Photo of Kevin Ellison
  • 4.87 SEC
    Top Performer
  • 32 REPS
    Top Performer
  • 6'1" Height
  • 227LBS. Weight


Steady, no-nonsense strong safety ended his career with 34 starts and earning first-team All-Pac-10 honors after each of the past two seasons. An instinctive defender, Ellison has morphed into a coach on the field for the Trojans. While every other member of the USC defensive backfield is superior as an all-around athlete, Ellison, who was lightly recruited out of high school, makes up for a lack of eye-popping measureables with intelligence, physicality and a penchant for making the big play. Of concern to scouts, is whether Ellison has the straight-line speed to handle the transition to the NFL, especially considering the three knee operations he's undergone while at USC.



Positives: Chiseled athlete who certainly looks the part. ... Steady, dependable player who graduated a semester early from high school to enroll at Southern Cal. ... Signed with USC as a running back and was so physical and instinctive that the staff considered him at linebacker before moving him to strong safety. ... Quick to attack the line of scrimmage in run support. ... Effective open-field tackler who can break down and make the stop in space. ... Flashes explosiveness as a hitter and can intimidate receivers crossing the middle. ... An accomplished blitzer from his safety position. ... Can avoid blocks on his way to the quarterback and has good closing speed. ... Good bloodlines. Brother, Keith Ellison, is a linebacker for the Buffalo Bills. Negatives: Lacks the preferred straight-line speed for the position. ... Not the same player in coverage that he is in run support or as a hitter over the middle. ... Too often plays the man and not the ball. ... Willing to give up the reception to make a big hit and play it safe. ... Repeated knee injuries. ... Missed most of the 2005 season due to a torn ACL and fractured left leg. Underwent surgery on his left knee again prior to the 2007 season. ... Missed five games in 2008 with a torn meniscus in his right knee that also required surgery.
Grade Title
9.00-10 Once-in-lifetime player
8.00-8.99 Perennial All-Pro
7.50-7.99 Future All-Pro
7.00-7.49 Pro Bowl-caliber player
6.50-6.99 Chance to become Pro Bowl-caliber player
6.00-6.49 Should become instant starter
5.50-5.99 Chance to become NFL starter
5.20-5.49 NFL backup or special teams potential
5.01-5.19 Better-than-average chance to make NFL roster
5.00 50-50 Chance to make NFL roster
4.75-4.99 Should be in an NFL training camp
4.50-4.74 Chance to be in an NFL training camp
No Grade Likely needs time in developmental league.