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Morning Tailgate: Andre Ellington Emerges

Posted Dec 27, 2013

Rookie running back Andre Ellington has been one of the biggest steals of the 2013 NFL Draft.

Cardinals rookie running back Andre Ellington has been a major steal.

The No. 187 overall pick in the 2013 NFL Draft has become a major play-maker in Arizona's offense. Ellington's 622 rushing yards rank fifth among all rookies. The former Clemson product also leads Arizona with eight rushes of 20-or-more yards.

In a Week 6 loss to the 49ers, Ellington carried the ball seven times for 56 yards, including a 15-yard touchdown run.

Ellington hasn't been a featured back just yet, but he's been utilized as a change-of-pace runner next to veteran Rashard Mendenhall.

"They’ve done a great job with him, using him in a way that highlights his strengths," San Francisco's defensive coordinator Vic Fangio said. "And he’s really been a big boost for their offense. He’s very similar to (New Orleans Saints RB) Darren Sproles. And they’ve done a good job of using him. It’s hard to believe that guy lasted to the sixth round, which is one of the reasons why the draft is so intriguing to everybody once it comes around. There are gems like that to be found late in the rounds and they got one.”

More 49ers headlines can be found in today's Morning Tailgate, presented by State Farm.

Cam Inman of the San Jose Mercury News discussed the state of the 49ers passing attack heading into the postseason.

Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee examined postseason scenarios for the 49ers.

Matt Maiocco of CSNBayArea.com looked at Mario Manningham's absence from Thursday's practice.

Bill Williamson of ESPN.com wrote about the return of Mike Iupati.

Austin Murphy of SI.com called NaVorro Bowman's "Pick at The 'Stick," the most pivotal play of the 2013 NFL season.

Andrew Pentis of 49ers.com previewed Michael Crabtree's matchup with Patrick Peterson.



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