AFC South: Jason Ferguson
|AP Photo/Phil Coale|
|Atiyyah Ellison (99) hopes he's found a home with the Jacksonville Jaguars.|
Posted by ESPN.com's Paul Kuharsky
In Atiyyah Ellison's media guide entry, his year-by-year bio has just a two-word edge on this lengthy transaction history:
TRANSACTIONS: Originally a third round (89th pick overall) draft choice by Carolina in 2005 NFL Draft ... Waived by Carolina on 9/3/05 ... Signed by Carolina to the practice squad on 9/5/05 ... Signed by Carolina to the 53-man roster from the practice squad on 9/14/05 ... Waived by Carolina on 9/24/05 ... Signed by Carolina to the practice squad on 9/27/05 ... Signed by Carolina to the 53-man roster from the practice squad on 10/31/05 ... Waived by Carolina on 9/2/06 ... Signed by Houston on 9/3/06 ... Waived by Houston on 9/7/06 ... Signed by Baltimore to the practice squad on 9/12/06 ... Signed by Baltimore to the 53-man roster from the practice squad on 12/4/06 ... Waived by Baltimore on 9/1/07 ... Signed by Baltimore to the practice squad on 9/2/07 ... Signed by San Francisco off the Baltimore practice squad on 9/5/07 ... Waived by San Francisco 8/30/08 ... Signed to San Francisco practice squad 8/31/08 ... Signed by Jacksonville off San Francisco practice squad on 12/10/08.
He shakes his head and grins when he talks about the 18 moves -- "I've been everywhere," he said -- but remains surprisingly upbeat and optimistic that No. 18 will be the big winner, that he's finally found a home with the Jaguars.
"Being a third-round pick and then getting cut and put on the practice squad, people see that and think, 'Something's got to be wrong with him' or 'Something is up with him' or 'He was drafted too high,' I honestly couldn't tell you one specific thing," Ellison said.
"Every place I've been, nobody's flat out told me, 'You're not good enough for this' or 'You're not good enough for that.' It's just I've got to put everything together and just make a run for it."
|Joe Robbins/Getty Images|
|Tony Brown's skill set brought him to Tennessee.|
Ellison is hardly alone. The league features plenty of defensive tackles who've bounced around, tantalizing teams with combinations of height and weight, speed and strength, then not fitting the style of play those clubs seek.
"Really it happens in all positions, but D tackle is kind of a fickle position as far as what exactly you are asking them to do," Titans defensive coordinator Chuck Cecil said. "The body might look the same, but the mind and the feet react differently.
"The biggest thing is that some guys are built to go down the line and take up space and some guys are built to go upfield, be more aggressive and rush. That's two completely and totally different skills sets you are talking about."
ESPN.com's NFC West maven Mike Sando keeps track of starting lineups, and on his list of projected starting defensive tackles he found 21 drafted by one team but playing for another.
They cover a wide range. Baltimore's Kelly Gregg was a sixth-rounder in Cincinnati in 1999, but wasn't an impact guy there or in Philadelphia. Now he's a mainstay in Baltimore. Aubrayo Franklin started only one game in four seasons with the Ravens after they drafted him in the fifth round in 2003, but he is a two-year starter with the 49ers and finished last season on the upswing.
Brown wasn't drafted, but went from Carolina to Miami to San Francisco to a year out of the league to Carolina again to Tennessee.