October 20, 2009

In the film room: Jayrone Elliott

Cleveland (Ohio) Glenville's Jayrone Elliott has been one of the most productive and athletic edge rushers in Ohio over the past two seasons. The 6-foot-3, 210-pound prospect has offers from many of the top programs around the Midwest and other areas of the Country. His offer list includes programs such as Cincinnati, Indiana, Kansas, Maryland, Michigan State, South Carolina, Syracuse, and West Virginia with Ohio State also showing interest.
His game film reveals an elite level pass rusher with a relentless motor and desire to make plays.

What he does well…

  • The best word to describe Elliott would be 'disruptive'. Whether it's getting sacks, stuffing the run, pressuring the quarterback, or knocking down passes, Elliott flat out makes plays and can singlehandedly disrupt the rhythm of an offense.

  • Elliott has a great motor and never gives up on a play. He illustrates this on the film clip when he beats the right tackle and over-runs Wayne QB Braxton Miller but wheels back to bring him down for the sack. This carries over to the run game where his athleticism and desire to make plays allows him to chase down ball carriers on the opposite side of the field.

  • Perhaps his best strength is his freakish wingspan. Elliott's long arms not only allow him to knock down a lot of balls at the line of scrimmage but they allow him to get into the chest of opposing linemen. Because of that, Elliott can dictate where he wants those linemen to go and makes it very difficult to block him and get into his pads. He has a solid grasp on how to use his wingspan to his advantage and shed blockers to make plays. On the second to last play of the clip, you see Elliott engage a blocker and use his long arms to disengage and toss the blocker aside and then make the tackle.

  • One thing that I constantly harp on with linebackers and defensive linemen, is making plays out of their area. It is great to be able to make a tackle when the play is coming right at you, but what are you doing when the play is going to the other side of the field? It is in this aspect that Elliott separates himself from every senior defensive end in Ohio. I have not seen a defensive end either live or on film in the 2010 class that makes as many plays away from their area and on the move as I see game in and game out from Elliott. He has tremendous speed and running away from him is simply not an option.

  • Another major positive for Elliott is that he is equally comfortable in a stand-up rush end role as he is with his hand on the ground. This will allow defensive coordinators to move Elliott around and give opposing offenses a variety of looks.

  • Areas for improvement…

  • The major concern for Elliott, and admittedly it's a pretty big one, is that he's a bit of a tweener. He's not going to be the type of defensive end that can play effectively at over 250-pounds so it comes down to whether or not he is used as an undersized weakside defensive end or as a linebacker. If he is moved to linebacker he will need to become more comfortable in coverage and in run/pass recognition. Right now he is simply turned loose to get into the backfield.

  • The other area that will need improvement is in the strength department. Elliott will need to build up his body and get stronger both in his upper and lower body before he can be an impact player at the Division I level.

  • Outlook:

    As someone who places a premium on speed and athleticism in the defensive front seven, I am naturally very high on Elliott as a prospect. In my mind, this is the without a doubt the best pass rusher in Ohio and a player that can do a lot of things very well. Ideally, Elliott is probably an outside linebacker in a 3-4 scheme, but even in a 4-3 alignment, his speed, athleticism, motor, and instincts should make him an extremely disruptive player coming off the edge.

    With the limited number of scholarships it is yet to be determined whether or not OSU will make a serious run at Elliott. If they don't, this could be a big time steal either for Cincinnati or one of the many out-of-state BCS programs that have offered this talented defensive player.

    Current Buckeye that Elliott most favorably compares to…… Thaddeus Gibson

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