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Sedrick Ellis: an athletic profile

Discussion in 'Patriots Draft Talk' started by PonyExpress, Apr 14, 2008.

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  1. PonyExpress

    PonyExpress Rookie

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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...
    Castillo: 4.24
    THarris: 4.3
    Olshansky: 4.42
    Wilfork: 4.5
    TKelly: 4.47
    Ngata: 4.69 (at 338 lbs)
    Dockett: 4.62
    Okoye: 4.44
    Cofield: 4.35
    Spears: 4.44

    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...

    THarris: 7.33 (299 lbs)
    Wilfork 7.62 (323 lbs)
    Olshanksy 7.64 (318 lbs)
    Cofield 7.43 (304 lbs)
    Spears 7.21 (307 lbs)
    Ngata 7.97 (338 lbs)
    TKelly 7.8 (299 lbs)
    Okoye: 7.46 (302 lbs)

    Ellis' 3-cone is at the low end of the spectrum.

    Vertical Jump: Ellis jumped 30" at his pro day, when he weighed 298 lbs. For comparison....

    Castillo: 34.5
    Olshansky 33.5
    THarris: 31
    BCofield: 34
    Ngata: 31.5
    Spears: 31
    Okoye: 30
    Wilfork: 26.5
    TKelly: 25
    Dockett: 31

    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: Apr 14, 2008
  2. rookBoston

    rookBoston Rookie

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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.
  3. MrBigglesWorth

    MrBigglesWorth Rookie

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    we need speed at linebacker. sure everything is built behind a stout d-line but what i we can't put pressure on the qb?

    it's like the vikings somewhat where they can stop the run but stink against the pass. if we can't get pressure on the qb and the qb has all day that makes the secondary and lb's that much worst
  4. 363839

    363839 PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Good point rookB..I'm starting to really like this guy, combine results not withstanding.
    Didn't Gholsten get 37 on the bench? Anyone?
  5. MrBigglesWorth

    MrBigglesWorth Rookie

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    how does this make our defense faster?
  6. PonyExpress

    PonyExpress Rookie

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    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...
  7. 363839

    363839 PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    It doesn't. It makes it more stout, though.
    If speed has to be compromised, dT is the ideal position
    where it's better to be stronger. No?
  8. rookBoston

    rookBoston Rookie

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    Faster is a question of replacing Bruschi and Harrison, not Seymour or Wilfork.
  9. MrBigglesWorth

    MrBigglesWorth Rookie

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    if the back 7 is still slow then we're in trouble not to mention losing asante.

    we need speed rushers and a speed ILB
  10. BionicPatriot

    BionicPatriot Rookie

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    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.
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2008
  11. apple strudel

    apple strudel Banned

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    How do you draw this conclusion based on the numbers you posted? I don't see a squat, and vertical jump is no real indicator of lower body power.

    I'd have drafted Ngata at 7, gladly, were he in this years draft. And yes, I know we could use a pass rushing OLB. I want one too, in the form of Groves. But I wouldn't mind a defensive lineman in this draft, either, based on that position's compostion after 2009.
  12. Patriot Missile

    Patriot Missile Rookie

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    #75 Jersey

    After all is said and done. The only thing I ask is "How the Hell did Vince Wilfork last until the 17th pick?" I'm still giddy over it .
  13. PonyExpress

    PonyExpress Rookie

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    The VJ is a good indication of explosive lower body power. It indicates your max squat. The potential spring energy in one's lower half would be equal to the potential gravitational energy of the human body at the peak of the vertical jump.
  14. captain stone

    captain stone Rookie

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    No Jersey Selected

    IMHO, drafting Ellis at #7 would be a complete waste. Not only does he have Bust Potential, but he also doesn't come close to fitting the profile of a 3-4 DE or NT. And he wouldn't provide maximum value for his draft slot, either. The #7 overall pick should be able to contribute from Opening Day 2008, not Opening Day 2010 or whenever $eymour's overpaid contract expires.
  15. mike100915

    mike100915 Rookie

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    PonyExpress great job!

    Your 100% right when it comes to the numbers, but just watch the tape of Senior Bowl. Ellis was unblockable. Watch this past USC games and he was a force in every game. He was the reason that their LB's had the ability to make so many plays. I'd have no problem picking him at #7. He's got a non-stop motor and he makes alot of plays. The Patriots could do so many different looks if they added an Ellis to that D-Line.

    Would you take Ellis over Gholston? Todd McShay on ESPN radio today said that the Patriots do not like Gholston.
  16. ctpatsfan77

    ctpatsfan77 PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Excellent point; I never thought of it that way before.

    FWIW, though, you can't simply directly compare numbers; you'd have to correct for the mass (I presume it would be related to 1/mass--i.e., a 320# player would only go half as far as a 160# player generating the same energy).
  17. captain stone

    captain stone Rookie

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    No Jersey Selected

    Another smokescreen from Foxborough, perhaps.
  18. ctpatsfan77

    ctpatsfan77 PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Except that Vrabel is not really built to play inside; towards the end of 2006 he was playing through excruciating pain. I am absolutely serious when I say that I believe moving Vrabel inside full-time will cut at least a year off his career (FWIW, I think he probably has ~4 years left if he takes care of himself).

    AMEN. :rocker:
  19. PonyExpress

    PonyExpress Rookie

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    One sleeper who really interests me from the later rds is Wisconsin's Nick Hayden. He seems like a good 3-4 DE developmental prospect who is being overlooked, and could be grabbed in rd 6. In fact, contrary to what I have read, this seems like a very athletic DT class overall, with many prospects worthy of consideration by the Pats. Among them Laws, Moore, Bryant, Sims, Pressley and Hayden. I would rather draft one of them, as a developmental pick, than bet the future of my team on Dorsey or Ellis at #7.
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2008
  20. Pisa

    Pisa Rookie

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    Substituting Dorsey for Ellis

    Enjoyed the work done on Ellis and thought this might work for the number one guy.

    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
    Dorsey 5.12 at 297 lbs

    Short Shuttle: Dorsey ran a 4.80. This is tortoise slow. As a comparison...
    Castillo: 4.24
    THarris: 4.3
    Olshansky: 4.42
    Wilfork: 4.5
    TKelly: 4.47
    Ngata: 4.69 (at 338 lbs)
    Dockett: 4.62
    Okoye: 4.44
    Cofield: 4.35
    Spears: 4.44


    3-cone: Dorsey ran a 7.52 This is a decent time. As a comparison...

    THarris: 7.33 (299 lbs)
    Wilfork 7.62 (323 lbs)
    Olshanksy 7.64 (318 lbs)
    Cofield 7.43 (304 lbs)
    Spears 7.21 (307 lbs)
    Ngata 7.97 (338 lbs)
    TKelly 7.8 (299 lbs)
    Okoye: 7.46 (302 lbs)


    Vertical Jump: Dorsey jumped 25' 1/2" at his pro day, when he weighed 297 lbs. For comparison....

    Castillo: 34.5
    Olshansky 33.5
    THarris: 31
    BCofield: 34
    Ngata: 31.5
    Spears: 31
    Okoye: 30
    Wilfork: 26.5
    TKelly: 25
    Dockett: 31

    Dorsey had a long jump of 8'4". You didn't use that as a variable but it is very low.

    So Dorsey here is bottom of the road for an NFL starting DT prospect.

    Bench press: Dorsey alleged had 27 but not on his pro day.

    Conclusion: Dorsey has slightly below average speed and scores low on strength and explosiveness. Predictions of greatness should be perhaps reduced.
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