NFL analyst Ron Jaworski explains where he thinks Chad Kelly will be drafted
PHILADELPHIA — Love him or hate him, former Ole Miss QB Chad Kelly is going to end up with an NFL team by the end of this week.
Whether he hears his name called in the 2017 NFL Draft or has to wait to sign as an undrafted free agent remains to be seen, but the big-armed quarterback will head into training camp with a job.
With several off-field incidents in his past and a recent surgery on his wrist that will keep him from throwing for a couple more months, Kelly is a high-risk, high-reward draft prospect.
Former NFL QB Ron Jaworski, now an analyst for ESPN, assessed the risk involved in drafting the ex-Rebel, saying there are several things for teams to consider before picking the mercurial quarterback.
“Some of the experience with Chad Kelly is not good — the transferring and things like that, off-the-field issues and now you’ve got an injury on top of that,” Jaws told Saturday Down South. “The lineage is good from Jim Kelly as part of the bloodlines, but he was very inconsistent in college. I saw some unbelievable throws that projected well to the NFL, but then I saw some throws that were head-scratchers, some decision-making (issues) and some inaccurate throws.”
All that said, Jaworski still thinks Kelly will go a little bit higher than his current NFL.com projection, which has him listed as a Round 5-6 target.
“I think he’s a guy that, fourth or fifth round, teams will take a chance on and see if he can mature into an NFL quarterback,” he said.
As Jaworski said, Kelly has what it takes athletically to make it in the NFL. In fact, he recently received high marks on his accuracy from ESPN’s Sports Science.
Kelly finished his two years in Oxford with 6,800 passing yards and 50 touchdowns, often rising to the occasion in big games. Just ask Alabama about that, as Kelly torched the Crimson Tide for 762 yards, six touchdowns and zero interceptions the past two seasons (one game which the Rebels won and one which they lost).
But, as Jaworski noted, much of Kelly’s ability to follow in his Hall-of-Fame uncle’s footsteps will depend on whether or not he matures enough off the field to find success on it.