RB John Kelly, Tennessee*

5’10” – 216 lbs. – 4.55e

Carried the ball forty times in 2015, then saw his role expand the following season, receiving over one hundred touches and outgaining teammate Alvin Kamara on the ground to lead the team’s running backs in rushing yards. Spent this past season as more of a feature back, touching the ball over two hundred times and topping 1,000 total yards before declaring for the draft. On the short side, with only adequate bulk for a pro running back. Did most of his work out of the shotgun in college. Despite his lack of ideal size, has an angry, galloping running style reminiscent of players such as Adrian Peterson and DeMarco Murray. Exhibits solid burst when he’s able to find a clear lane, threatening to pick up chunks of yardage up the middle. Able to shuffle his feet and find rushing lanes when carrying the ball between the tackles. Hard runner with good leg drive to fight for additional yardage after contact and push the pile. Runs behind his pads and can punish defenders at the second level. Uses a stiff arm well when he’s able to make it to the outside. Has very good balance and is able to run through arm tackles. Willing blocker who has quick, active feet in pass protection and who was also asked to lead the way on some rushing attempts such as jet sweeps; however, anchor can be a little bit lacking at times. Also factored much more heavily into the passing game this year and is the type of player who can do some damage against opposing defensive backs in space. Can make some excess cuts in the backfield when getting upfield more quickly would have been preferable. Could be more consistent in recognizing cutback opportunities, as he will occasionally run into congestion when an opportunity to make it to the second level is available. There’s some explosiveness to his game but he may not have the speed to consistently beat defenders to the edge or hit home runs at the next level. Has a tendency to carry the ball in his left hand even when running to the right side of the field, which could create ball security issues. As a smaller back, may end up being more of a rotational option at the next level, especially because his effectiveness dropped off this past season with a heavier workload, but can do a little bit of everything and offers a hard running style which should endear him to coaches.

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