At 6-2, 342 pounds, Justin Ellis is a large man. In consecutive weeks, the Louisiana Tech nose tackle played in the East-West Shrine Game, and then the Reese's Senior Bowl.
To play that thankless position in the middle of the defensive line, you have to be tough. Everybody in the NFL is a tough guy, but nose tackles are on the "chewing nails/pushups on broken glass" end of the spectrum. They are routinely double-teamed by a center and guard, and rarely get to rack up stats. But that doesn't matter to Ellis.
"I love being a nose tackle," Ellis said. "I'm an unselfish player. I'm okay with taking two blocks for the linebackers to make the tackle."
Ellis racked up 5.5 tackles for a loss, 1.5 sacks and a deflected pass last season for the Bulldogs, and said the two All-Star game weeks in January were a nice chance for him to measure up against better competition.
"We played some good teams while I was in college," Ellis said. "But you got guys that are bigger, stronger, faster. The big name players."
Ellis was quick to attribute much of his success to Neville High School at home in Monroe, LA. He was nicknamed 'Jelly Bean' by coach David Taylor there.