Photo of Sedrick Ellis
  • 34 REPS
    Top Performer
  • 6'1" Height
  • 305LBS. Weight


The Trojans' three-year starter at nose guard, Ellis was regarded as one of the top interior linemen in the country entering his senior season, and only continued to build his reputation in 2007. The winner of the Pat Tillman Pac-10 Conference Defensive Player of the Year Award, Ellis was also the recipient of the Morris Trophy, given to the league's premier lineman.

Many had expected Ellis to be playing in the National Football League rather than for the Trojans in 2007. He seriously contemplated applying after his junior season, but because he missed a portion of 2006 while recovering from early season arthroscopic knee surgery, he decided to return for his final campaign. "I think I can mature more as a football player and a person," Ellis said last summer. "It's only one more year. How bad can one more year be?"

Southern California's gain resulted in significant losses for their opposition, as no offensive lineman could contain Ellis, who registered a career-high 8.5 sacks to go along with 8.5 stops behind the line of scrimmage and seven pass deflections as a senior. After manhandling the Notre Dame offensive line in their 2007 encounter, the Irish head coach Charlie Weis told reporters, "Ellis is on about every (award) list known to mankind. He locates the ball, uses his hands, plays with good balance. He's a tough player."

At Chino High School, Ellis earned Super Prep and Prep Star All-American honors, in addition to garnering Super Prep Elite 50, Prep Star Top 100 Dream Team, The Sporting News Hot 100, Super Prep All-Farwest, Prep Star All-West, Tom Lemming All-West, Long Beach Press-Telegram Best in the West first-team and Tacoma News Tribune Western 100 honors.

Ellis was also named to the Orange County Register Fab 15, Cal-Hi Sports All-State, All-CIF Southern Section, All-CIF Division II first-teams and was chosen Los Angeles Times All-Star Lineman MVP. The Los Angeles Times All-Inland Empire Lineman MVP selection as a senior offensive and defensive lineman, he recorded 122 tackles (35 solo), including 19 for losses (with 6.5 sacks), plus a blocked punt, a forced fumble and a pair of fumble recoveries in 2002.

As a junior in 2001, he made the Cal-Hi Sports All-State Underclass, All-CIF Southern Section, All-CIF Division II and Los Angeles Times All-Inland Empire first-teams. He posted 108 tackles, including 16 for losses (with 10 sacks), in 2001. As a sophomore, he picked up Cal-Hi Sports All-State first-team recognition. He also competed on the school's track team in the weights.

Ellis enrolled at Southern California in 2003, but during fall drills he suffered a left ankle fracture and was granted a medical hardship. He played in 11 games behind All-American Mike Patterson at nose guard in 2004, but saw just limited action, making two assisted tackles.

With Patterson graduating, Ellis took over nose guard chores in 2005, starting all 13 games. He received All-Pac 10 Conference honorable mention, as he collected 50 tackles (28 solos) and ranked third on the squad with 4.5 sacks and eight stops for losses. He also deflected three passes and caused a fumble.

In 2006, Ellis earned All-American first-team honors, in addition to being a consensus All-Pac 10 Conference first-team choice, despite missing three games after he suffered torn cartilage in his right knee in practice prior to the Nebraska clash. He still managed to win the Pac-10 Morris Trophy (for the league's top defensive lineman, as voted by the league's offensive linemen).

Ellis went on to register 34 tackles (17 solos), 4.5 sacks and 8.5 stops behind the line of scrimmage in 10 contests. He also had a forced fumble, two fumble recoveries, three pass deflections and blocked a kick. USC center, Ryan Kalil, who battled vs. Ellis in practices for three years and was the offensive recipient of the 2006 Morris Trophy, raved about his former teammate, stating, "He's an unbelievable football player. He made me so much better because I had to block him every day. He's so strong, so man-strong. He's just a good player."

Ellis was a unanimous All-American and All-Pac 10 Conference first-team choice as a senior. He was a semifinalist for the Bednarik Award (top defensive player) and Lott Trophy, in addition to being named Pac-10 Defensive Player of the Year and winning the Morris Trophy for the second consecutive season. In 13 starts, he totaled 58 tackles (29 solos) and ranked second on the squad with 8.5 sacks and 12.5 stops for losses. He also batted away seven passes and recovered two fumbles.

