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Redskins Season Predictions: Rob Kelley Won’t Make the 53-Man Roster

Washington Redskins vÊSeattle Seahawks Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images

Nothing personal against Rob Kelley. I just don’t think he brings anything special to the table that some of the other Redskins running backs do.

The former Tulane FB/RB had 1270 rushing yards and 6 total touchdowns over his four year collegiate career. Surprisingly, he did chip in 86 receptions for 727 yards and 6 additional touchdowns.

Kelley was not invited to the 2016 NFL combine. He worked out for scouts at his pro day, and ran a 4.68 40, had a 29.5 inch vertical, and posted 16 reps of 225 pounds on the bench press. His pedestrian 40 yard dash would have likely been around a 4.75 if he had competed at the combine.

Our very own James Dorsett wrote an article on Kelley last spring, which takes a look at some of his stats and measurables, and tries to coorelate them to future NFL success. You can read James’ article Here.

The Redskins drafted LSU star running back Derrius Guice in the second round of this year’s NFL draft. Guice enters camp third on the depth chart behind Kelley and Samaje Perine, but it shouldn’t take long for him to jump the pair. Guice brings a unique combination of speed, quickness, agility, balance and power to the table. Not only is Guice a talented runner, he can also catch the ball very well out of the backfield, despite not being heavily used in that role at LSU. The Redskins have never had a running back with his unique skillset (Clinton Portis being the closest), and you can bet head coach Jay Gruden will find ways to use that talent in his diverse offense. His three-down ability will make it hard to keep him off the field this year.

In Perine, the Redskins have a bruiser, with deceptive speed and athleticism. He left Oklahoma as the school’s all-time leading rusher after piling up 4122 rushing yards and 49 touchdowns in just three seasons. Although he’s not viewed as an accomplished receiving back, he did manage to catch 40 passes for 321 yards and two touchdowns during his time in Norman. As a rookie last season, behind a banged up offensive line, he put up 603 rushing yards and a touchdown, and added 22 receptions for 182 yards and another touchdown. He has very good vision, power and balance upon contact, and can be a great change-of-pace back to Guice.

Despite being injured against the Saints in week 11 last season, Chris Thompson still managed to put up 804 all-purpose yards and 6 touchdowns. He is one of the NFL’s best third-down backs, and expects to return healthy this training camp. Although Thompson can’t carry the load as a 3-down NFL running back, his versatility and open-field skills are a weapon Jay Gruden will lean heavily on this season.

The Rest:

Byron Marshall (24) - 5’9” 225

Kapri Bibbs (25) - 5’11” 203

Martez Carter (25) - 5’7” 195

Keith Marshall (24) - 5’11” 222

Of all the running backs on the Redskins roster, Kelley possesses the least desirable traits. He’s not fast, not overly powerful, lacks great burst, vision and lateral agility, and is not dangerous in open space. He’s still working on his pass protection, but he struggled none-the-less with this over his last two seasons.

Unfortunately for Kelley, I believe his time in burgundy and gold has come to and end this year. he may not go down without a fight, but I just don’t see a lot of fight in this dog.

I think he’d fit in best on a team who uses a zone blocking scheme, where he can make one cut and get up-field. He may also have some value to teams looking for a fullback.


Do you think Rob Kelley makes the Redskins 53-man roster this year?

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