After a rookie season that ended before it even started, DeShon Elliot is working hard to make an impact for a loaded secondary for the Ravens this season after an
impressive showing during offseason workouts
Elliott, a strong safety and former All-American from Texas, was a sixth-round draft pick in 2018. He missed his entire rookie campaign due to a forearm fracture he suffered during the Ravens' preseason game against the Miami Dolphins Aug. 25 last season.
Elliott is fired up to be back on the field and is looking to showcasing his skills and proving his worth to the team. At Texas, he played three seasons and recorded 105 tackles, nine interceptions, three forced fumbles and three fumble recoveries.
The injury also gave the safety a new outlook on the game and how appreciative he is to be able to play football for a living. He wants to treat every play like it's his last and go full speed in every aspect of the game because you never know what can happen.
"I truly love football. I've never really been hurt before and for me to get hurt and have to sit out that long period of time, at the beginning it was hard," Elliott said on
Glenn Clark Radio
June 24. "Right when I was cleared to work out and get back to who I was I went at it hard. Ever since then I haven't stopped."
One goal Elliott set for himself while he was injured was to become faster. He opened training camp last year weighing in at 213 pounds, but now he is at 205 pounds.
"I wanted to get faster and I realized in the NFL, this is an open-field game and there is no reason to be big. Your stature does not need to be a big, swole guy who can just hit. You need to be able to run and move," Elliott said.
The Ravens come into this season loaded in the secondary. They bring back cornerbacks Jimmy Smith and Marlon Humphrey and safety Tony Jefferson. They also added All-Pro safety and Super Bowl champion Earl Thomas, who was a part of the Seattle Seahawks' "Legion of Boom" secondary.
Elliott said he's already learned so much from those teammates -- especially Thomas, who he knew previously because they both went to Texas.
"[Thomas is] a guru, he flies to the ball, he has a knack for the ball, he knows where to be at the right time," Elliot said. "That's kind of what I pride myself on. Even in college, I would watch his film and try to reach out to him to see if I could pick his brain a little bit. For me to be able to look down the row in a meeting and pick his brain from there is so much better and easier. I love him being here."
Although the secondary is crowded, the second-year safety is still ready to compete this summer.
"I know we got dogs in our secondary, but I never watch another guy play," Elliott said. "I know I am a dog and I just have to keep working. If I keep working I know I'll get to the point I need to be."
Having gone against him all throughout offseason workouts, Elliott is very high on Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson and thinks he will be even better in Year Two with the team. He is a big fan of the weapons the team has put around him this season, especially his former college rival Marquise "Hollywood" Brown, the team's first-round draft pick out of Oklahoma.
"My last year at Texas, I actually had to cover him in the slot," Elliott said. "He ran a wheel route and I'm lucky they didn't throw the ball [to him]."
Since minicamp ended, Elliott has been working out at APEC, a training facility in Fort Worth, Texas, the same place where 2018 NFL MVP Patrick Mahomes works out. He has also been helping out at Alvin and Aaron Jones' football camp in Texas and visiting sick children in the hospital.
"I got to meet a little girl. Her name was Autumn and we said we were going to both draw koalas and exchange with each other," Elliott said. "Her picture probably looked better than mine."
For more from Elliott, listen to the full interview here: