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Rumors the Pats may consider Sedrick Ellis got me to focus more on him. After his awful combine, I was skeptical. He seemed to redeem himself at the USC proday, which revived my interest. I was totally on board, even as of earlier today, with Ellis as a fall back option at #7. But some people I respect on this board aren't sold on him, and that prompted me to take a closer look...
Here is a quick evaluation of Ellis athletically, based purely on his athletic measurables (which I realize is a flawed method), a comparison vs successful NFL DTs drafted over the past 4 years.
40 yard dash: Over the past 4 years, there are very few DTs on NFL rosters who ran times slower than Ellis' 5.26; Almost every elite DT beat that performance by a wide margin, even a behemoth like Ngata. Wilfork himself, at 323 lbs, ran faster than Ellis at 309. Even Ellis' USC pro day performance, at a lighter 298 lbs, when he ran a 5.05, was not that impressive. If you pay attention to USC prodays through the years, you see that almost all prospects run faster on that track than at the combine, usually by almost .1 seconds (this holds true for most proday 40 times in general). So Ellis wasn't fast there either, especially when you consider he was running at a lower weight.
Here's a look at some 40 times from starting DTs drafted over the past 4 years, currently playing in the NFL:
Wilfork, 5.21 at 323 lbs.
Ngata 5.12 at 338 lbs
Olshansky 4.98 at 318 lbs
Castillo 4.79 at 305 lbs
Okoye 5.07 at 303 lbs
Dockett 4.96 at 297 lbs
THarris 4.78 at 292 lbs
Cofield 4.95 at 304 lbs
Spears 5.03 at 307 lbs
This pattern continues. Ellis speed is on the very low end when compared with successful NFL DTs. While he may have run better than some other prospects in his own class, he ran slower than the people he is truly competing against, current quality NFL players.
Short Shuttle: Ellis ran a 4.73. This is tortoise slow. As a comparison...
Ngata: 4.69 (at 338 lbs)
Ellis' Short shuttle was slower than just about every successful DT drafted over the past few years.
3-cone: Ellis ran a 7.78. This is a mediocre time as well. As a comparison...
So Ellis here is middle of the road for an NFL starting DT prospect.
Bench press: Ellis had 36, which is elite, the best of any starting player except Olshanksy (41) and WIlfork (36).
Conclusion: Ellis has substandard speed and quickness compared with other DT prospects drafted over the past 4 years who have gone on to successfully transition to the NFL. He has mediocre lower body power, and elite upper body strength. Combining all these factors, Ellis seems to be on the lower end of the spectrum athletically when compared with most impact NFL DTs.
Does this mean Ellis won't become a great player? Not necessarily. But it means that his intangibles have to be extraordinary to justify drafting him at #7 overall. One of his best attributes is an elite play-to-play motor. Maybe that motor can compensate for his less than stellar speed and quickness. Maybe it can't.
I'm sure people will find fault with this quick analysis, citing his dominant play in college or at the senior bowl. But Ellis was not competing against NFL talent. He was competing against A ball, AA and AAA talent. He was also surrounded by other elite players at USC which forced matchup issues all over the field. The step up to the big leagues is immense. Just like some hitters in baseball crush AAA pitching, but can't handle major league stuff; some NFL prospects dominate in college and meet their match in the NFL.
This is just a caution flag, since our team may be about to invest the most important draft pick in almost 10 years in this player. There is some risk associated with drafting Ellis at #7. His athletic profile does not seem to match up with current quality NFL DTs drafted in recent years.
Last edited by PonyExpress; 04-14-2008 at 10:08 PM..
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Agility and speed tests are hardly appropriate metrics to evaluate the potential for a DT. The guy is strong, damn strong, and that's what it takes to play in a crowd on the interior line.
You mention that he matched Wilfork's bench, and the other guy-- Olshansky-- was reportedly on BB's draft card, too.
He dominated at the Senior Bowl-- in fact he outplayed Dorsey-- and that's a better test.
You may very well be right. But Wilfork and Olshansky were better than Ellis in just about every other athletic measurable, and they are bigger and heavier than Ellis.
I mean, who really knows about Dorsey? He's just another prospect who hasn't made a tackle in the NFL. Maybe he'll be a HOFer, like evryone seems to expect; maybe he'll be the next Shaun Cody, or John McCargo, or Harrell, or Tubbs.
Laws from ND seems to match up better than both of them compared with the athletic standards of current NFL starting DTs...
Harrison is replaced by Sanders with Merriweather playing FS.
Bruschi moves into reserve, say they draft Gholston. Vravel-Hobson/Bruschi on the inside is good IMO. Bruschi is a lot better suited to be spliting time, also would make Hobson's job easier.
This is done by drafting a LB, not a DL. Look, I understand the POSSIBLE need in the future, but let me compare situations.
We have Bruschi on his last leg, Hobson on a one year deal and NOTHING else at ILB. Vrabel is getting older and with declining speed, moving inside would help this team more. any OLB makes this happen.
For the DL, they'll probably dump Seymour and pay wilfork. They've bascaly been using Green half the season the last few years, it wont be a big drop off.
Defense, defense, defense
Last edited by BionicPatriot; 04-14-2008 at 10:15 PM..