School: Alabama | Conferece: SEC
Experience: Senior | Age: 22
Height/Weight: 6’4" | 311 lbs
SPARQ: 109.35 / NFL %: 86.9
Projected Draft Status: 2nd round
NFL Comparison: Bryan Stork
Ryan Kelly was a three-year starter who finished his career with a national title, the Rimington Award and a piece of the SEC’s Jacobs Blocking Trophy. That’s a pretty strong resume. He played against elite talent in the SEC and helped lead his team to wins repeatedly. Kelly is quick off the line; he’s almost never beaten to position on a reach block. Kelly is also a willing downfield blocker. Against LSU he helped spring a 40-plus yard run that preceded Alabama’s first touchdown by getting on LB Kendell Beckwith about 10 to 15 yards downfield. Kelly is limited by his size, however. There were times when larger players pushed him around, though Kelly’s strong base and technique generally limited that to just torquing his upper body. That will be an issue against NFL nose tackles until he gains strength and weight — which I think is a matter of when, not if.
- Excellent footwork
- Good quickness
- Willing downfield blocker
- Rarely penalized
- Doesn’t get much push against head-up players
- Can be reliant on a chip to get movement
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How He’d fit With the Redskins
Kelly would be a great fit with the Redskins. They need a center who can fit the power running offense Gruden prefers. Kory Lichtensteiger is fine but Washington would be well served by doing their due diligence on a player like Kelly. I believe Kelly would start on Week 1 if drafted. There would be growing pains as his body adjusts to the NFL, but again, I think that’s a when not an if. ’Steiger is maxed out at 300 lbs. Kelly’s 6’4" frame and work ethic — he added mass every year in Tuscaloosa — suggest that he’ll overcome an initial size/strength disadvantage. Kelly has the potential to have a long career in the NFL.