RB Joshua Kelley, UCLA

5’11” – 212 lbs. – 4.49

Originally attended UC Davis, where he rushed for 1,139 yards and seven touchdowns over two seasons; served as the team’s kick returner as well. Ended up walking on to UCLA, redshirting in 2017, then took over the starting role midway through his junior year and finished with 225-1,243-12 (5.5). Followed that up with 229-1,060-12 (4.6) as a senior. Also caught 38 passes over those two years. Ball security is very good, with just three career fumbles over nearly 750 career touches, including those at UC-Davis. Reasonably well-built for a pro back, and proved that he could handle the load over the past two seasons.

Carried the ball out of the shotgun in an offense which featured a lot of run-pass options. Was predominantly a between-the-tackles runner, which was a good fit for his no-nonsense style of running. Gets upfield quickly, with some burst in the hole. Plays the game the right way. A pretty powerful back who doesn’t break a ton of tackles but can get behind his pads, punish defenders, and pick up some additional yardage after contact, demonstrating good toughness and leg drive and forcing teams to frequently use multiple defenders to bring him down. Has solid vision, takes what the defense gives him, and has some ability to weave through congestion and pick up a few yards in close quarters. Timed speed was pretty good at the Combine, but had gains of over twenty yards in just four games last season and is more of a consistent gainer than a home-run hitter; however, looks fast enough to get to the outside on off-tackle runs/sweeps. Doesn’t make many defenders miss in the hole.

Wasn’t the most prolific receiver at UCLA, his usage mostly consisting of your typical swing routes and flares, but looks comfortable catching the ball away from his frame, with good body control to adjust to poorly-thrown balls (see touchdown vs. Washington St. this past year). Didn’t see him retained in pass protection very often; was typically releasing into the flats off of play action, or making himself available for hitches. Over a small sample size, looked physical and engaged from his feet, but tended to lower his head into contact.

Not one of the most creative or elusive runners in the class, but offers teams a hard, no-nonsense runner between the tackles who protects the football, follows blocks, and is a consistent gainer. Also has some value as a kick returner, and looks like a solid, safe mid-round choice.

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