Broncos Found: Scouting Denver's Seventh Round QB Chad Kelly

Senior Draft Analyst Erick Trickel brought you the “Finding Broncos” scouting reports, but he wasn't able to scout every player the Broncos drafted. Now he's giving you a scouting report on Denver's rookies who weren't analyzed pre-draft.

Chad Kelly | Quarterback | Ole Miss | 7th Round


Kelly has an arm that can make jaw-dropping throws. There is no denying that his arm talent is at the NFL level. He is a high competitor that never gives up on games and often rises to the challenge of tougher opponents.

There have been flashes of Kelly making bold throws over the middle that are completed. When necessary, you can see Kelly alter his release to account for a change due to a defender or a receiver falling, and see him hit a different passing lane or receiver.

He has a quick-fire arm. He can be deadly when attacking defenses behind the linebackers but in front of the safeties. He throws well when on the move and has a good feel for pressure in the pocket. He's willing to use his legs to pick up yards.


While he completed 63.8 percent of his passes during his career at Ole Miss, his accuracy is often questioned. He doesn’t always have proper placement of the ball. There are serious concerns about where his head's at, and his temperament — as well as injuries.

You can often times clearly see him rattled when coming out after halftime and having to figure out the adjustments the opposing defense made. Sometimes he was successful and sometimes he wasn’t. While he makes bold throws over the middle, they don’t pan out often. He is limited to one half of the field when throwing 20-plus yards downfield. Kelly struggles with touch, especially on deeper throws. Mechanically, he's a mess from head to toe. He struggles to throw to the left side of the field, and that is where most of his interceptions came.

Serious concerns about limitations throwing to the right side. He needs to avoid throwing any back-shoulder fades. Kelly is one of the worst QBs with back-shoulder fades that I have ever seen. He misses wide open receivers and doesn’t have enough anticipation.

Late adjustments pre-snap throw him off. He can deliver accurate passes, often nose-diving passes, when throwing on the move. Thankfully he had receivers who bailed him out.

Progressions often don’t exist with Kelly. He locks onto his target, which NFL level speed and talent will make him pay for. Inaccurate on screens and out routes. He can’t look off safeties and throws into double and triple coverage often.

Fit With The Denver Broncos

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Kelly is working his way back from injury, that has led to multiple sources saying he will likely end up on injured reserve in 2017, and come back to truly compete for a roster spot next year. This would be the best situation for him, and would serve as a tool to humble him some and ease his ego.

As for his talents, he has a wonderful arm that can make NFL throws. However, don’t let that blind you from all of his issues. He has a lot to work on, besides health and character. His arm can only get him so far.

Kelly needs to work on using both sides of the field, and do it with consistent accuracy and delivery. He needs to put in a lot of work in the film room and work on reading defensive adjustments. His inability to do so is a serious concern.

Mechanics, accuracy, delivery, eyes, reads, touch — all need a lot of work. There is a reason multiple NFL scouts said he is a third round talent at best. That is excluding injury history and character concerns.

Kelly's arm got him a long ways in college, but won’t take him as far in NFL. Eventually he could compete for a backup spot in Denver, and he can be a top-level backup in the NFL, but a starter? Maybe — if he fixes all his issues but the odds of that are slim-to-none.

Games Watched

2016: FSU, Alabama, Georgia, Memphis, Arkansas, Louisiana State, Auburn.

2015: Fresno State, Alabama, Memphis, Texas A&M, Florida, Vanderbilt, Auburn, Arkansas, Mississippi State, Oklahoma State.

Erick Trickel is the Senior Draft Analyst for Mile High Huddle. You can find him on Twitter @ErickTrickel.

Follow Mile High Huddle on Twitter @MileHighHuddle and on Facebook

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