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2017 NFL Draft Prospect Profile: Chad Kelly, QB, Ole Miss

Could the Giants once again look to Ole Miss for a quarterback?

Mississippi v LSU Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images

With Ryan Nassib a free agent and Eli Manning entering his age 36 season, the popular belief is that the New York Giants have begun thinking about life after the two-time Super Bowl MVP.

They could look to the 2017 NFL Draft to find a quarterback to groom as Eli’s successor. As it so happens, there is another quarterback who is related to a Hall of Famer, who wears number 10, who played for Ole Miss, in the draft.

That is, of course, Chad Kelly. But while Kelly’s talent is evident, is it outweighed by his injury and off-field red-flags?


Height - 6 feet, 2 inches

Weight - 224 pounds

40 Time - 4.76sec (projected - injured)

3 Cone -

Short Shuttle -

Vertical Leap -

Broad Jump -

Bench Press -


  • Talented athlete. Kelly has the ability to scramble and extend plays, tuck the ball and run for chunks for chunks of yardage, as well as run the read-option on occasion.
  • Strong arm. Can make all the throws and drive the ball downfield.
  • Flashes the accuracy to fit the ball in tight windows at the sideline or the middle of the field
  • Flashes the ability to manipulate defenses with his eyes
  • Comes from a football family, nephew of former Bill’s QB Jim Kelly


  • Incredibly inconsistent. Can go from taking a game over to giving the game away.
  • Makes bad decisions with the football, putting it in danger of being picked off.
  • Inconsistent footwork.
  • Will stare down receivers, leading defenders to the football
  • Had serious off-field concerns that got him kicked out of Clemson. Off-field issues are also cited as the reason why his combine invitation was rescinded.
  • November knee injury (torn ACL and injured meniscus) ended his senior season. Previously tore the same ACL at Clemson. Medical report will have to be thoroughly evaluated.

Does He Fit With The Giants?

I’m going to go with “no”. While Kelly shares an eerie number of traits with another former Ole Miss QB who wears number 10, I would pass.

The biggest reasons are Kelly’s off-field concerns and late-season injury. The the potential set-back to Kelly’s development that recovering from the injury wouldn’t be a problem for the Giants, who would certainly have him sit behind Eli Manning and a veteran backup. However, not being able to work out or show any growth in his on-field problems forces you to take a pause.

More important are his off-field concerns. The New York media machine is absolutely rabid, and seize on any perceived character defect like sharks in a feeding frenzy. Putting a rookie in that environment very well could be a recipe for disaster, even if he has changed as a person and is trying to move on with his life.

Prospect Video

(Note: TE Evan Engram is No. 17)

Big Board Rankings

Big Blue View - Not in Top 100

Mocking The Draft - N/A

CBS Sports - 214th overall

Draft Countdown - Not in Top 100

Draft Tek - 101st overall

Final Thoughts

While there are certainly criticisms to be made, Kelly is without talent. At his best he looks like a good fit for the Giants’ offense, and his athleticism would (eventually) open up a dimension that simply isn’t there with Eli Manning. However, his inconsistency in a much simpler offense is concerning from a purely football perspective. While we can fairly criticise Manning for these things, they aren’t as prevalent as in Kelly’s game, and Eli performs more consistently at a higher level in a faster and more complex environment.

Kelly’s off-field concerns and a twice-injured knee are much larger concerns, particularly for a team like the Giants. Their media market is a fishbowl like no other, and Kelly’s history of run-ins with coaches and various other off-field concerns, would not play well in that environment. In fact, it’s possible that he isn’t drafted at all despite his talent.