The New Orleans Saints may have just found a franchise linebacker in Kaden Elliss, who impressed in a big way in Week 11's win against the Los Angeles Rams.
Elliss finished the game with a higher Pro Football Grade than Aaron Donald and filled in admirably with Pete Werner out due to injury.
The 2019 seventh-rounder has served as a depth piece for the Saints for the last four seasons, but he already has logged six starts in 2022 and will likely retain a starting role in Werner's absence.
Elliss recorded 11 tackles, two quarterback hits, and 1.5 sacks against the Rams and was widely hailed as one of the shining stars of the game.
Linebacker Kaden Elliss is Saints' "best kept secret" in 2022
After Week 11, fellow linebacker Demario Davis called Elliss the "best kept secret in the NFL" for the past few seasons, which is high praise coming from one of the best in the business.
Elliss already has 4.5 sacks on the year, proving to be an efficient pass-rusher as well as a hardy run defender for the Saints in recent weeks.
The Saints' defense as a whole has been decimated by injuries: Werner, Marshon Lattimore, Marcus Davenport, Cam Jordan, J.T. Gray, and Payton Turner have all missed some time this year.
There's hope that Werner in particular can return to the fold before the end of the season, but if he's not ready to go, Elliss has impressed enough to start alongside Davis for now.
The sky's the limit for a young and promising linebacker like Elliss. Hopefully, he continues to exceed expectations when the Saints take on the 49ers in Week 12.