What To Know About NFL Draft Prospect Christian Elliss

If you are reading this you are probably a fan of the lucky team that drafted Christian Elliss in the 2021 NFL draft.

Football Runs In the Family:

Christian Elliss is the son of Luther Elliss. Luther Elliss was an 2x Pro Bowler at the DT position over his 10 year NFL Career, with Denver and Detroit. Luther is currently the defensive line coach for the Idaho Vandals.

Christian is the younger brother of Kaden Elliss. Kaden Elliss was the 7th round pick of New Orleans Saints in 2019 draft. Kaden had his rookie season cut short suffering a knee injury early in the season against Seattle Seahawks. Kaden was able to bounce back, playing in 15 games in 2020 for the saints.

His younger brother Jonah Elliss just committed to the University of Utah over the likes of Louisville, Washington State, Boise State and others as he was the #1 recruit in the state of Idaho.

His adopted brother (cousin) Noah Elliss was a top recruit in 2017 as well out of the state of Colorado. Noah ended up committing to Mississippi State. With offers to basically every power five program. He is now a standout on Luther Elliss’s defensive line at Idaho.

Christian Elliss has been a elite sparkplug on a top rush FCS defense over the past few seasons. He also was able to preform at a high level as a true freshman in the Sun Belt Conference. He is an unquestioned leader on the team. Christian has also been remarkably healthy. Missing only one game in four years. That one game was his last one and it was to prepare for the draft (2 weeks from game date). He has made some mistakes,has been able to show growth and maturity as his career moved on. Christian posseses a unique combo of speed and ferocity. He is a game wrecker, one of those guys whose impact rarely is reflected on the stat sheet. He passes the eye test and it will take a smart GM and scout to recognize that and give him a chance. So congrats on your team having that combo.

Pro Day Numbers:

Disclaimer to know. The Idaho Vandals are in the FCS so they played this Spring. Christian Ellis put these numbers up two days after a game, with no real recovery time.

40 yard dash: 4.57 (Good for 6th at Combine)

Vertical: 35.5″ (Good for 10th at Combine)

Broad Jump: 10′ (Good for 15th at Combine)

Bench: 22 (Good for T-12th at Combine)

3-Cone: 6.94 (Good for 28th at Combine)

20 Yard Shuttle: 6.94

Accolades:

4 year starter (No Redshirt)

2018

All-Big Sky 3rd team

Team leader in tackles

2019

All-Big Sky 1st team

Phil Steele preseason 2nd team All-Big Sky

Team leader in sacks

2nd on team in tackles for loss and total tackles

2020

STATS FCS preseason All-American 2nd team

College Sports Journal preseason All-American 1st team

Hero Sports preseason All-Big Sky 1st team

All-Big Sky 1st team

*All-American Votes have yet to be cast

Christian Elliss Sack 2x Walter Payton Finalist Eric Barriere

Stats:

SeasonGPSOLOASTTOTTFL-YDSSACKS-YDSINTPDFFFRBLK
2017121714312-70-012100
2018114536814-70-000101
201911495510412.5-524.5-3613010
2020-2152525502.5-80-003000
Total3913613026621.0-744.5-3628211

Intangibles:

Height 6-3

Weight 233lbs

Hand 9.5″

Arm 31.75″

Wingspan: 75.5″

Draft Projection:

Lowest round: 5

Highest round: Undrafted

Christian has yet to hire a sports agent. Meaning if he goes undrafted he can return with year of free eligibility in the fall.

Idaho had six players on NFL Rosters last year.

The Questions I Have About Spring Football 2021

This morning the Big Sky Conference announced it will be moving its 2020 football season to the spring, effectively putting one of the final nails in the FCS Playoffs coffin. With the Big Sky out, many people seem to think the Missouri Valley will be the next conference officially putting an end to the FCS playoffs. Meaning, there really isn’t a strong reason for schools to play each other … except for money.

Fans will have differing opinions as to whether this was the right call, but I don’t care either way anymore. I just have more questions than answers: Questions on the national, divisional and local level. If you have the answers I seek, please share them.

Nationally

The NFL Draft?

  • The NFL Draft is currently set for April 29th – May 1st. If FBS Power 5 play, you would imagine the NFL Draft is not moving. Are we going to have players sit out after a few good games in order to prep for the draft and not run the risk of injury? Think Trey Lance of North Dakota State who is a projected top 10 draft pick.

Transfers?

  • Not every players’ draft stock is as locked as Trey Lance’s if they choose to opt out. Do some opt in to playing at an FBS school this fall? This appears to be an option gaining popularity. An All-American James Madison standing announced he will be seeking to transfer to an FBS school per the Richmond Times-Dispatch because the FBS has a higher likelihood to play. Who else may fall in this category? Eric Barriere of Eastern Washington? Zerrick Cooper of Jacksonville State? Christian Elliss of Idaho?

The FCS

Frisco?

  • Anyone’s best guess would put the 2020* FCS Championship Game around the end of April to early June 2021, in which case Major League Soccer would presumably be back playing. FC Dallas is the home team and owner of Toyota Stadium, where the FCS Championship is held. While not insurmountable to schedule around, maybe FC Dallas does not want the damage that football causes done to their short grass field when they are in middle of their season. Is the game moved to a new location?

Scholarship Numbers?

  • It sounds like no one is losing eligibility. Seniors this fall will still be seniors this spring. How do schools know how many scholarships they have to use? Usually it is based off your projected graduating class. Some players may opt to just graduate in the winter of 2020. I would imagine the majority decide to return and play this spring. The FCS only allows 63 scholarships, so how are leagues and programs going to adjust this for spring?

Recruiting/Eligibility?

  • The early signing period is in December and National Letter of Intent day is early February. Both, you would assume, are before the spring 2021 season would kickoff. Are early high school graduates, transfers and JuCo signings going to be able to play this spring since they will already be on campus?

Money?

  • How are schools going to make up the loss of the bodybag game payouts?  Does the season moving impact TV contracts? These issues combined are millions of dollars left on table. Worrisome for athletic departments that tend to already run lean and rely heavily on these revenue sources just to meet budget.

Fall 2021?

  • Are we going to roll into the fall 2021 season with only 2-4 months off? If the Power 5 play, is this even safe? Most FCS schools’ first few games are against these type of schools. Is it safe for Mercer to be on about three months rest, start practice and then play Alabama to start their fall 2021 season?

Practice?

  • Are teams still able to practice all fall and winter? What are the restrictions going to look like, both with Covid-19 and competitive restrictions?

The Big Sky Conference

Conference Schedule?

  • Is the schedule going to be the same that it was for the fall 2020 season?

Backup Plan?

  • Thinking we will be in a much improved position come spring 2021 is a tad naive in my opinion. What is the plan if some schools cannot participate? How do you make the Covid protocol improvements athletes are looking for to be safe? How do we proactively put ourselves in a better spot than we are in today?

Idaho Vandals

Kibbie Dome?

  • Are we canceling indoor track and field in the spring? Are the basketball programs going to get booted to Mem Gym late in the season? How does football coexist in the multi-use facility that is transformed three different times throughout the year?

Building with the players?

Future Schedule?

Other Sports?

  • Are we able to afford winter and spring sports without football revenue from the fall? Do people need to donate the the Vandal Scholarship Fund (VSF)? If so, how much do we need to give to save our programs?