2016 NFL Mock Draft: 1st Edition

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Jan 12, 2015; Arlington, TX, USA; Ohio State Buckeyes running back Ezekiel Elliott (15) runs past Oregon Ducks defensive lineman Tui Talia (55) during the second half in the 2015 CFP National Championship Game at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

24. Carolina Panthers- Ezekiel Elliott, RB, Ohio State

There’s a lot of optimism heading into this season for the Carolina Panthers ground game. However, people must be forgetting James Stewart’s lengthy injury history. The depth behind Stewart is thin with late-round pick Cameron Artis-Payne the most intriguing player.

Ohio State’s Ezekiel Elliott is an excellent running back who brings both big-play ability and toughness. He easily could work his way into the top-10 mix with another productive season.

Providing Cam Newton with a consistent ground game would be a good decision. It would keep him from taking so many hits and take some pressure off his shoulders.

Check out how Elliott compares to Todd Gurley

Next: No. 25 Arizona Cardinals