Former No. 7 overall pick Sedrick Ellis retires at 28
Knowing that they had to acquire a pass rusher, but could also use help against the run, the Saints used their seventh overall pick to grab 308-pound interior pass rusher Sedrick Ellis out of USC. The former Trojan looked like a potential game changer as a player who could collapse the pocket and force opposing quarterbacks to scramble, while his size and strength boded well for his potential against the run.
Ellis, however, was nothing more than a bust, and he doesn't appear confident in his ability to turn his career around. The former top-10 pick announced his retirement on Thursday, calling it quits after just five seasons at the age of 28.
Ellis signed a one-year deal with the Chicago Bears this offseason and was expected to compete for a roster spot as a reserve defensive lineman, but he will now wrap up his career having played exclusively for the Saints.
In 70 career career starts, Ellis - once thought of as a high-upside pass rusher - registered just 12.5 sacks. Over the past two seasons, Ellis tallied a pathetic 0.5 sacks with no forced fumbles or fumble recoveries across 31 starts. He could have stuck around if he was capable of making an impact against the run, but he struggled in that area as well.
Ellis is the third top-10 player from his draft class to be out of the league (No. 6 pick Vernon Gholston and No. 8 pick Derrick Harvey). The Saints still likely would have had a bust on their hands even if they opted for a different defensive lineman over Ellis - the D-linemen taken after Ellis in the first round were Harvey and Kentwan Balmer (also out of the league). It was simply a poor draft class for defensive linemen.
This comes as a reminder that after all the game tape and workouts, even the best scouts in the world swing and miss once in a while.