Following a discussion between the Denver Broncos and former NFL quarterback Jim Kelly, as well as a complete vetting, the final pick of the 2017 NFL Draft was quarterback Chad Kelly. Kelly is a gifted quarterback who has had his off field issues. The Broncos have had quarterback issues since the retirement of Peyton Manning, and while the nephew of Jim Kelly was not ranked high in the draft, in fact not expected to be drafted at all do to off field issues, Denver took a chance.
According to ESPN, several off-field incidents resulted in Kelly being dismissed from Clemson University early in his potentially big career. The NFL rescinded his invitation to the Combine, and many teams who were interested, fully investigated him over the past few months, but passed over him in the Draft. On top of off-field incidents, the younger Kelly is also coming back from a torn meniscus and ACL sustained in November, something that could hold him back to start with the Denver Broncos.
Clemson dismissed Kelly after only one season. A clash between the student quarterback and the coaching staff over various issues and a threat to go play lacrosse if he was not named the team’s starting QB lead to the dismissal. Clemson coach Dabo Swinney said that his values were not the same value of the team. He also said that if he grew up emotionally, he had the potential to be one of the great quarterback in the pros.
In December 2014, Kelly had an altercation at a bar in Buffalo that resulted in allegations that the young quarterback threatened to get a machine gun and spray the bar with bullets. He pled guilty in the incident to a non-criminal, disorderly conduct charge. He also was involved in a brawl that occurred in October at one of his brother’s high school football games. All of this all but black-balled Kelly from the NFL Draft, but the Denver Broncos were willing to give the youngster a shot.
John Elway, the general manager and executive vice president of football operations, called Kelly’s uncle, Jim to talk about Chad. Jim Kelly was drafted the same year Elway was, and told the Broncos GM that Chad is a good kid. That was all Elway needed to hear. His stats say the rest. In 2015, Kelly threw for 4,042 yards. After leaving Clemson, Kelly lead Ole Miss with 15 rushing touchdowns and 50 passing scores. He lead the SEC in 2016 with 343.3 total yards per game and in nine games threw 19 touchdowns.
Now, the Denver Broncos will hope he has matured enough to make a bid for the quarterback position. While he will be a rookie, Kelly has the talent to slide right into the Broncos starting slot. However, if he has not grown up, it may end up being a irrelevant pick to end the draft.
What do you think about the Broncos picking up Chad Kelly? Do you think he has matured enough and learned from his mistakes to become a good NFL quarterback or will the Denver Broncos be looking for another QB before the season starts? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
Commentary by Cletus Dillwood
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