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McShay: Bengals pick Ellis

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Todd McShay released another mock draft for ESPN.com. He, like so many, expect the Bengals to select Sedrick Ellis. Scouts, Inc says of Ellis:

Strengths: A disruptive, penetrating interior defensive lineman. At his best in a one-gap scheme but has some versatility due to experience as a nose tackle and three-technique. He is extremely disruptive versus the run. Displays outstanding initial burst and wins most of his battles with first-step quickness. Uses long arms to keep separation and does an excellent job of disengaging from blocks and keeping on the move. Recognition skills are very good and he's athletic enough to change directions and pursue once he penetrates the backfield. He consistently generates pressure as a pass rusher. Shows upper-echelon closing burst for his position and also does a good job of batting down passes once he realizes he's not getting to the QB. Plays with a great motor and works very hard on and off the field. Never gives up on a play and his effort is infectious.

Weaknesses: Undersized; lacks ideal height and bulk. Not a good fit for schemes that require two-gap ability. Plays with a narrow base and will get overwhelmed by bigger blockers in the phone booth. He struggles to anchor when teams run at him and he really needs to be on the move in order to be successful. Durability has been somewhat of an issue; redshirted in 2003 due to injury that required surgery and missed three games in 2006 (Nebraska, Arizona and Washington State) due to right knee injury that required arthroscopic surgery.

Overall: Ellis arrived at USC in 2003 but received a medical redshirt after suffering a midseason left ankle fracture which required surgery. During his first three seasons (2004-'06) he saw action in 34 games making 86 total tackles, 16 tackles for loss, and nine sacks. Ellis missed some time in 2006 after having arthroscopic knee surgery. Ellis is a one-gap defensive tackle prospect that isn't for everybody but can be effective in the right scheme (see: Colts, Buccaneers, Eagles, etc.). If ranks among the elite prospects at his position and can solidify a spot in Round 1 with a healthy and productive senior season.