Add Kaden Elliss to the list of New Orleans Saints with Idaho ties.
The 6-foot-3, 240-pound linebacker was selected 244th overall Saturday in the NFL draft, 24 years after his father, former Utah and Detroit Lions linebacker Luther Elliss, was picked in the first round.
Kaden Elliss was a four-year starter at Idaho, earning first-team All-Big Sky Conference honors last season. He was an All-Sun Belt Conference selection in 2017, the Vandals’ final season in the Football Bowl Subdivision.
Elliss had 278 career tackles, 17 sacks and five interceptions. He also played tight end, totaling 176 receiving yards and a touchdown.
The Saints liked Elliss’ versatility, he said.
“They said they believe I’m smart enough to play a few (positions) so they want me to know a few, to come in and learn, and be a great special teams player.
“Whatever opportunities they give me, I’m going to go in and capitalize on it. I’m excited to make a mark down there.”
Elliss was the only Big Sky Conference player drafted this year.
He joins a Saints roster that includes tight end Josh Hill (Blackfoot, Idaho/Idaho State) and quarterback Taysom Hill (Pocatello).
Ex-EWU standouts sign rookie free-agents deals
Ex-Eastern Washington standouts Jay-Tee Tiuli and Nsimba Webster signed undrafted rookie free-agent contracts.
Tiuli, a 6-4, 320-pound defensive tackle, signed with the Seahawks. He was the Big Sky Conference Defensive Player of the Year in 2018.
Webster, an All-Big Sky receiver, signed with the Los Angeles Rams. He totaled 84 receptions, 1,379 yards and 11 touchdowns last season.
Webster joins a Rams team stocked with ex-EWU stars, including receiver Cooper Kupp, linebacker Samson Ebukam and center Aaron Neary.
Kupp’s younger brother, Ketner, accepted an invite to the San Francisco 49ers’ rookie camp. Cornerback Josh Lewis has been invited to Seattle’s rookie camp.
Ketner Kupp, a three-year starter and All-Big Sky selection, led the Eagles in tackles (115) last season.
He joins a San Francisco roster that includes ex-EWU receiver Kendrick Bourne, who started for the 49ers last season after going undrafted in 2017.
Rypien signs with Denver Broncos
Former Shadle Park star Brett Rypien is a Bronco again.
The ex-Boise State quarterback went undrafted but signed a rookie free-agent contract with Denver. The Broncos also drafted former Missouri quarterback Drew Lock in the second round.
Rypien, the nephew of former NFL quarterback Mark Rypien, was a four-year starter at Boise State and the 2018 Mountain West Conference Offensive Player of the Year.
He totaled 13,578 career passing yards and 90 touchdowns.
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