Vision - Has outstanding vision behind the line of scrimmage and a great feel for where space is going to develop. Knows how to push his path both vertically and horizontally to put defenders where he wants them. Especially adept at pressing line of scrimmage to draw in force players, then bounce outside of them. Reads blocks as they develop and works with the leverage of his linemen exceedingly well; can hit the narrow creases.
Burst - Not overly explosive but is above-average. Burst when running through angles is more impressive than in a straight line: can win the boundary with great acceleration around the hoop and regularly destroys angles of force players, especially cornerbacks. Burst is accentuated by quick footwork and industrious movements: keeps his feet tethered to the ground to always be ready to explode. Translates speed into power when approaching contact, and will accelerate to deliver a hit.
Change of Direction - Has tremendous footwork and agility when considering his size (215 pounds). Very light on his feet with excellent flexibility through the lower half, leading to body control at sudden stops. Has a very high step frequency through the trash between the tackles and runs with urgency and timeliness accordingly. Is always connected to the ground and able to make the second or third cut necessary. Not overly elusive with jukes or spins -- prefers to hit -- but sets up great initial angles with his quickness.
Power - Brings eye-popping power to the contact point. Tape held multiple instances of planting defenders or running through them for dirty yardage. Rarely finished runs on his back. Natural leverage and thick lower half contributes to pile-driving ability, which was useful in goalline or short-yardage situations. Brought power with him when asked to pass protect.
2nd Level Speed - Only average in this area. Because of low-riding frame and step frequency, struggles to open up and fly when he gets into space. Does not have a second gear beyond his initial burst, and has to pour effort into hitting top speed. Will not run away from many third-level defenders.
Contact Balance - Not so much a tackle-breaker as he is a run-finisher, but still in possession of great contact balance. Low-riding frame and pad level contribute to the shedding of arm tackles regularly in the first and second-level. Absorbs contact around his legs nicely and is able to finish forward.
Decision-making - Remarkably instinctive runner who picks his spots well. Has successful bounces and patient, between-the-tackle runs both across his film. Sees through trees into the second level and finds room in narrow spaces that many college running backs would miss. Can trust his quickness too much at times when attacking outside, but ability to finish forward with velocity mitigates the concerns here.
Pass Catching - Has seven -- seven -- career catches to his name, five of which came in this season, his only season with significant touches overall. Lack of data more so a result of crowded Georgia backfield than inability, but evidence in Combine/Pro Day that he can catch is an absolute must.
Pass Protection - Has some recognition issues but wins when he sees it develop. More effective finding rushers off the edge than he is IDing interior blitzes. Plays with an active, powerful base and delivers a shot to disrupt rush paths. Frame and demeanor lend themselves to a positive projection here.
BEST TRAIT - Power
WORST TRAIT - Speed
RED FLAGS - Athletic Testing
PLAYER COMPARISON - Chris Carson
Only a one-year starter and generally underutilized piece in a busy Bulldog backfield, Elijah Holyfield is the sleeper of this year's RB class. A delightfully seasoned player for his low mileage, Holyfield has a great instinct for space, and naturally creates his own creases by operating with an attractive blend of patience and timeliness behind the line of scrimmage. A powerful finisher who regularly drags would-be tacklers for extra yardage, Holyfield won't break many third-level runs at the next level -- he lacks breakaway speed and ideal tackle-breaking instincts -- but he will rarely lose yardage and surprise defenders with his quickness in space.
Holyfield rarely caught the football at Georgia, and must prove that he is a threat in the receiving game to become a three-down back at the next level. With that box checked, however, Holyfield projects as a Year 1 NFL starter capable of handling a full load on the most onerous of offenses. He has an NFL-ready frame, mind, and attitude, and should be considered among the top RBs in this class.
ROUND GRADE - Mid 3