John Kelly Overall
John Kelly, like Kerryon Johnson, is among my favorite backs that will likely fall due to the depth of this 2018 NFL Draft Class.
His combination of power, balance, and elusiveness are among the best in this class, and he enters the NFL as an immediate threat on passing downs. His high effort, tenacious running style will help him pick up extra yards and make plays where there doesn’t seem to be many. His pad level and balance help him keep plays alive longer than you’d expect, and his quick feet help him stay in control of his cuts in the open field, allowing him to make defenders miss on a regular basis.
The primary concerns that I have with John Kelly are his size and vision. The workload concerns and durability concerns both stem from the fact that John Kelly is only 205 pounds. It’s a solid 205 pounds, but 205 pounds nonetheless. I’m not sure that he is going to be able to be a full time, bell-cow back at the NFL level, and I’m not sure that he will be able to stay healthy given his running style. That is all projection, but it is something to think about.
His vision and anticipation are just OK. I think that he will struggle with poor blocking more than most of the backs in this class. He lacks the creativity, and recognition to create for himself in the backfield and make the most of broken plays. His vision prevents him from making the most of cutback lanes and he doesn’t always use his blockers as well as he should.
John Kelly has the potential to be one of the steals of this running back class if he falls due to the depth of this class. If he can prove that his size isn’t going to be a problem, and work on some of the mental aspects of his game, John Kelly could certainly be a full-time starter in the NFL.
As a final note, The Fantasy Football Franchise podcast did a nice interview with John Kelly in one of their latest episodes. Check that interview out here.
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