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Thread: Prospect Comparison: Kenrick Ellis vs. Phil Taylor

  1. #1
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    Prospect Comparison: Kenrick Ellis vs. Phil Taylor

    The contenders:

    Ellis is a 6'5 340 pound senior DT from Hampton (formerly of South Carolina). Taylor is more famous 6'5 340 pound DT from Baylor (formerly Penn State). They're two of my favorite prospects and I've followed them fairly closely.

    Background:


    This is where they're both fun. They were the #33 (Ellis) and #29 (Taylor) ranked DTs in the nation (http://recruiting.scout.com/a.z?s=73&p=8&c=1&nid=1797286) coming out of HS. Both were 4 star recruits.

    Both of them would go to big schools. Both of them would leave those big schools for smaller schools in smaller conferences. Taylor left and according to these guys, it got ugly. Ellis' transfer was similarly dumb, and both are so long ago that I don't really hold it against them.

    Both stayed for their seasons. Taylor was second team All Big 12. Ellis made All MEAC. While Taylor is in the slightly better conference, the last great Baylor DT prospect was Ethan Kelly. I like Taylor more than Ethan Kelly, but Hampton has put a few DL in the league including Kendally Langford in '08. The Jets' DL prospect Dixon is from Hampton.

    Taylor has the advantage of going to the Senior Bowl rather than the NFLPA game. The Senior Bowl is the most prominent postseason all star game in American football. Even then, if you check out Ellis' DraftScout page cited later you can see for their 2/8/11 update he was called the best player at the NFLPA game in San Antonio.

    Edge: They're so similar but the school thing really gets to me. I just think South Carolina/Hampton is a better NFL path than Penn State/Baylor.

    Size and Athleticism:


    They're both a legit 336+. Ellis has a full inch on the arms, while Taylor has the slightly bigger hands and is shorter by a whole inch.

    Both are considered guys who do alright in pursuit for 340 pounds, but Taylor's biggest plus is how well he moves given his size. Taylor has slimmed down and seems to be tapping into his athleticism.

    Edge: Ellis has height and length while Taylor has superior speed and mobility. Call it a draw. I do think that Ellis tends to be more aggressive on the field, and that intuitively I think that it helps athleticism play up better moving forward. Guys like this are what combine is for.

    Performance:

    Ellis has put up 30 TFL and 3.5 sacks in the past two years at Hampton. Also as a freshman for SC he had 3 TFL amongst his 11 tackles. Taylor has put up 9.5 TFL and 2.5 sacks.


    Edge: Ellis. This is another reason why I don't hold the MEAC thing against him, because he properly dominates it as a player of his caliber should.

    Overall:

    I lean Ellis. I really neg rep Taylor for the schools thing...I just don't like Penn State DL and I like Baylor DL just as much. I like Taylor's upside as a pure NT, but I don't see him doing it for a couple years. Ellis has outproduced him, is more polished, he's bigger, I think he's a little stronger, he's a better anchor...Being a natural anchor is an underrated aspect of being a legit 3-4 DL prospect and Ellis is one of those guys who can play with leverage.


    Brightside player comparisons:


    Kenrick Ellis - Bigger Darnell Dockett

    Phil Taylor - Grady Jackson/Pat Williams/Kris Jenkins

    Draft Future: Both have first round talent. Teams will have more questions about the makeup than I did. Workout numbers will help. I'd guess both end up going in the 2nd round maybe the early-mid 3rd.
    Last edited by Much ado about Nothing; 02-20-2011 at 10:35 PM.

  2. #2
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    nice write up. i also don't see these players as 1st round talent. or wilkerson for that matter. the best option for the jets will probably be to trade down in this draft.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rick34125 View Post
    nice write up. i also don't see these players as 1st round talent. or wilkerson for that matter. the best option for the jets will probably be to trade down in this draft.
    To further reinforce this concept of trading down, let me add a third option, of guys at NT that will slip intpo the second or third , Jerrel Powe Missssiippi

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    wilkerson has some pass rush.taylor and ellis do not.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bitonti View Post
    wilkerson has some pass rush.taylor and ellis do not.
    Taylor especially.

    To further reinforce this concept of trading down, let me add a third option, of guys at NT that will slip intpo the second or third , Jerrel Powe Missssiippi
    Powe is so legit at NT...just wanted to say that.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Much ado about Nothing View Post
    Powe is so legit at NT...just wanted to say that.
    he is... and also offers more pass rush than Taylor and Ellis (6 career sacks)

    the nose tackle group in general has some great sleepers, Ted Laurent from Ole Miss also is a passable nose tackle prospect.

    i think Rex Ryan could take a guy like Chris Neild and turn him into Justin Bannan or Mike Devito.

