New Detroit Lions safety DeShon Elliott recalls his draft fall
New Lions safety DeShon Elliott fell to very late in the 2018 NFL Draft, and he recalled the story last week.
Off a junior season at the University of Texas that saw him intercept six passes and be a Jim Thorpe Award finalist, DeShon Elliott declared for the 2018 NFL Draft with eyes on being picked in the middle rounds.
He ultimately fell to the sixth round, the 190th overall pick to the Baltimore Ravens. By that point, via Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press, Elliott has turned off the television and started playing “Call of Duty.”
“My draft day story was actually very upsetting,” Elliott said last Thursday. “When I got the call I wasn’t even watching the draft anymore. I was just like, ‘I don’t even care, it’s ball. Wherever I go, I’m going to play regardless.’ But yeah, at this point it is what it is. That’s the past. You just got to start over.”
DeShon Elliott has tried to move forward after draft fall
As many players who fall in the draft tend to, Elliott knows how many safeties were taken before him.
“I know there was (16 safeties) called before me,” he said. “Now, it doesn’t matter, but at the end of the day I still am about it just cause I want to prove like, ‘All right, man, I’m one of the top ones out of that defensive back class.’ But I feel like the first couple of years it goes from it fueling (you) with anger to it fueling (you) with figuring out a way to make that a positive situation, and I think I turned it into a positive.”
Elliott’s NFL career has been greatly impacted by injuries. He missed his entire rookie season with a broken arm, and played just six games in both 2019 (as a backup) and 2021 (as a starter). In 2020 he played in all 16 games, and showed what he can do when healthy–80 total tackles, four pass breakups, 2.5 sacks and two forced fumbles.
After signing a one-year deal, Elliott has an opportunity to earn a starting job with the Lions this year. As much as it’s in the past and he’s moving on, his draft fall (as it is for many players who experience it) is a tentpole event in his career.