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Ryan Kelly | Center

Team: Alabama Crimson Tide
Ht / Wt:  6'5' / 296

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Colts selected Alabama C Ryan Kelly with the No. 18 overall pick in the 2016 draft.
Kelly (6'4/311) earned the 2015 Rimington Trophy as the nation's top center, finishing his 'Bama career with 36 starts. Kelly turned in an adequate-to-good Combine workout, running 5.03 with a 30-inch vertical and 26 reps on the bench. Kelly didn't allow a sack as a senior and committed just one penalty. He stands out on Derrick Henry tape, overwhelming opponents and dominating at the point of attack. Arguably the most pro-ready interior line prospect in this year's draft, Kelly has a bright future as a starting center. Apr 28 - 10:19 PM

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An anonymous NFL scout told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that Alabama C Ryan Kelly has "got Pro Bowl potential."

"Very athletic, tough, strong," the scout said. "I think he's a two (second-round pick) and it wouldn't shock me if a team desperate for a center took him late one. He has that Logan Mankins feel when Logan came out of Fresno (in 2005). He'll have a long career because he's a technician." A different scout said Kelly is "a lot better than Barrett Jones", the player he replaced in 2013. "I don't love him but he's a day-one starter," a third scout said. "He needs strength."
Apr 27 - 2:26 PM

NFL Media draft analyst Lance Zierlein believes Alabama C Ryan Kelly will be a first-rounder.

Zierlein actually has been grading Kelly as a second-rounder throughout the process, but he thinks the lack of center depth in this draft class could elevate Kelly to first-round glory. "Kelly is clearly the best center in this draft and teams realize there will be a big drop in quality after him at that position. Because of this, his value is skyrocketing and he should land in the first round," the analyst wrote. Zierlein colleague Gil Brandt sees the 6-foot-5, 296-pound center as a potential plug-and-play rookie.
Apr 24 - 1:46 PM

ESPN's Mel Kiper ranks Alabama C Ryan Kelly as the No. 18 overall prospect.

Rotoworld's Josh Norris is right there with him in ranking Kelly as a top-20 prospect. "Easily the top center in the draft," Kiper wrote. "While you don't usually expect to take a center so high, here's a case where you can and plug in a solid starter." NFL Media's Daniel Jeremiah calls Kelly a Pro-Bowler in the making.
Apr 6 - 7:28 PM

Alabama C Ryan Kelly is visiting the Jaguars on Wednesday, according to Jaguars writer John Oehser.

It would be an outstanding fit for the draft's top center. The Jaguars lost/let go their starting center in free agency, and sixth round pick Luke Bowanko is slated as the current starter. Some have suggested Brandon Linder will be moved to the anchor spot, but the better idea might be to draft a natural center and keep Bowanko at one of the guard spots, where he can shine. Kelly is outstanding with his position, sealing off blocks and getting the second level. The Jaguars would get a steal if he is sitting there at the top of the second round.
Apr 6 - 11:21 AM

Pro Football Focus analyst John Breitenbach thinks that Alabama C Ryan Kelly "displays all the traits evaluators look for in a starting center."

"One aspect of his game that stands out is his ability to make blocks across disadvantageous shades. He shows the ability to reach against 1 or 2-technique defensive lineman consistently on tape," Breitenbach writes. "Blocks of that type are the toughest to make, yet Kelly makes them look routine." The 6-foot-4, 311-pound offensive line prospect is among the more roundly praised players in this pool, with analysts including NFL Media's Gil Brandt and ESPN's Mel Kiper Jr. proclaiming him an immediate starter for 2016. Rotoworld's Josh Norris ranks him as the No. 19 overall prospect in this draft class.
Mar 25 - 5:41 PM

NFL Media senior analyst Gil Brandt noted that Alabama C Ryan Kelly is a "plug-and-play rookie starter."

Not just a plug-and-play rookie starter, though. Brandt goes on to write that he believes Kelly will play in the NFL for a decade. "In 659 plays last year against SEC opponents," the analyst relayed, "Kelly had zero penalties and gave up only one sack. He's a very dedicated player who increased his muscle mass every year in Tuscaloosa." Brandt's far from alone in pegging the 6-foot-4, 311-pounder as NFL-ready. ESPN's Mel Kiper Jr. wrote earlier this month that whatever team drafts him will "have a starter," NFL Media's Daniel Jeremiah called him a Pro-Bowler in the making with All-Pro potential and a scout who spoke with the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel in February called him the "best center in the draft."
Mar 22 - 12:00 AM

ESPN draft analyst Mel Kiper Jr. wrote that "if you draft [Alabama C] Ryan Kelly, you have a starter."

