Pros: A tough player with a mean disposition. Has good pop as a tackler with nice closing burst on the ball. Works well in pursuit with nice straight-line speed. Comfortable working in space and does a good job getting drops in zone coverage. Has good ability as an interior blitzer due to speed and burst.
Cons: Struggles at the point of attack, as he prefers to run around blocks when teams run at him. Lacks ideal instincts, and always seem a step or two late reacting to the play. Lacks ideal sideline to sideline speed.
Overview: Is a versatile player that can potentially play multiple positions at the pro level as he did at Georgia. Missed 3 games this past year due to knee injury and ended up with only 33 tackles in 10 games. As a sophomore, he was suspended early in the year after stealing a teammate's car and crashing it into a three. Theft charges were not pursued, but he did spend two days in jail for underage possession of alcohol and reckless driving.
NFL Forecast: I think Ellerbe can fit well in a 3-4 scheme as an inside linebacker. He reminds me of Kendrell Bell. Doesn't have great instincts, but plays fast with a lot of pop that can make up for it. I don't think he'll be a star in that scheme, but could be a capable starter on par with an Akin Ayodele instead of a Jerod Mayo. He can play all three spots in the 4-3, although WILL is probably his best position. He's not as big as I want for a SAM, and not as instinctual as I want for a MIKE. But regardless of the scheme or where you play him, he's going to be a productive player. Doesn't have huge upside, but should be a solid starter.
ATL Forecast: He'd be a good fit for the Falcons to groom on the outside. He could be a nice heir apparent to Peterson on the outside at the WILL. He'd also be a nice utility backup down the road able to fill in at all three positions. He wouldn't be a top playmaker in Atlanta like Boley was for a time, but an 80-90 tackle guy that can help out as a blitzer and can make some plays in coverage. The word that describes him most is effective.
Value: Ellerbe is a solid middle round pick. I'd look to draft him in the fourth round.
Scouting Reports of inside and outside linebackers in the 2009 NFL Draft
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