    Lolomana Mikalale isn't massive but another guy who rex could use but won't get drafted.

    the Jets don't need a NT starter they need depth. I do agree they need a 3-4 DE premium player more than a NT but Taylor and Ellis are more runstuffers, even at DE.

    Cameron heyward type of player they could draft but not these 2 guys from Baylor and Hampton. Tanny just got burned drafting Boise St and Umass, it's gonna be a football factory all the way.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bitonti View Post
    Tanny just got burned drafting Boise St and Umass, it's gonna be a football factory all the way.
    First off, you can't compare Boise State and UMASS. They aren't even close to being the same type of programs. I hate Boise State, but it's a little ridiculous that people still disrespect that program after all of the games they've won.

    Secondly, how in the hell can you consider Ohio State a "football factory"? It's a damn good college program, but OSU players haven't had too much success in the NFL. In my opinion, Boise's produced more NFL talent - especially on the offensive line.

    How did Tannenbaum get burned? Playing the nickel is completely different than playing outside - Wilson will only get better with experience. ...and if Cromartie isn't re-signed, we have depth at the position.

    Vladimir Ducasse was a project pick all the way - I don't see how so many fans can't see that. He'll likely develop into a starter in 2011.

    Kyle Wilson was one of the best corners on the west coast. I don't give a damn if he played at a mid-major - he's got a lot of talent.

    If a player like Muhammed Wilkerson is the best available option when we're on the clock, he should be the pick - it shouldn't matter where he went to school.

    Once again, you can't compare schools like Baylor and Hampton. It doesn't make any sense.
    Last edited by Anton Chigurh; 02-21-2011 at 03:16 PM.

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    Once again, you can't compare schools like Baylor and Hampton. It doesn't make any sense.
    DL from Hampton in recent years >>>>>>>>>>>> DL from Baylor in recent years

    I see what you're saying though...it shouldn't be the #1 reason to rank a guy over another guy...I also think Ellis is stronger at the point right now and meaner on the field.

    Good post though...Tanny did not get burned last year and going to smaller schools isn't and shouldn't be a big deal if the guys can play.
    Last edited by Much ado about Nothing; 02-21-2011 at 03:41 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Much ado about Nothing View Post
    DL from Hampton in recent years >>>>>>>>>>>> DL from Baylor
    You can't compare FCS and FBS schools - it doesn't make sense.

    Baylor is a bigger, better program that sends better talent to the league. In the next few years, they're going to send quite a few players in the NFL.

    Marcus Dixon and Kendall Langford are Hampton's only defensive linemen in the league - Dixon's a practice squad guy and Langford's done close-to-nothing in the league.

    Baylor's probably going to have two players drafted in the first two to three rounds, while Hampton will only have one player drafted throughout the entire draft.

    Phil Taylor > anyone on Hampton's roster

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Anton Chigurh View Post
    You can't compare FCS and FBS schools - it doesn't make sense.

    Baylor is a bigger, better program that sends better talent to the league. In the next few years, they're going to send quite a few players in the NFL.

    Marcus Dixon and Kendall Langford are Hampton's only defensive linemen in the league - Dixon's a practice squad guy and Langford's done close-to-nothing in the league.

    Baylor's probably going to have two players drafted in the first two to three rounds, while Hampton will only have one player drafted throughout the entire draft.

    Phil Taylor > anyone on Hampton's roster
    Few things:

    - Langford is one of the best 3-4 DEs in the league, and probably the second best one behind Warren in the division. Dixon is the only PS guy here who's both fully healthy and shown something in a real NFL game. That is a good point that there's only 2 of them.

    - Good point on Baylor having too legit prospects (Taylor and Watkins). Watkins is alright close to his prime though...and Taylor needs work.

    - I'm not sure how to further argue this nor am I sure how much I disagree with what you're saying. I'm higher on Ellis than most, all, of the population is alls I can really say. There's little things that seem to say he's not as good as I think he is...such as the lack of invite to the Senior Bowl...but I don't think he's a lesser on the field player than Taylor by any means.
    Last edited by Much ado about Nothing; 02-21-2011 at 05:31 PM.

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    Few things...

    1. Neild is horrible... Zero strength and was just overmatched at the senior bowl. Practices and game.

    2. I wouldn't even get that excited about Watkins because the guy will be 27. He already has his man strength and I'm not sure that will be good enough at the NFL level. I see a scenario where he becomes a decent NFL starter, but not a prayer at pro bowl level.

