The Cleveland Browns think they found a good run-stopper who can also occasionally get to the QB with the No. 88 overall pick in this year’s draft in Missouri defensive tackle Jordan Elliott. Here are Elliott’s odds at Mybookie to win 2020 NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year as well as the Browns’ over/under win total.
- Odds to win Defensive Rookie of the Year: +3300
- Browns’ win total: 5 (over -125 favorite)
Elliott starred in high school in Houston and began his NCAA career at the University of Texas in 2016. He played in six games and eight tackles (four solo) with 1.5 tackles for loss. Afterward, he decided to transfer to Missouri. Why?
“Looking at the statistics and how over the years Missouri has been producing some really good D-linemen, first-round picks every year consecutively, so you know they’re doing good things,” Elliott said during an interview about his decision. “Also, the SEC is a higher level of play. Why not push myself to compete?” That comment obviously didn’t sit well with many Texas fans.
Elliott had to sit out the 2017 season because of the transfer but was named the defensive scout team player of the year. In 2018, Elliott had 24 tackles, eight tackles for loss (third on the team) and three quarterback sacks. Pro Football Focus graded him out highest among all Mizzou defenders for the season, at 88.8%. He also won SEC Defensive Player of the Week honors for his huge effort in the regular-season finale against Arkansas. He helped the Tigers post their first shutout in conference play since 2010 by making five tackles, four of which went for loss, including three sacks. One sack led to a fumble that was recovered by a teammate for a touchdown.
Then last year, Elliott was All-SEC first team and second-team All-American. He had 44 tackles, fourth-most on the team and tops among interior defenders and defensive linemen. Elliott also posted a team-high 8.5 tackles for loss and 2.5 sacks. His 44 tackles were the most for a Mizzou defensive lineman since DE Charles Harris, a first-round selection of the Miami Dolphins, had 61 in 2016. The 44 tackles also were the most in a single season for a Mizzou interior lineman since Harold Brantley had 54 in 14 games during the 2014 season.
Since the beginning of the 2018 season, Elliott graded out at a 92.8 over the final 25 games of his college career according to Pro Football Focus, the highest of any interior defender in the 2020 draft class. Elliott’s 91.4 pass-rush grade since 2017 was PFF’s top pass-rushing grade among defensive tackles in the 2020 class.
Despite being fairly tall at 6-foot-4 and 302-pounds, Elliott plays with excellent leverage and explosive burst, giving him the perfect combination of tools to blow up guards in the passing game. He has been compared to Carolina’s Kawann Short, who has been one of the league’s best interior defensive linemen since he entered the league in 2013. Like Short, Elliott can flip-flop between both defensive tackle spots.
When Elliott has space to make a move, he consistently capitalizes and finds ways to not only reach the quarterback, but deliver bone-crushing hits. Those abilities are sometimes limited when Elliott plays tall and stiff. Cleveland grabbed Elliott at No. 88 overall.
“It’s a blessing,” Elliott said. “It was actually something that I was looking forward to. There’s no controlling the draft but that was the team that I wanted to go to from the start. I just thought that going to the Browns, I can make a difference on their D-line.”
The Browns can take as much time as they need with Elliott in his rookie season with veterans Sheldon Richardson, Larry Ogunjobi and Andrew Billings already in the fold. Elliott, though, should at least be in the rotation. Cleveland’s defensive line as a whole could be one of the better units in the league with Myles Garrett back from suspension and the free-agent singing of Adrian Clayborn. Of course, Pro Bowl end Jadeveon Clowney, whom the Browns have pursued, remains unsigned and could bolster this group even more.