When he isn’t rapping in the studio, Chad “Swag” Kelly spends his time torching SEC defenses, to the tune of 4,042 passing yards and 31 touchdowns in 2015. The Ole Miss Rebel led his team to a 10-3 record last season, capping off the year with a dominant Sugar Bowl victory over Oklahoma State.
Regarded by many as one of the top quarterbacks in the 2017 draft class, Kelly posses the talent and tools needed to be an NFL signal-caller. There are off the field issues, however. Ole Miss is Kelly’s third college. Will talent outweigh the negatives?
4.76 second 40-yard dash
Chad, the nephew of Buffalo Bills legend Jim Kelly, put up ridiculous numbers in his first year at Ole Miss. He is, statistically, one of the most productive quarterbacks in college football. He knows how to set up his receivers for big plays while also delivering spot-on throws; Kelly completed 65 percent of his passes in 2015.
All the while, he’s posting those statistics against elite SEC defenses. He threw for 341 yards and 3 touchdowns against Alabama, the third-best overall defense, en route to an enormous upset.
Kelly possesses a lively arm and can sling it anywhere on the field. His arm strength allows him to hit receivers deep or gun a pass in between defenders on a quick route. He also makes good decisions. A 31 touchdown to 13 interception ratio is an impressive one, even if some of those touchdowns should have gone the other way.
In addition to his passing abilities, Kelly is elusive. He was sacked only 18 times and ran the ball 107 times for 500 yards and 10 touchdowns.
On the field, Kelly has just a few weak-spots. 13 interceptions is pretty high for a potential first-round pick. Plus, some of his touchdowns could have been intercepted.
Check out the play at the 2:12 mark. Kelly has no business throwing a touchdown pass. He should have simply taken the sack, but a beneficial ricochet created an improbable touchdown for the Rebels.
When the game ends, the major issues begin. Kelly originally played for Clemson, but was dismissed in 2014 due to “conduct detrimental to the team.” He then attended East Mississippi Community College before landing in Oxford. Right before he arrived at Ole Miss, Chad was arrested in Buffalo, NY for disorderly conduct and had to serve 50 hours of community service. He had a clean year as a Rebel, so it’s hoped that he matured.
Chad Kelly has the talent to be a top-5 pick in the 2017 NFL Draft, especially if his upcoming season is similar to the 2015 campaign. He loses his top target in Laquon Treadwell, so it will be interesting to see how Kelly deals with that.
Depending on what underclassmen declare for the draft, Chad could end up as the first overall pick next year.