Photo of Chad Kelly
Drafted By: Broncos
5.4 ?

Draft Analysis:

There are certainly John Elway-Jim Kelly ties here. With the last pick of the draft, why not? Kelly has as much arm talent as any QB in this class and may actually remind some Bronco fans of Jay Cutler when they watch him in camp. Don't be surprised if makes the final cut as Denver's No.3 QB. --Mark Dulgerian

  • 6'2" Height
  • 224LBS. Weight


The nephew and godson of NFL Hall of Fame quarterback Jim Kelly has been mercurial, at best, during his college career. He was a top five high school quarterback recruit from New York and four-time National Punt, Pass & Kick winner. Signing with Clemson, Kelly redshirted in 2012 and played in five games the following year (10-17, 58 yards) despite tearing his ACL in the spring game. He had multiple blow-ups with coaches at Clemson, which led to his release from the program in April 2014. Kelly then moved on to East Mississippi Community College, and he won a national title in his only season there. Ole Miss took a chance on Kelly, and stayed with him after an altercation with a restaurant bouncer in Buffalo where he threatened to "spray this place." The signing paid off in 2015, with Kelly earning second-team All-SEC nod (4,042 yards, 31 TD, 13 INT passing; 500 yards, 10 TD rushing)and the Sugar Bowl MVP while leading Ole Miss to wins over Alabama, Auburn and LSU in the same year for the first time in school history. Kelly was named second-team All-SEC as a senior, as well, even though his career ended early due to a torn right ACL and lateral meniscus in November 2016 (306.4 passing yards/game, 19 TD, eight INT). He didn't stay out of the headlines in 2016, either, as he ran onto the field of a high school game in which his brother was playing because the young quarterback took a late hit out of bounds. Reports were that Kelly did not actually engage anyone in the melee but apologized for leaving the stands.



Good arm talent. Will make "wow" throws, especially early in games. Has shown an ability to make bold, anticipatory throws over the deep middle. Over final two seasons at Ole Miss, saw 13.6% of his pass attempts go for 20-plus yards, a higher percentage than both Deshaun Watson and DeShone Kizer. Can alter release to account for sudden shifts and movements by defense or his own receivers. Poise is good enough. Will pump, slide, and re-set his feet to make accurate throws. Can set up and fire quickly from the pocket. When he sits down on throws, will use lower body to drive the ball through his targets. Gamer with a competitive streak that runs deep. Touch throws are in his repertoire when attacking area between linebackers and safeties. Looks comfortable in rollouts and boot-action throws. Completed 66.7 percent of his passes when on the move in 2016. Shuffles to safe spots inside the pocket and is able to scramble out of pressure and find targets. Willing runner with runs of 43 and 41 yards over last two seasons. Attacks the middle of the field with accuracy and throws consistent strikes to stationary targets.


Lacks desired size and willing to take way too many hits outside the pocket. Has worked almost exclusively from shotgun and pistol. Struggles to maintain early success after halftime defensive adjustments. Completed just 2-of-12 deep shots down the left sideline in 2016. Under-throws some deep balls when trying to pass with touch. Inconsistent air under the ball. Saw interception percentage skyrocket when throwing to left side of the field. Woeful on back-shoulder fades. When pressure heads his way, he tucks and scoots rather than stands and delivers. Has random bouts of inaccuracy on wide receiver screens and outs. Throws nose-dive on move throws. Inconsistent working through progressions. Fails to see wide-open receivers, opting instead to make his job harder. Mind appears to be racing at times. Needs to manipulate safeties with lingering glares. Considered a character concern by some scouts; kicked off Clemson team for "detrimental conduct."

Draft Projection

Round 5-6

Sources Tell Us

"He's okay. I think he could be a low-end NFL starter. I just wouldn't want to put my name behind him because I think it will come back and bite you with on-field and off-field mistakes. We value leadership at quarterback and I don't trust his." -- AFC East scout

NFL Comparison

Andy Dalton

Bottom Line

He's hardly a scouting favorite based on reputation and inconsistency, but Kelly has attributes that could make him an eventual starter in the league if his personal and football character are kept in check. Kelly's competitive nature and willingness to challenge defenses will lead to some hot-and-cold moments, but there is some talent to work with there.
-Lance Zierlein
Grade Title
9.00-10 Once-in-lifetime player
8.00-9.00 Perennial All-Pro
7.50-7.99 Future All-Pro
7.00-7.49 Pro Bowl to All-Pro Ability
6.50-6.99 Good NFL Starter with Pro Bowl Potential
6.00-6.49 Chance to become good NFL starter
5.70-5.99 Could become early NFL starter
5.30-5.69 Backup or eventual starter
5.15-5.29 Developmental prospect or special teams potential
5.01-5.14 Back end of the roster
5.00 50/50 Chance of making the roster