Pro Football Focus wasn’t really high on Ellis based on their rankings. They ranked him as the 43rd most elusive runner, 4 spots behind Bernard Scott but 12 spots ahead of Cedric Benson. He also ranked 56th in breakaway %, which measures a RBs ability to break off runs of 15 yards or more. That was 12 spots behind Benson.
In their piece, Three Years of the Elusive Rating, in which ranked the most elusive RBs over the past three years, Ellis ranked 38th overall in elusiveness, a mere two spots ahead of Benson.
So what should the Bengals expect from Ellis? Based on the numbers, their getting a RB that will upgrade their red zone offense significantly, as they scored TDs on only 50% of their trips their, one of the worst in the NFL. He has a career ypc average of 4.0, including his career-best 4.4 in 2010.
Outside of that, the Bengals aren’t getting much more than a slight upgrade over Benson. Ellis was clearly used in England to maximize his strengths and shadow his weaknesses. He’ll likely split carries with Bernard Scott, and hopefully Ellis and Scott can become the thunder and lighting of the AFC North and carry the Bengals to a division crown.