Eric Kelly Draft Profile



To hear Eric Kelly tell it, there is no confidence problem. He flat-out said on draft day that he thought he was the best cornerback in the draft. The Vikings at least thought he was the best one left in the third round, as they traded away a fourth-round pick and their third-rounder to New England to move up and grab Kelly early in the third round.

Kelly also doesn't lack explosiveness. Although he isn't fast by NFL cornerback standards, he is quick to make up on an initial mistake. He has good body control and the Vikings liked his ability to play aggressive man defense and get in a receiver's face.

The 5-foot-11, 199-pounder out of Kentucky was a Southeastern Conference academic honor roll member and team captain and started every game his senior year. He graduated in May 2000 and is working on postgraduate studies in social work.

In 1999, he started 10 games and tied the school record with 13 pass deflections. He also had a career-high three interceptions.

Although his initial draft-day interview with media showed an aggressive style similar to his defensive philosophy, he is very involved in the community. He participated in UK's "Schoolhouse Rock" academic pep rally for 2,000 fourth- and fifth-graders and has made numerous charitable appearances.

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