Courtney: What the Ducks are Getting in Sir Mells

The 3-star DT has the potential to emerge as one of the more valuable DL pieces for Oregon

Posted on June 6, 2021


  By Chris Courtney of WFOD for SportsPac12

At least publicly, all has been quiet on the recruiting front for Ducks head coach Mario Cristobal and the Oregon football program for the past two months.

Oregon Ducks LogoThe last verbal commitment the Ducks picked up had been from DeSoto (Texas) three-star wide receiver Stephon Johnson, who pledged on March 31.

Since then, crickets.

NCAA logoHowever, June is setting up to be a month where the recruiting floodgates burst wide open, as hundreds of prospects across the country finally get the opportunity to visit college campuses with the NCAA lifting the near 15-month recruiting dead period that came as a result of COVID-19.

Oregon is a program that stands to reap the dividends from their recruiting efforts behind the scenes this month, with the initial pay-off coming Saturday in the form of a verbal commitment from Henderson (Nev.) Liberty three-star defensive lineman Sir Mells.

Formerly a verbal commit to Washington, Mells de-committed from the Huskies in late February, shortly after receiving a scholarship offer from the Ducks.

Sir Mells Oregon
Mells

From that point forward, Oregon seemed to have the unofficial inside track on Mells’ commitment, which ultimately came to pass during the first major recruiting weekend in Eugene since March 2020.

Ranked as the 12th-best prospect from the state of Nevada during the 2022 recruiting cycle, Mells joins San Diego (Calif.) St. Augustine four-star prospect Gracen Halton as the second defensive lineman to commit to the Ducks’ 2022 recruiting class.

Mells was also a high school teammate of Ducks true freshman tight end Moliki Matavao, who is one of two Nevadans currently on the roster (the other being Jackson LaDuke).

Mells garnered a grand total of 13 offers from programs such as USC, Michigan, and Maryland before making his verbal commitment to Oregon.

247Sports LogoHis addition currently gives the Ducks the nation’s 21st-best recruiting class and top-ranked recruiting class in the Pac-12, per 247Sports’ Composite Team Rankings.

Below we take a closer look at Mells’ game, examining his weaknesses and strengths, as well as projecting how he may make an impact for the Ducks when he ultimately arrives on campus.


Notable Weaknesses

Lacks explosiveness: Despite being a very well-rounded athlete along the defensive line, Mells lacks explosiveness.

Not a player who will overwhelm opponents with his first step, Mells shouldn’t be expected to develop as a player who will routinely penetrate the backfield.

Could be more violent at the point of attack: Walking somewhat hand-in-hand with Mells’ lack of explosiveness is his lack of consistent violence at the point of attack.

On film, Mells isn’t always a player who shows he can physically dominate the man across from him. Given his size and athletic gifts, this could become a notable area of improvement.


Notable Strengths

Versatility: One of the best things that Mells brings to the table is his versatility.

DeRuyter

With the size and athleticism to anchor as a 1-technique or 3-technique in Oregon defensive coordinator Tim DeRuyter’s defense, Mells has the potential to emerge as one of the more valuable pieces for the Ducks along the defensive line thanks to his utility.

Shows great pursuit, motor: Perhaps the best compliment that can be paid to a defensive lineman is labeling that player as someone who plays with a high motor.

Mells routinely demonstrates great effort and pursuit of the football, and often finds himself rewarding his team with a big play as a result.

Good athlete for size: Listed at 6-foot-4 and 310 pounds, Mells shows terrific movement skills for an athlete of his size.

Though he could play with a little more explosion, Mells plays with enough quickness, balance, and burst to be a playmaker in the trenches, particularly against the run.


Overall Outlook

Saturday’s verbal commitment from Sir Mells was one that felt a bit like a long time coming for those who follow the recruiting beat year-round.

Shortly after receiving an offer from Oregon, Mells de-committed from Washington and re-opened his recruitment.

Thibodeaux

However, the focus of where Mells would ultimately land never drifted far from the Ducks, who could be faced with a handful of notable departures from the defensive line room to the NFL (see Kayvon Thibodeaux and Brandon Dorlus) following the 2021 season.

Though Mells doesn’t figure to possess anywhere near the pass rushing skills of a Thibodeaux, his game is somewhat reminiscent of Dorlus’ when the sophomore was Mells’ age.

The versatility and effort that Mells plays with are what impress you the most when you evaluate Mells on tape, and it’s easy to see why he was so coveted despite his relatively modest three-star rating.

With that said, even with the potential losses the Ducks could suffer up front at the conclusion of the 2021 season, I don’t necessarily expect Mells to be an instant contributor upon his arrival on campus.

A year or two development could serve Mells well before he cracks the regular rotation along the defensive line.

This story also appears at wholeflockofducks.com and is syndicated with permission. Follow WFOD on Twitter @_WFOD and Chris Courtney @csquared02.



—Recent Chris Courtney Stories—