Ellington is entering his fifth season in the NFL. He found quick success his rookie season out of Clemson running for 652 yards at 5.5 yards per carry. He hit a sophomore slump, however, running for only eight more yards than on 83 more carries. In 2015 and 2016, he continued to struggle to find the same kind of production.
In his first two seasons—more specifically in 2014—Ellington was just as valuable in the passing game as he was in regards to carrying the rock. That’s why Bruce Arians is moving him to the receiver’s room. The move, however, crowds the wide receiver room with a lot of the same kind of playmakers. John Brown and J.J. Nelson, like Ellington, are all considered quick players in space with the potential to break a big play any down and neither of the three eclipse six feet tall.
Joining Brown, Ellington and Nelson in the wide receivers room will be Larry Fitzgerald and Jaron Brown. Arizona is expected to address the position in the NFL Draft, which is just over three weeks away. That means Ellington will be fighting for a roster spot once training camp comes around.
Something general manager Steve Keim and Arians have to be concerned about when it comes to Ellington is his injury history. He missed the final four games in 2014 after suffering a hip pointer and six in 2015 after injuring his PCL on a non-contact play. In 2016 he was active, but David Johnson carried the load.
Ellington is obviously a talented player with potential which is why Keim and company wanted to bring him back on a one-year, prove it deal for 2017. If he wants to make the roster he’ll need to prove to be more valuable than Brown and/or Nelson, who combined for 73 catches, 1,085 yards and eight touchdowns in 2016.