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Notre Dame Football

Elliott: 'I feel I'm the most versatile safety in this draft class'

February 29, 2020

Notre Dame safety Jalen Elliott arrived at the Reese's Senior Bowl last month flying under the radar. 

The Virginia native isn't under the radar anymore as he was the only Notre Dame player to take a podium during interviews at the NFL Combine on Friday.

"I feel I'm one of the more versatile defensive backs in this draft class," stated Elliott. "I can't wait to go and show that." 

The former Fighting Irish captain played in a variety of roles during his time in South Bend, but some NFL scouts feel he could be a cornerback at the next level. 

While Elliott hasn't played cornerback, the 6-foot, 205-pounder believes he can do any job asked of him.

"I think that it's not just one spot where I can go in and that's the only spot I can play," explained Elliott. "Any DB spot on the field, I feel I can go in and make an impact.

"I feel I'm the most versatile safety in this draft class, but I can only speak for me." 

Whether it's cornerback, safety, or nickel, Elliott is ready to contribute to his future team. 

"Just being open to playing everything and working on my craft," said Elliott. "The more versatile you are as a DB, the more you can service a team. I think making sure I'm ready to go and play all the DB spots is something that will help me in the long run. 

"Being rangy and playing in the middle of the field is something I can come in and do pretty well. I can come down and guard the tight end and slot. That's something I can do well." 

Life at Notre Dame wasn't easy for Elliott at the start of his career as he was thrown to the wolves as a true freshman. 

However, Elliott led the charge to turn the program around over the last three seasons. 

"We took a lot of pride in that," Elliott said of having one of the best secondaries in the country the last two seasons. "We had a veteran group. We had a lot of guys back there who have played together for a long time. We took a vow to each other that we were going to make sure whatever we had to do in order to be successful on the back end, we were going to do it. 

"Everyone came to work every day with that mindset that we had to get better." 

The natural leadership has NFL teams excited as Elliott is not just versatile, but someone who can bring others along with him. 

"I'm going to lead in any situation," explained Elliott. "Anytime I come into a new situation, I'm going to be the outgoing person who is going to reach out to somebody. I take pride in knowing my guys and knowing how to lead my guys. I know not everyone needs a rah-rah guy. Some just need a tap on the shoulder and a 'Let's go.' 

"Naturally, I'm going to come in and lead and take my role very seriously. I'm going to learn from the vets and soak up all the knowledge I can. Any position a team puts me in, I'm going to lead."

Elliott and the other Notre Dame players at the NFL Combine have taken pride in having nine guys in Indianapolis this week.

"I think the numbers and the amount of people we have here speaks for itself," stated Elliott. "Every year we're competing and putting in the guys who will make an impact on teams all across the country. We're excited to be here and we're going to go show out." 

As far as showing out, Elliott wasn't convinced cornerback Troy Pride Jr. would run the fastest 40 out of the Notre Dame guys.

"We'll see on Sunday," laughed Elliott. "Troy, we'll see on Sunday." 

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