Ellis has the physical qualities FBS programs are looking for in a potential starting wideout. He’s quick off the line, hits top speed in just a few strides, and has enough burst and acceleration to make a play up top. Ellis also has big hands, a long, sinewy frame (he’s stronger than he looks at first glance) and long arms as well.
As a receiver, Ellis does a good job getting in and out of his breaks. He’s loose, fluid and nimble, displaying sound footwork with limited wasted movements/steps. Moreover, Ellis sits down well in-between a zone, and seems to have a knack for settling into openings. Ellis also actively works back to the ball; he’ll cut off his route if he senses the play’s breaking down or his quarterback’s in trouble. Basically, he has above-average instincts and knows what he's doing out there.
Ellis also has solid start-stop acceleration, and doesn't lose much momentum when changing directions or readjusting. The DeMatha wideout is slippery as well; he has enough shake to him to deke out a defender or slide through an arm tackle.
Ellis is not afraid of contact either. He’ll fight through press coverage to get into his route, and he’ll rise up in traffic to pull down a pass. In fact, he’s known for being active in the air, using his above-average vertical leap and precise body control to snag balls thrown over his head. And when he’s rising up, Ellis high points the ball and has strong enough hands to hang on after absorbing a hit. He’s a natural receiver who snares the ball’s tip, cradles it in and puts it away tightly.
And we would be remiss if we didn’t note Ellis’ blocking. High school receivers can always work on their run blocks, but Ellis willingly throws his body around when DeMatha’s backs run to his side.
To improve, Ellis has to refine his route running. At times he can look at bit methodical, especially when executing more complicated patterns. He also must continue learning how to sell routes by becoming even more deft with his footwork. We detected a bit of hip stiffness too, and the looser he gets the more effective he’ll be at changing direction, breaking down and disguising his patterns.
Moreover, while Ellis does have very good “football speed,” he’s not one of those 4.3 40-yard dash receivers, which may or may not limit his effectiveness at the next level. He can run by the secondary on 9-routes and the like, but we want to see him take a quick slant, split the seam and then bust by the secondary. Ellis could probably do that against most high school defensive backs, but it remains to be seen what kind of burst he’ll show against elite FBS defenders.