In 48 games at Southern California, Ellis started 36 contests. He registered 144 tackles (74 solos), 17.5 sacks for minus-130 yards and 28.5 stops for losses of 158 yards. He was credited with three quarterback pressures, 13 pass deflections and a blocked kick. He also caused two fumbles and recovered four others.



Positives: Has a shorter than ideal frame and lacks great bulk for a two-gap system, but is very effective playing the three-technique...Has good bone structure and while he might be at maximum growth potential he has thick thighs and calves and long arms with good muscle tone...Runs with a normal stride and shows the ability to quickly accelerate off the snap...Demonstrates the foot quickness, balance and agility to make plays on the move, showing above average change of direction agility and valid speed to pursue long distances...Possesses very good body control on the move and has the speed to make plays on the far side of the field...Adequate student in the class room, but does a good job taking plays from the chalkboard to the playing field...Has valid instincts to locate the ball and plays with good alertness (very aware of blocking schemes)...His suddenness and aggressiveness off the snap will generally surprise a lethargic blocker...Likes to train and does everything the coaches ask...Will play through pain and does so with good intensity...Locates the ball and reacts to pressure quickly, doing a nice job of adjusting to the action on the move...Has the sudden burst to gain advantage off the snap and with his keen feel for the snap cadence, he is not the type than can be fooled and drawn off side...Is a disruptive sort who can explode into an offensive lineman when he keeps his pad level down...Has the strength to create a new line of scrimmage vs. the running game, and when he generates good hand placement he can hold ground at the point of attack and win one-on-one battles (will struggle when his base narrows or his hands are outside the framework)...Shows the foot quickness and the lateral quickness to redirect and accelerate to the ball...Has the ability to disengage from blocks with his strength and quickness...Uses his hands, along with quickness and leverage, to redirect and is very good in attempts to stack (when he sinks his weight he can split the double-teams)...Has the valid upper body strength to separate, disengage and shed...Will usually play low with leverage...Reacts to pressure with good body control and is quick to recover when he out-runs the play...Has a variety of counter moves and uses his hands with good effectiveness to shed...Has the ability to grab and rip, whether as a pass rusher or vs. run blockers...Shows good agility in pursuit, accelerating quickly to the ball...More of a hit-and-wrap tackler, as he has the strength to take down the ballcarrier and will generally stay in control while on the move, especially when shooting the gaps...Shows good explosion and strike ability behind his wrap tackles...Burst to close, but is more relentless than sudden in long pursuit...Does a very nice job of getting under the ballcarrier, as he is quick to uncoil...Shows good strength in his bull rush, using his hands well...Alert to the location of the ball when rushing the quarterback and has the strong, quick hands to control and shed blockers with authority...Shows intensity and desire to get the ball in space, closing on the passer with good acceleration...Can defeat pass schemes on the way to the quarterback, demonstrating that solid extra burst to close on the QB with good surge, desire and second effort. Negatives: Lacks the ideal size you look for in a two-gap defender and might be a better fit to play under-tackle at the next level, which will limit the teams that will put a high priority on his services (teams like Tampa Bay, Indianapolis, Philadelphia and the New York Jets play the system best suited for Ellis)...Has good upper body power, but he fails to anchor strongly vs. plays directed right at him...Needs to maintain a lower pad level (showed marked improvement here in 2007), as when he gets too tall in his stance he narrows his base, which allows the physical blockers to push him off the snap...Better tackler on the move than in tight areas, but he does show good angle concept when closing on the ball...Has had some leg injuries (left ankle fracture in 2003, right knee torn cartilage in 2006) that robbed him of some of the explosiveness he showed as a prep player...Has a compact frame, but he can't add any more bulk without having it impact his overall quickness...Field smart player, but his adequate academics might indicate he would need time to digest a complicated playbook. Compares To: LA'ROI GLOVER-St. Louis...Ellis is a little bit bigger and heavier than Glover, but not by much. Ellis probably could not carry the bulk to play a classic two-gap, but as an under-tackle he could be a clone of what Glover has done. Both rely on their quickness and ability to neutralize double teams. Both take good angles in pursuit and are move oriented types who get better penetration on the slant rather than with a blocker right over their heads. Ellis is quick to locate the ball in a crowd and uses his hands and quickness to leverage and redirect. Shooting the gaps is a specialty for him, but he is also equally effective as a wrap-up tackler. With his lateral agility and quickness, he will make a nice living creating a new line of scrimmage vs. the running game at the next level.
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.