Borrowing the popular idea from the NFL Network, our Saints coverage team came up with our ranking of the top 25 players on the Saints’ roster heading into the 2012 season. The idea is to make these rankings as current as possible – essentially deciding who would be the best players on the field if they lined up for a game today. Therefore, past accomplishments and potential are both factored in.
Obviously that led to some tough decisions, and obviously that will lead to plenty of second guessing. And we’d love to hear it. Feel free to vote on the rankings and add your comments below as we unveil the list daily leading up to the start of training camp.
NO. 20 DT SEDRICK ELLIS
Age: 27. Year: 6. Ht., wt. 6-1, 307.
SAINTS COLUMNIST MIKE TRIPLETT’S TAKE:
Ellis hasn’t been a “bust,” but he certainly hasn’t delivered on his lofty potential since the Saints traded up to snag him with the seventh overall pick in the 2008 draft. The athletic big man is a solid starter who can hold up against the run and provide some pass rush. But he hasn’t emerged as a dynamic playmaker for a defensive line that so desperately needs one.
Ellis has shown flashes of Pro Bowl potential during his career – most recently at the start of the 2010 season, which he finished with a career-high six sacks. But last year he was almost invisible, finishing with a career-low 0.5 sacks in 17 starts, including the playoffs.
To be fair, defensive tackle is one of the toughest positions to evaluate. And just because a guy isn’t getting sacks doesn’t mean he’s not doing his job. The Saints have always been high on Ellis’ potential and like what they’ve got in him. Perhaps the shift to new defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo will be a better fit for Ellis, who could use that long-awaited breakout year in the final year of his contract.
SAINTS G JAHRI EVANS’ TAKE:
“Man, I’ve been going against Sedrick for what, the last five years? He’s not a huge, huge guy, but he’s quick off the ball. He’s a great pass rusher. He works his hands well so you can’t get into contact with him. He’s just waiting for his breakout year, and I think it’s definitely gonna come. And he’s just a hard worker. Like I said, me and Sedrick have had plenty of battles out there on the practice field.”
What’s your take on Ellis’ ranking? Too high? Too low? Just right? Give us your take in the comment stream below.