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2020 NFL Draft: Missouri interior defender Jordan Elliott is a first-round talent

When you compile Missouri interior defender Jordan Elliott’s draft profiles and rankings from around the industry, it paints a pretty clear picture — he is not viewed as a first-round prospect.

That puts our No. 23 ranking of him on the latest edition of the PFF Big Board into “hot take” territory. It is about 50 spots higher than most have him, with many draft pundits placing his value in the mid-to-late Day 2 range. That’s just too low for someone as productive as Elliott over the past two seasons in the SEC, even if that production hasn’t necessarily translated to counting stats.

[Editor's note: Check out all of PFF's 2020 NFL Mock Drafts and NFL Draft Big Board. PFF Elite subscribers can also download the 1,100-page 2020 NFL Draft Guide.]

Two-year PFF grades (since 2018) for top-10 interior defenders on PFF Big Board
Player PFF Big Board Rank Two-Year Overall Grade 
Javon Kinlaw 13 90.6
Derrick Brown 16 92.6
Jordan Elliott 23 92.8
Marlon Davidson 44 81.2
Justin Madubuike 47 89.8
Neville Gallimore 51 89.8
Ross Blacklock 54 81.5
Davon Hamilton 71 87.3
John Penisini 104 87.5
Raekwon Davis 115 86.2

Last season was Elliott’s only year as a full-time starter with the Tigers, but he did play a prominent rotational role on the defensive line across 395 defensive snaps in 2018. Not only was he the highest-graded interior defender in all of college football last season, but Elliott earned the highest grade of any interior defender in this draft class across the 2018 and 2019 seasons combined, even beating out the likes of DT1 and DT2 (Javon Kinlaw and Derrick Brown) on our board. That kind of performance is hard to ignore. 

PFF grade is not a catch-all tool when trying to project players from the college level to the NFL. Athletic ability and physical tools matter, and undersized players with below-average athleticism are often able to win at a high rate against lesser competition, struggling once they must match up with superior athletes at the NFL level. 

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