Coverage Spacing - His athletic limitations are evident when watching him attempt to space or stretch in deeper coverages that require covering a lot of grass. He's not regularly able to transition off his landmark and work to throws that test the radius or peripherals of his assignments.
Acceleration - You knew he wasn't the most rangy athlete but 4.8 is surprisingly slow. I'd have pegged him about 2 tenths slower in timed speed — he's adequate in straight line situations but his long speed and ability to play turn and run is only moderate at best. Ideally kept out of the deep portions.
Tackling - His pads have some good thump and as he fills the alley, he provides good finish ability in run support. He's less effective in the open field due to movement restrictions and lack of range — has taken some ambitious angles into the LOS and failed to get home.
Zone Cover Skills - He's best suited to stay down into the box as a hook/curl defender. He's often in position to make a play based on overhead leverage and a tip or errant throw — he's not a twitchy play maker but he'll typically be in the right place for if things go sideways. He's smart — just not dynamic.
Ball Skills - Did well to convert the chances he did get into turnovers. He's not going to routinely jump passes and work across the face of receivers to bat at the ball but will provide a "Johnny on the spot" big play if something falls into his lap. Will struggle in turn and run to look back and find the football with consistency.
Competitive Toughness - Blue collar work ethic — he's got good locker room rapport from all accounts and busts his tail to work into position and rally to the football. That mentality suggests a ST role could await in his future, which he's undoubtedly bring value to. Dense pads and in short spaces, he'll pack a punch.
Flexibility - There's some notable tightness throughout his hips, most notable when he's charged with flipping himself open and working to mirror route breaks or carry receivers vertically up the field. He doesn't have the dynamic athleticism to play in space or the hinges to not drift off his spot as he attempts to turn and run.
Feet/COD - More of a linear athlete than an agile defender capable of picking his way through high traffic and congestion. Lacks a certain spring out of flat footed platforms and in off coverage he'll be prone to giving up completions in underneath — and will give an extra step due to protecting vertically.
Man Coverage Skills - Wouldn't endorse playing him in isolation against wide receivers. Even TEs seemed to have success bumping and bullying him — he loses some of his toughness when he's not allowed to play down hill and trigger into the line of scrimmage. Low value in this aspect of his game.
Versatility - Defensive value is pretty vanilla and if you're expecting a more diverse chess piece, you're probably better off looking elsewhere. If you want motor, physicality in short spaces and a potential key special teamer, this is your guy late in the draft.
Best Trait - Tackling
Worst Trait - Man Cover Skills
Best Film - Syracuse (2018)
Worst Film - Georgia (2019)
Red Flags - None
Summary - Jalen Elliott projects as a bottom of the roster depth safety who will have the opportunity to find an impact as a special teams contributor thanks to his tackling ability and requisite long speed. Elliott is somewhat athletically limited and will likely struggle to command reps in deep coverages — instead he can serve as a coverage defender on the kick teams and look to put his tackling prowess to use there. Defensive reps are best served in shallow spaces, avoid him in deep coverage.