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hellsu
LSU Fan
Northshore via Westbank
Member since Jan 2009
3225 posts

How Kaden Elliss went from 'best-kept secret' in NFL to Saints Week 11 hero

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The 27-year-old linebacker was a 7th-round pick of the Saints way back in 2019 out of the University of Idaho. He's been a regular participant in preseason action. He's flashed in training camp. But that's been about it, in part to an unfortunate series of injuries that kept him off the field.
The opposite has been true for Ellis in Year 4, with breakout star linebacker Pete Werner going down with injury ahead of him. Ellis has had to switch from the strong side to the far more important weak side linebacker role, and his performance in Week 11 played a major part in a 27-20 victory over the Rams.

But as his teammates tell it, any surprise from that is only from those outside of the building.

"Oh, man, Five-Five has probably been, for the last couple years, the best-kept secret in the NFL," said linebacker Demario Davis. "We knew what type of player he was, and now he's getting that opportunity and he's showing it to the world. I don't know if anybody's shocked when they watched it in our building. I'm sure he shocking a lot of people who didn't know. But just give it time. He's gonna be on everybody's radar."

The Ellis family is no stranger to the NFL, either. Kaden is the oldest of 12 siblings, with two of his brothers (Noah and Christian) both playing in the NFL themselves. Kaden's father, Luther Elliss, had a 9-year NFL career himself as a defensive tackle. The backyard Thanksgiving football games must've surely been epic.
Ellis had a team-leading 11 total tackles in the win over the Rams, and also logged 1.5 sacks. He's nearly doubled his tackle total from 20 to 38 in his two starts at Will linebacker, and his 2.5 sacks over that span is more than he'd accumulated in each of his first three seasons. He even forced a fumble against the Steelers, which the Saints did not recover, a rare feat for any Saints player in this season of takeaways coming few and far between.

"There's a lot of a lot of young guys that that stepped up and took on and added role and played well," head coach Dennis Allen said.

The biggest example of that came in the final 2 minutes, and really in a stretch of three snaps. Ellis got through for a sack on 3rd and 16 against Rams QB Bryce Perkins that forced a punt at the 2-minute warning with the Saints leading by 10.

Both Elliss and young DE Carl Granderson were thrust into bigger roles due to injuries, and both were pulling double-duty on special teams. Elliss actually led the game in snaps played with 70 total (59 on defense, 11 on special teams). Granderson's 63 weren't far behind (49 on defense, 14 on special teams). That didn't stop the effort plays from coming. The Saints ran three plays then punted back to the Rams, with Elliss racing downfield to make the tackle in punt coverage. On the next play he combined with Granderson for a sack and loss of 7 yards on the speedy Bryce Perkins to begin that final Rams drive.

"It's great when we're able to come out and play with the energy and the speed that we're capable of, able to pin our years back and play fast," said Davis, who had another half sack of his own to continue to build on a new career high (6.5). "It was just one of those evenings. It was a ton of fun."

Per PFF, Ellis has been the highest-graded Saints player each of the past two weeks (90.1 vs the Steelers; 91.3 vs the Rams). For a young player in the final year of a rookie deal that pays out $965,000 this season, it's a run that's might result in a few extra zeroes on his next deal.

It's unknown how long it will take Werner to return from a significant ankle injury suffered during a Week 9 loss to the Ravens. With the Saints at 4-7 and set for a difficult trip out west to face the 49ers in Week 12, it's tough to know whether the season will still have much to play for by the time that happens. But one thing that's not in question: The young guys on defense, led by Kaden Elliss, will have something to say about it.


nicholastiger
LSU Fan
Baton Rouge
Member since Jan 2004
33153 posts
 Online 

re: How Kaden Elliss went from 'best-kept secret' in NFL to Saints Week 11 hero
Have a feeling gonna lose him the way they lost Hendrickson


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122
Delusional
New Orleans Saints Fan
Member since Dec 2018
2265 posts

re: How Kaden Elliss went from 'best-kept secret' in NFL to Saints Week 11 hero
quote:

For a young player in the final year of a rookie deal that pays out $965,000 this season, it's a run that's might result in a few extra zeroes on his next deal.


I'm nervous


bountyhunter
LSU Fan
North of Houston a bit
Member since Mar 2012
5713 posts

re: How Kaden Elliss went from 'best-kept secret' in NFL to Saints Week 11 hero
Should be. No way we can afford him next season if he continues to play well. This front office is busy paying millions to players rehabbing their toes to afford actual contributors.


whodatfan
New Orleans Saints Fan
Member since Mar 2008
21074 posts

re: How Kaden Elliss went from 'best-kept secret' in NFL to Saints Week 11 hero
Any chance to take a played out shot.


htran90
New Orleans Saints Fan
BC
Member since Dec 2012
28953 posts

re: How Kaden Elliss went from 'best-kept secret' in NFL to Saints Week 11 hero
nobody is going to overpay him.


moock blackjack
LSU Fan
Member since Apr 2008
83831 posts

re: How Kaden Elliss went from 'best-kept secret' in NFL to Saints Week 11 hero
They better find a way to pay this dude and keep him


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