John Kelly Draft Profile

John Kelly draft profile

Strengths:

  • Tough runner
  • Creates yardage through power
  • Runs with low center of gravity and exceptional balance through contact
  • Often takes multiple tacklers to finish him
  • Stiff-arm is elite
  • Gave Ronnie Harrison work when they went head to head
  • More dangerous as pass catcher than numbers would dictate
  • Displays wiggle to separate on route breaks
  • Competitive pass blocker who will sort and square opponents

Analysis: John Kelly is one of the toughest runners in this year’s draft class. He is your classic power back who can create additional yardage with his powerful running style. His tape was fun to watch–it took multiple defenders to bring Kelly down on a regular basis. His stiff arm is like watching a player in Madden knock his video game opponent down, but this is real life and Kelly’s stiff arm is one of the best. Put on his Alabama tape and watch him truck future draft pick Ronnie Harrison. He wasn’t used as a receiving back often at Tennessee, but he is more than capable and will be used in that role more in the pros. He is more than a willing pass blocker, looking to lay a hit on pass rushers to protect his quarterback.

Weaknesses:

  • Considered ‘undersized’
  • Average quickness and below average speed
  • Lacks the “hit it and go” to clear traffic through line of scrimmage
  • Vision is below average
  • Inconsistent running away from tacklers around the corner or down the field
  • Character concerns

Analysis: John Kelly does not look like your prototypical power back, and some scouts have questioned his ‘undersized’ stature. To me, it’s not a big concern–he has the muscle on his frame to withstand hits in the NFL. Look at his NFL comp–very similar height and weight and T-Henry did a solid job in the NFL. Kelly does lack the ideal vision you look for in an NFL running back, he misses creases within holes that could pop a five yard run into a 50-yarder. His speed leaves a lot to be desired as he will not be running away from anyone at the next level. He didn’t run the 40 at the combine and that left scouts wondering even more about his play speed.┬áKelly was suspended for one game after being arrested for misdemeanor drug possession (marijuana) after a traffic stop for a burnt-out headlight–so character concerns have come into question.

Size: 5’9 205lbs

Draft Grade: 3rd Round

NFL Comparison: Travis Henry

Draft Projection: Round 4-5

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