    3. I watched the Texas vs the Nation game and it's apparent that Ellis has a TON of upside. The guy is just a huge man, and has pretty decent mobility as well. The strength is clearly there but I don't know what's going on in between those ears. He shows the want-to on the field. I.E. he wants to make an impact rather than just hide and avoid the action. Really wish I could just talk to him or see a video interview to figure out if he has the head that's needed to become a good player.

    4. Phil Taylor has upside, but as of now, he does not have great strength. He also seems immature to me in some of his actions. He's definitely a guy I don't see making much impact in year 1 or year 2 but I do see a scenario of him becoming a damn good player. He could be Gabe Watson though.

    5. Wilkerson is tough... I've watched a couple games now and he's just tough to figure. I know he's gotten sacks but they used him a lot going against tackles. He won't be doing that in the NFL. He's going to be taking on guards on passing downs and I have no idea how he handles the less space in regards to his pass rush. His athleticism is stellar though... Stands to reason as he played center in basketball. BUT, he's not overly strong or overly physical right now. He shows a lot of want-to and a good team attitude on the field. Upside is very high depending on how physical they have him playing. He shows a willingness so I wouldn't be surprised by a jump in his play over the first year or two in the NFL.


    These two are a tough comparison though because they'd play different positions in our defense. Ellis isn't a nose tackle despite his size. Ellis does have Haynesworth/Henderson upside however.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by jetsfan1983 View Post
    Few things...

    1. Neild is horrible... Zero strength and was just overmatched at the senior bowl. Practices and game.

    2. I wouldn't even get that excited about Watkins because the guy will be 27. He already has his man strength and I'm not sure that will be good enough at the NFL level. I see a scenario where he becomes a decent NFL starter, but not a prayer at pro bowl level.

    3. I watched the Texas vs the Nation game and it's apparent that Ellis has a TON of upside. The guy is just a huge man, and has pretty decent mobility as well. The strength is clearly there but I don't know what's going on in between those ears. He shows the want-to on the field. I.E. he wants to make an impact rather than just hide and avoid the action. Really wish I could just talk to him or see a video interview to figure out if he has the head that's needed to become a good player.

    4. Phil Taylor has upside, but as of now, he does not have great strength. He also seems immature to me in some of his actions. He's definitely a guy I don't see making much impact in year 1 or year 2 but I do see a scenario of him becoming a damn good player. He could be Gabe Watson though.

    5. Wilkerson is tough... I've watched a couple games now and he's just tough to figure. I know he's gotten sacks but they used him a lot going against tackles. He won't be doing that in the NFL. He's going to be taking on guards on passing downs and I have no idea how he handles the less space in regards to his pass rush. His athleticism is stellar though... Stands to reason as he played center in basketball. BUT, he's not overly strong or overly physical right now. He shows a lot of want-to and a good team attitude on the field. Upside is very high depending on how physical they have him playing. He shows a willingness so I wouldn't be surprised by a jump in his play over the first year or two in the NFL.


    These two are a tough comparison though because they'd play different positions in our defense. Ellis isn't a nose tackle despite his size. Ellis does have Haynesworth/Henderson upside however.



    Give Wilkerson a year or two in an NFL weight room and he will really take off, same for Taylor. The thing is that we want instant gratification and defensive linemen take time even the good ones need a year to acclimate themselves. I see a lot of upside with Wilkerson and Taylor both.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Anton Chigurh View Post
    Secondly, how in the hell can you consider Ohio State a "football factory"? It's a damn good college program, but OSU players haven't had too much success in the NFL. In my opinion, Boise's produced more NFL talent - especially on the offensive line.
    Nick Mangold says hi. So does Santonio Holmes.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bitonti View Post
    Nick Mangold says hi. So does Santonio Holmes.
    That's two players. Two players doesn't earn a school the label "football factory" ... If two players is all you want, Boise's Ryan Clady and Daryn Colledge are pretty damn good. ...but **** those guys, they played at a mid-major.

    You forgot Vernon Gholston, Anthony Schlegel, Ben Hartsock, and Mike Nugent.

    Since I realize that there's more than one team in the league, I'll be happy to add to this list:

    Bobby Carpenter, Teddy Ginn, Ashton Youbouty, Beanie Wells, AJ Hawk, Donte Whitner, and Troy Smith.

    The jury's still out on guys like Brian Robiskie, Brian Hartline, and Malcolm Jenkins. They haven't shown much though.

