Pass rush: Is viewed as a classic 3-4 nose tackle without pass rushing abilities, but that’s not quite true. He has the ability to drive the line of scrimmage backward with his massive size and surprising burst off the snap. Shows a very strong bull rush and can tear through the offensive line. Should not be blocked on-one-one, as he’ll toss the center to the side. Shows a nice swim-move to counter the bull rush. Will too often fire out of his stance, stand up and try to shadow box his way past blockers- which doesn’t work. Must learn to pin his ears back and fire out low and hard every play.
Pursuit: Is surprisingly mobile. Will chase to the sideline without worry. Moves incredibly well. Gives high-effort and makes many takes at the second-level after recovering from the backfield.
Quickness: Has surprising agility and quickness.
Run defend: Can work his way down the defensive line to get to the edge. Moves very well for his size. Does a good job breaking free and disengaging from blockers. Has the strength to drop anchor and clog running lanes. Can also push back and create a backward motion if the play is inside. Will stand and look too often. Can be slow to recognize where the ball is. Is at his best when trying to create a traffic jam and not sort out who has the ball.
Strength: Has overwhelming size (6’5, 340lbs) and physically dominated every offensive lineman he saw at Hampton. While he appeared to have super-human strength at Hampton he’ll need to use better angles and leverage to compete in the NFL.
Tackling: Is a massive man in the middle of the defensive line and makes a lot of tackles by simply sitting down and stuffing the run. Will chase and makes tackles from behind. Does a good job breaking free and making one-arm tackles.
Final word: Born in Jamaica, Ellis’ path to the NFL has been a constant change. He began his career at South Carolina, reportedly failed multiple drug tests and was suspended, then found his way to Hampton.
At Hampton Ellis became a two-time All-MEAC player, leaving with 84 tackles in two seasons.
As an NFL prospect the first worry is how will Ellis’ off-field issues while at South Carolina come in to play? Did he indeed fail multiple drug tests? How did his Combine drug test look?
If Ellis’ tests come back free and clear he could see himself drafted at the end of the second round.