Bloodlines are a pretty important thing scouts look at when evaluating young players. The Philadelphia Eagles hope their newest linebacker learned a thing or two growing up with a two-time Pro Bowler.
The Eagles signed Christian Elliss to their practice squad on Thursday. To make room on the roster, the team waived former Alabama center Ross Pierschbacher who was transitioning to guard in Philly. His exit was expedited by second-round pick Landon Dickerson returning to the field ahead of schedule. Dickerson made the final 53-man roster and sits No. 2 on the center depth chart behind Jason Kelce.
Elliss (6-foot-3, 213 pounds) was signed as a rookie free agent by the Minnesota Vikings two hours after the 2021 NFL draft wrapped up. He made four total tackles in two preseason games and incurred a $3,731 fine for unnecessary roughness. A three-year starter at Idaho, Elliss finished his college career with 266 tackles, good for 18th-best in program history. He was a first-team All-Big Sky selection and averaged 10 tackles per game on his COVID-19 pandemic-shortened 2021 senior year.
Here is a scouting report on Elliss (via NFL Media’s Lance Zierlein):
Elliss definitely has the bloodlines, but the tape doesn’t really stand out enough. He plays the game with a downhill mentality, using his play strength to his advantage in helping to stack up the running game between the tackles. He ran fairly well at his pro day, but doesn’t have that same speed in pursuit and his feet look heavy in change of direction. His run-game instincts are average and he lacks the reactive twitch to become a dynamic tackler in space.
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Elliss Brings Nasty Attitude, Football Bloodlines
Elliss grew up the third-oldest child of Luther Elliss in Highland Ranch, Colorado. His dad was a first-round pick of the Detroit Lions in 1995 and went on to appear in two Pro Bowls in 1999 and 2000. Nicknamed “Pass-Rushing Luther” in Detroit, he recorded 331 career tackles and 29 sacks in 10 NFL seasons during stints with the Lions and Broncos.
“Something my dad always taught me that he learned at that stage is do whatever the coaches ask of you,” Christian told the Vikings’ website. “Because they’re your employer, so whatever they ask, I’ll do it. If they ask you to ‘Carry this weight,’ you say, ‘How far?'”
Christian’s older brother, Kaden Elliss, was a seventh-round pick of the New Orleans Saints in 2019. He plays linebacker and has six total tackles. There are 12 total children in the Elliss family.
Eagles List Four Players on Injury Report
The Eagles listed four players as limited participants on Thursday’s injury report: RG Brandon Brooks (knee), C Landon Dickerson (knee), S Rodney McLeod (knee), LB Davion Taylor (calf). Dickerson and Taylor aren’t expected to play, with McLeod seemingly out for Week 1 (via teammate Darius Slay).
Brooks’ name was a surprise when it first showed up on the injury report on Wednesday. Starting right tackle Lane Johnson dismissed the setback as nothing to worry about when asked about Brooks on Thursday. “Nothing to be alarmed about,” Johnson said.