Elliott to the Ravens

DeShon Elliott. (Will Gallagher/IT)

DeShon Elliott. (Will Gallagher/IT)

Via UT release

Safety DeShon Elliott was selected by the Baltimore Ravens with the 190th overall pick in the sixth round of the 2018 NFL Draft on Saturday at AT&T Stadium. Elliott is the first Longhorn safety to be drafted since Mykkele Thompson went in the fifth round of the 2015 NFL Draft.

“(General Manager) Ozzie Newsome is who called me and told me they were going to pick me and that I was going to be a Baltimore Raven,” Elliott said. “At that I point, I really just started crying even more. Then he put me on the phone with coach (John) Harbaugh and the defensive coordinator and the safeties coach. It’s just a blessing, and I can’t believe I’m living out my dream to play in the NFL.

“My family and friends just started yelling and getting excited, and they were videoing me, grabbing on me, loving me, and they had been spending all day with me. They went through the whole process with me, and I really appreciate that.”

Elliott, a native of Rockwall, Texas burst onto the scene as a junior in 2017, starting all 12 games at safety for the Longhorns in the regular season. He was a finalist for the Jim Thorpe Award and was named a unanimous first team All-American and unanimous first team All-Big 12 selection. Elliott had six interceptions, tied for seventh-most in school history. It was the most picks by a Longhorn since Earl Thomas (8) and Blake Gideon (6) in 2009. He returned two of his interceptions for touchdowns in 2017. His 127 total return yards were the fourth-most in school history for a single season.

“DeShon is a playmaker who did great things for us last year,” head coach Tom Herman said. “He’s a big, physical and athletic safety who has a nose for the ball and he’s a guy who will come up and hit you. The Ravens got an impact player in the secondary who has bright future ahead of him.”

He was twice named Big 12 Conference Defensive Player of the Week. The first honor came following his effort at USC, a game in which he totaled seven tackles (five solo), with one tackle for loss, two interceptions and two pass breakups. He returned his first interception in the game 38 yards for a touchdown, while taking the second one back 24 yards into Trojan territory. The following week, he was also named Jim Thorpe Award National Player of the Week in addition to his conference honors. He had six tackles, a sack and two interceptions in a 17-7 win at Iowa State. He became the only Longhorn (dating back to 1947) with multiple interceptions in back-to-back games.

“Chykie Brown, Michael Huff and Aaron Ross all played there and I’m going to reach out to them and pick their brains a little bit about the organization,” Elliott continued. “I’m going to do my best to come behind those guys and all the Texas DBs and try to make them proud.”

Elliott played in 31 games with 13 starts during his three-year career for the Longhorns. He became just UT’s 22nd all-time unanimous All-American in school history, joining teammate Michael Dickson who also garnered the accolades in 2017. Elliott, with his five interceptions in a three-week stretch, became the first UT player since Thomas in 2009 with an interception in three straight games. Elliott finished his career as one of two Longhorns (Chris Carter, 1993-96) with three multi-interception games.

“I’ve learned a lot from Texas and what’s been instilled in us like hard work, dedication to the game, staying in the film room,” said Elliott. “I’m going to continue doing those things and I’m always going to bleed burnt orange. I really want to say thank you to all my teammates for always having my back, believing in me, working hard with me, all the blood, sweat and tears all day, every day for three years straight. We’ve been through the ups and downs, and I just love them. They know if there’s ever anything they need, I’m here for them, and I know I can count on them at all times. I also want to thank all of my coaches for everything I learned from them, and the fans for all of their support through the years.”

Elliott was not only a ball-hawk, but also known for making plays near the line of scrimmage. He totaled 63 tackles (50 solo) as a junior, second-most on the team. He also added 8.5 tackles for loss, three forced fumbles and nine pass breakups. For his career, he registered 106 tackles (85 solo) with 11.5 TFL, 2.5 sacks, nine interceptions and 14 pass breakups. He also forced four fumbles with three fumble recoveries.

“Being able to play in Baltimore with a tremendous organization and wonderful fan base and to be able to learn from Eric Weddle and Tony Jefferson and all the vets and grow as a player and a leader for the organization, it’s a dream come true,” Elliott said. “I want to be able to help them to a lot of wins and win championships. I’m just happy to be part of the organization, and I can’t wait to get to work.”