downside to Holyfield's game, it's his lack of involvement in the passing attack. He caught just five passes in 2018 and seven total during his time in Athens. That seems to be the only thing keeping scouts from projecting him as a Day 2 draft pick. As of now, most draft sites and talking heads have Elijah Holyfield projected to go in the late fourth or early fifth rounds.

 

Suffice to say, demonstrating the ability to consistently catch passes will be priority No. 1 for Holyfield at the Combine. Current NFL offenses are predicated on the running back providing a threat as a pass catcher. Three of the four teams in this season's NFL conference championship games featured elite pass catchers at the running back position — New Orleans' Alvin Kamara, New England's James White, and Los Angeles' Todd Gurley.

 

If Holyfield shows well in his drills and catches most, if not all, of the passes thrown to him at the Combine, there's no reason not to expect him to be drafted as early as the third round.

 

— Written by J.P. Scott, who is part of the Athlon Contributor Network. His work has appeared on SI.com, FoxSports.com, Yahoo! SBNation and Bleacher Report. He is a three-time FWAA writing contest award winner. Follow him on Twitter @TheJPScott.

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