Photo of Kevin Ellison
Kevin Ellison (S)
Height: 6'1"
Weight: 227
College: USC
Conference: Pac-12
Hometown: Inglewood, CA
High School: Redondo Union
Featured Prospects
Selected by: San Diego Chargers
Round: 6
Pick (Overall): 16 (189)
Pick Analysis: Ellison is a good, solid player who didn't run fast, and that hurt him. But he's still a really smart and instinctive player. Sometimes intelligent players who lack speed are able to read things better, and Ellison is one of those types of players. He works hard and loves the weight room and the film room.
  1. Overview
  2. Analysis

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.

High School

He was a 2004 Super Prep All-Farwest, Prep Star All-West, Tom Lemming All-West, Long Beach Press-Telegram Best of the Rest, Tacoma News Tribune Western 100, Cal-Hi Sports All-State first team, All-CIF Division III, Los Angeles Times All-South Bay/Westside Player of the Year, South Bay Daily Breeze All-Area Player of the Year and All-Bay League MVP as a senior running back and linebacker at Redondo Union High in Redondo Beach (Calif.). He ran for 1,661 yards on 230 carries (7.2-yard average) with 32 TDs and had 25 receptions for 414 yards (16.6 avg.) with 5 TDs on offense and 115 tackles, 10 tackles for loss, five sacks, two fumble recoveries, two forced fumbles and two interceptions (one for a TD) in 2004. In one game, he ran for a school-record 322 yards on 18 carries (17.9 avg.). As a junior in 2003, he made Cal-Hi Sports All-State Underclass second team, All-CIF Division IV, South Bay Daily Breeze All-Area first team and All-Ocean League Co-MVP. He had 1,402 yards on 222 carries (6.3 avg.) with 15 TDs and 15 receptions for 161 yards (10.7 avg.) with 1 TD, plus 101 tackles, eight tackles for loss, three sacks, two interceptions (one for a TD) and one fumble recovery in 2003. He was a 2002 South Bay Daily Breeze All-Area and All-Ocean League Co-Defensive MVP selection as a 2002 sophomore. In his career, he rushed for a school-record 3,718 yards on 578 carries (6.4 avg.) and had 297 tackles.

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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.

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