Currently, the Browns have no first-round selections in the upcoming NFL Draft. Plenty of factors may change that in the next few months, so for the sake of these scouting reports and possible projections, we are going to assume that Phil Savage has made a trade to get into the first round. A potential player the Browns could be targeting is Sedrick Ellis, a defensive tackle out of USC.
The goal of moving up in the draft, for the Browns at least, would be to obtain some much-needed defensive help. Out of the blue, the offense has become prolific and a quarterback debate is about to rage, assuming the Browns do not trade Derek Anderson, something that would probably have to happen to move up. Nevertheless, the offense is set with its stars.
According to scouting reports, Ellis would be a good fit for a 4-3 scheme. Currently, the Browns run a 3-4 (and have done so rather unsuccessfully for three years), but he is a talented lineman that would most certainly find a home in Cleveland’s defense. He has some experience at nose tackle, another position that needs improvement, but there is doubt as to how effective he would be compared to what he could do as just a tackle.
- His height may be considered a weakness (he’s only 6’1″), but he more than makes up for it with his speed – he ran a 4.95 40. Known for his athleticism and determination on the field, Ellis would make an immediate contribution on defense.
- The part that should make Browns fans drool – he can create pressure on the quarterback. Ellis is particularly effective against the run when given the opportunity, and the Browns desperately need a player like that. The second-worst defense in the AFC (they gave up 359.6 YPG) would greatly benefit from such a presence. He is a force to be reckoned with in the middle.
- A hard worker that can beat the double team. He has experience against top competition, so there is no doubt he is NFL-ready.
- What is concerning is his past injury troubles. It’s not like the Browns haven’t tried drafting defense so high in the draft before (Courtney Brown and Gerard “Change Purse” Warren, anyone?), so what happens to Ellis from now until the draft will be important.
Sedrick Ellis is exactly the type of player Phil Savage is looking for – fast, athletic, and a strong pass rusher. If he manages to stay healthy, Ellis could very well be a top-10 pick, making it difficult for the Browns to get him without giving up a player like Derek Anderson. If the Browns were to nab him, they would be getting a player capable of making an immediate presence on a defense that remained one of the worst statistically, but began to improve as the year went on.