    Recently, James Laurinaitis, Chris Gamble, and Will Smith are the only players that have had any kind of success out of Ohio State.

    Antoine Winfield, Nate Clements, and Mike Vrabel have had very good NFL careers, but they didn't come out recently.

    The bottom line is this: Jim Tressel has himself a damn good program in Columbus, but he's not developing NFL talent. That's not really his job though, is it?

    (FTR, I think Cameron Heyward has the ability to be a solid player in the NFL.)
    Last edited by Anton Chigurh; 02-21-2011 at 11:30 PM.

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    Not a huge fan of OSU players, but they're not Penn State bad to me...most of those guys still have some upside...I'd look to sign Whitner if he got cut this offseason...Jenkins is gonna be pretty good...thats the kind of safety this D needs tbh...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Slikmojet View Post
    Give Wilkerson a year or two in an NFL weight room and he will really take off, same for Taylor. The thing is that we want instant gratification and defensive linemen take time even the good ones need a year to acclimate themselves. I see a lot of upside with Wilkerson and Taylor both.
    Very true, but I also see Wilkerson as the type of impact DE this Jets D badly needs to offer some consistent passrush and keep the OL honest and occupied. Hope we also get an impact OLB either through free agency or the draft

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    Quote Originally Posted by Anton Chigurh View Post
    That's two players. Two players doesn't earn a school the label "football factory" ... If two players is all you want, Boise's Ryan Clady and Daryn Colledge are pretty damn good. ...but **** those guys, they played at a mid-major.

    You forgot Vernon Gholston, Anthony Schlegel, Ben Hartsock, and Mike Nugent.

    Since I realize that there's more than one team in the league, I'll be happy to add to this list:

    Bobby Carpenter, Teddy Ginn, Ashton Youbouty, Beanie Wells, AJ Hawk, Donte Whitner, and Troy Smith.

    The jury's still out on guys like Brian Robiskie, Brian Hartline, and Malcolm Jenkins. They haven't shown much though.

    (FTR, I think Cameron Heyward has the ability to be a solid player in the NFL.)
    read your own post again you named like 20 pros. Jenkins and Hawk haven't done much except each has a super bowl ring.

    the definition of a football factory is not that every player they produce is great... but they have a mix of results, some all pros like Mangold and others are busts but they have 5-10 real prospects every year, going back at least a decade... that's a factory.

    And it's not like Ohio State is in some rare air, I'd call Pittsburgh a football factory or Miami (FL) even if they don't win a ton of games. Maryland makes great pro players as does Virginia.

    My point is that Tannenbaum's best pick last year was from Kentucky or possibly USC... and going back historically he always takes from factories. This year he will do it again. Some guys can pick well in the small schools, Tanny cannot. We can pretend that Tanny is gonna take a lineman from Baylor (comparable to Boise St) or Hampton (comparable to Umass) but after last year he won't do that. Even if we think the world of Vlad and Kyle Wilson those picks underperformed as rooks.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bitonti View Post
    he is... and also offers more pass rush than Taylor and Ellis (6 career sacks)

    the nose tackle group in general has some great sleepers, Ted Laurent from Ole Miss also is a passable nose tackle prospect.

    i think Rex Ryan could take a guy like Chris Neild and turn him into Justin Bannan or Mike Devito.

    Lolomana Mikalale isn't massive but another guy who rex could use but won't get drafted.

    the Jets don't need a NT starter they need depth. I do agree they need a 3-4 DE premium player more than a NT but Taylor and Ellis are more runstuffers, even at DE.

    Cameron heyward type of player they could draft but not these 2 guys from Baylor and Hampton. Tanny just got burned drafting Boise St and Umass, it's gonna be a football factory all the way.
    You're giving up on K Dub and Vlad after 1 season??

    One season doesn't make or break 2010's draft and shouldn't have any bearing on drafting a player from Temple.
    Last edited by WW85; 02-22-2011 at 11:53 AM.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Slikmojet View Post
    Give Wilkerson a year or two in an NFL weight room and he will really take off, same for Taylor. The thing is that we want instant gratification and defensive linemen take time even the good ones need a year to acclimate themselves. I see a lot of upside with Wilkerson and Taylor both.

    I agree with this statement but it would only solidfy the point that you can draft dline in the mid rounds...groom him for a year with some rotational experience and then start him....

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    Come on guys... The jury is NOT still out on Malcolm Jenkins. He was there best defensive player last year. Players and coaches on the team said that plenty of times.

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