Even if the NFL lockout doesn't prevent third-round pick Kenrick Ellis from playing for the New York Jets, the lockup might, the New York Post reported Saturday.
With the 94th overall pick in the NFL draft Friday night, the Jets took Ellis, a nose tackle from Hampton University who has more baggage than LaGuardia Airport. The massive 6-foot-4, 346-pounder is a space eater who will take up the middle of the Jets defensive line . . . if he's not in prison.
Ellis was arrested a year ago after a campus altercation and is facing a felony charge, according to the Newport News (Va.) Daily Press. He faces a July 12 jury trial and a possible 20 years in prison.
He ended up at Hampton after being kicked off the team at South Carolina following two years as a Gamecock, reportedly for failing drug tests.
The Jets said they did their homework and found Ellis to be transparent and honest, and are satisfied that he doesn't have character issues.
"We did rigorous background on him," said general manager Mike Tannenbaum, who would not discuss the legal situation. "We met with him. Based on all the information we have, we were comfortable taking him."
There is not much information available on the incident, but two online reports said Ellis broke a man's jaw and nose. He sat out the first game of last season.