MOSCOW, Idaho - Kaden Elliss made an impact on defense and offense for the Idaho Vandals, but he's had to put himself on the radars of NFL teams as he tries to make his childhood dreams a reality.
The Seahawks are one of the best examples of turning late round draft picks into pro- bowlers. The Idaho Vandals got four years out of a tenacious-spirited, first-team All-Big Sky linebacker named Kaden Elliss.
He's met with a handful of NFL teams, I sat down with him this week to find out why he might make the rest of the league wish they'd taken a second look at him.
There's something special about following the footsteps of your parents. For idaho's kaden elliss, those footsteps were elite.
Kaden Elliss: "I always knew I wanted to be a professional athlete because my dad was, you know that was cool. Getting to watch how he played, I don't know it makes you want to play that way, seeing how ferocious and passionately he played."
Luther Elliss wreaked havoc on offenses in the NFL for 10 years. Now, his son is playing with the same grit, chasing the same dream. But despite 278 tackles, 47 of them for loss, to go with 17 career sacks at idaho, he didn't get the postseason opportunities other seniors use to get on the radars of NFL scouts.
Elliss: "You know it was tough not getting an all star game invite or a combine invite, that was tough, and a little surprising, but it was alright, you always trust that god's got a plan for everything.
He produced eye-opening numbers at the University of Utah and Idaho pro days.
His three-cone drill and long shuttle times would have been 1st or second among all linebackers that were invited to the combine.
Elliss: "It's been fun, you know kind of getting interviewed. You know when you're getting recruited for college, they're all trying to get you to come there, they're all trying to entice you, whereas going to the nfl, you're trying to entice them kind of you know, they're grilling you with questions, and some of the things they come up with and ask you're like, 'What? Does this have anything to do with football?'
Without giving up the name any teams, Elliss recalled being put on the spot in front of the entire defensive staff
Elliss: "The defensive coordinator looks to me and goes, 'Alright, you're in a movie, and everybody in this room is in your movie. Who plays every person in this room?' And they said it was to show how quickly I thought on the spot. It was a tough question."
If he could choose the plot of his movie, he'd choose to have his name called in one of the seven rounds of the nfl draft, but no matter what happens, he controls his own happy ending.
Elliss: "It'd be a dream come true, you know. It's not the end of the road, there's a whole lot of dream left after that but it would be a good stepping stone, a good milestone. If it happens or if it doesn't happen, i know it's not the end and i'm excited to keep pushing through."
Most mock drafts have elliss going in the sixth or seventh rounds. Watch each round of the 2019 NFL Draft on KXLY4.
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