The Falcons will have a need for a Runningback in 2019, they should look no further than Atlanta’s very own Elijah Holyfield.
I know what you’re about to say. Why should we draft a running back that had unofficial 4.78 and 4.81 40-yard dash times at the combine? Well, I’m here to tell you why Elijah Holyfield, the son of the former heavyweight champion of the world, is exactly who the Falcons need at running back for depth in 2019.
The latest reports over the last couple weeks at Flowery Branch have been that Tevin Coleman’s time in Atlanta has come to an end after four mediocre seasons. Coleman was given a chance to be the featured back in Sarkisian’s offense in 2018, but was only able to muster up 800 yards and five TD’s on 167 carries. Granted, the offensive line was horrid, but Coleman still did not shine when given the chance.
Now, we’re in 2019, where the dynamic duo of Devonta Freeman and Ito Smith is expected to rule supreme at the running back position for Atlanta. However, we must not forget that the injury-riddled Freeman has only played in 16 games over the last two seasons. Also, Smith went down with knee soreness late in 2018 for Atlanta. The two backs for Atlanta aren’t exactly the insurance you need in the backfield that you want when it comes to health.
This is where a player like Elijah Holyfield is so intriguing in the draft. Holyfield may not be bashing in the heads of grown men in a ring like his father Evander once did back in the day, but Elijah definitely did that on the field at UGA for three seasons donning the silver and red britches. Holyfield, 5-11 and 215 pounds, punished SEC defensive lineman and linebackers at the line of scrimmage in 2018 for the Dawgs. Holyfield ran for 1,018 yards and seven TD’s for UGA in 2018, where he was given a chance to start for the first time in his collegiate career.
Holyfield turned heads in Athens with his elite strength and unique physicality at the running back position, and fits a style of running that Atlanta will need in 2019. With the undersized backs of Freeman and Smith, it would be nice for the Falcons to have a reliable power back for short-yardage situations and pass protection with the looming absence of Coleman.
Holyfield had an underwhelming combine, and with that his draft stock went down significantly. It wouldn’t surprise me to see Holyfield drop anywhere between the fifth to seventh round. That would be the perfect time for Atlanta to take a low-risk player that could potentially help the offense for years to come.
If you think Holyfield is slow, just turn on his tape at UGA in 2018. That will show you why you should take the results of the NFL Combine with a grain of salt.