Browns: Meet Elhadji Ndiaye
By Peter Smith
Nov 17, 2013; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Cleveland Browns helmet lays on the ground before the game against the Cincinnati Bengals at Paul Brown Stadium. Cincinnati won 41-20. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports
The Cleveland Browns continue to work to sign and invite players to the team’s minicamp this weekend now that the draft is over. There are a lot of players that will be out there trying to earn a shot to last into and through training camp. One of the more interesting players is Elhadji Ndiaye, the pass rusher out of Nebraska Kearney. Ndiaye is an incredibly athletic pass rusher that has just recently been introduced to the game of football. For a player like Ndiaye, this weekend’s minicamp is an opportunity to show off his athleticism, but the key for Ndiaye is being able to take apply coaching in a short amount of time, so the Browns get the sense he is coachable and will want to hold onto him to develop him.
Ndiaye was born in Senegal. He moved to the Bronx in New York in elementary school and played basketball through high school and then played some college basketball at Grossmont College in San Diego. Ndiaye then attended Nebraska Kearney where he went out for football as a junior. As a result, he has only played college football for the past two seasons and while he was productive, he still has a ways to go from a technical perspective.
Ndiaye has caught the eyes of the NFL because he was clearly a man among boys with his size and frame. At 6’5″ 255lbs, he was flying around the field, showing terrific speed, quickness and strength. When he had his opportunity to work out at Wagner University’s Pro Day, he ran an outstanding 4.48, which is not unlike Barkevious Mingo, the 6th overall pick from last year’s draft.
Here is a link to a little of the footage. It is clear just why NFL teams invited Ndiaye to work out in April and why the Browns are signing him now. His pad level is high, but that can be improved with technical development and flexibility. Teams know they cannot teach the kind of jaw-dropping athletic ability he brings to the table.
If Ndiaye can impress the coaching staff in terms of his acumen and ability to learn and process coaching, he will not only make it to training camp and the preseason, he is the exact type of player a team wants to be able to keep on their practice squad to develop. From there, he could make the active roster and potentially develop into a player that can help the team. Do not be surprised when Ndiaye’s name comes up in press clippings from this weekend as he should be able to put on a show athletically that might make other plays take notice.