Justin Ellis   DT   Louisiana Tech

TALENT BOARD ROUND 3

STRENGTHS
Justin has the size, strength, quick feet, balance and burst off the line to become an impact Defensive Tackle for the team that drafts him. He can play defensive tackle in a 4-3 defense or play that all important nose tackle position in a 3-4 defense at a very high level. He is an excellent run stuffer with the quickness of the line to be an effective inside pass rusher. Justin is able to handle a double team and change the line of scrimmage to his advantage on almost every play. He has the quickness and strong burst off the line that most offensive linemen will find very hard to handle. He is smart and understands his job in the multiple fronts he plays in for his college team. Justin is excellent when playing nose tackle because he has very good lateral agility and can string plays out between the hash marks. If an offense tries to run up the middle he will shut them down. If an offense doesnít double team him on passing plays, he will make a play in the backfield. Justin will be a very good Defensive tackle in a 4-3 defense for the team that drafts. But his impact position will be as a nose tackle in a 3-4 defense.

CONCERNS
Justin will have to become more consistent with his techniques and also realize for the next level his job will be to stop the run and to disrupt the pocket on passing downs, not using spin moves to get into the backfield and make sacks. He needs to get his hands up more often when bull rushing and take that spin move he uses and put it into storage because at the next level, offensive linemen will bait him into using it and then take advantage of him. Justin will have to learn that no matter the position at which he lines up, itís all about gap control. Justin also needs to build up his physical stamina to become more that just a rotation defensive lineman.

BOTTOM LINE
Justin will impact if he learns better gap control, getting his hands up when pushing the pocket and becomes more consistent stopping the run. If he addresses those issues, everything else will fall into place because he has the athletic talent to disrupt the pocket on passing downs from the inside. He will have to get in better football shape to stay on the field so that he can be effective on any down and, when he does, there is the potential for Justin to be a Pro Bowl defensive tackle in his future. I rate defensive tackles who can play nose tackle higher than most analyst do in the draft. I feel players like Justin are few and far between. His athletic talent is unique for his size and he can be more than just a run stuffer at the next level. If Justin is mature enough to understand what his potential is for the next level I have no doubt about his ability to impact. For Justin, his interviews will be the key. If teams think he will learn and improve and become consistent then Justin could be selected at the end of the second round or early third round. If he does poorly in the interviews, who knows in what round Justin will be selected?

Drew Boylhart
MAY/2014