Idaho Vandals

Vandals’ draft drought ends as New Orleans Saints select versatile Idaho linebacker

The Idaho football team has its first NFL Draft pick since 2012. The New Orleans Saints selected linebacker Kaden Elliss in the seventh round Saturday with the 244th overall pick.

At Idaho, Elliss amassed 278 tackles (47 for loss) and 17 sacks. He said he visited eight NFL teams in the weeks leading up to the draft.

A high school quarterback, Elliss played every linebacker spot at Idaho and even dabbled at tight end, hauling in 10 catches for 176 yards and two touchdowns as a junior and senior. His father, Luther, was a first-round pick of the Detroit Lions (20th overall) in the 1995 draft.

“This kid was an ultimate playmaker at Idaho,” ESPN’s Mel Kiper Jr. said on the broadcast. “He beat offenses in a variety of ways, tested off the charts. This kid has a chance as a guy that was way, way under the radar.”

List of Idaho football players in the NFL Draft

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Dave Southorn is a 2004 graduate from the University of Colorado. He has covered Boise State athletics since 2005, and worked at the Idaho Statesman since 2013. He’s won multiple Idaho Press Club awards and once won a contest designing a play for the Seattle Seahawks.If you like seeing stories like this, please consider supporting our work with a digital subscription to the Idaho Statesman.