"Pretty simple. There's no promise [Kelly] goes that early, but he didn't diminish his chances in Indy [at the combine]," Kiper notes. Short and to the point. We like it. But for a little more context, a scout told the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel in late February that the 6-foot-5, 296-pound Alabama stalwart was "the best center in the draft," one who's better than his predecessor Barrett Jones. At the combine, he recorded 26 reps in the bench press, logged a vertical leap of 30 inches and jumped broadly to the tune of 103 inches.
Mar 6 - 3:02 PM

An NFL scout who spoke with the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel noted that Alabama C Ryan Kelly is "really good at the second level."

The scout praised Kelly for his "great initial quickness" and called him "athletic enough in the screen game." The 6-foot-5, 296-pounder took over as starter for Barrett Jones in 2013. Speaking of Jones, another scout noted that he believes Kelly's "significantly better" than his predecessor, calling him the "best center in the draft." NFL Media analyst Daniel Jeremiah recently topped that strong piece of support when he wrote that Kelly is "going to be a Pro Bowl player with even All-Pro potential." In a mid-February four-round mock draft, fellow NFL Media-er Chad Reuter projected the Bama standout to the Texans with pick No. 52 in the second round.
Mar 4 - 9:41 PM

NFL Media analyst Daniel Jeremiah says Alabama C Ryan Kelly is "going to be a Pro Bowl player with even All-Pro potential."

Jeremiah has been banging the drum loudly for Kelly for some time now. Very rarely do we hear other analysts touch on this prospect unless it's Jeremiah predicting he'll be special. Last month, in fact, Jeremiah said Kelly was one of the best interior offensive linemen to come out in the last five years. Kelly, a three-year SEC starter, declined a Senior Bowl invite, one reason he's been a forgotten man early in the process.
Mar 2 - 7:45 PM

NFL Media's Daniel Jeremiah believes Alabama C Ryan Kelly is an all-pro talent and one of the best interior offensive linemen in the last five years.

The compliments do not get any higher. The interior class of the last five years includes Chance Warmack, David DeCastro, Brandon Scherff and Zack Martin, solely based on pre-draft opinion. It will be interesting to see how Kelly tests and measures at the Combine. He declined a Senior Bowl invitation. Kelly took over the anchor spot left by Barrett Jones in 2013 and started ever since.
Feb 10 - 9:47 AM

Alabama redshirt senior C Ryan Kelly turned down his Senior Bowl invitation.

"I think with Ryan, 15 games in the pivot is a lot of football," executive director Phil Savage said. "I feel like with him he wanted to focus on his training for the (National Scouting) Combine, and that's a whole different deal than playing football. He's got a lot of tape out there." Some feel that Kelly is the top center in a deep pool, with a few top-50 projections out there. Some Alabama players are headed to the all star event despite their stretched season, others obviously decided against it.
Jan 21 - 9:17 AM

Alabama redshirt senior C Ryan Kelly said, "it is unbelievable going against those guys [on the defensive line] every day."

Kelly knows what he's talking about, too, as he picked up the Rimington Trophy and Jacobs Blocking Trophy for his work on the line. It's no surprise that facing off with the likes of A'Shawn Robinson and Jarran Reed would instill a stomach of steel, but Kelly took it one further than just "tough practices." Said the 6-foot-5, 296-pound stalwart, "It almost makes playing the games a little bit easier because of the looks they give us and how they play so well."
Jan 10 - 6:03 PM

Alabama redshirt senior C Ryan Kelly was named the SEC Scholar-Athlete of the Year and also won the Jacobs Blocking Trophy.

The Crimson Tide prospect has definitely earned his share of awards this season, winning the Rimington Trophy (top center) Jacobs Blocking Trophy (top blocker) and the SEC Scholar-Athlete of the Year (has undergrad and graduate degrees in marketing). Kelly has been the anchor of Alabama's line with an impressive 34 career starts under his belt, committing only one penalty with zero holding calls on the season.
Wed, Dec 16, 2015 03:29:00 PM

Alabama redshirt senior C Ryan Kelly won the Rimington Trophy (top center).

Kelly elbowed out Michigan State's Jack Allen and Iowa's Austin Blythe for the hardware. The 6-foot-5, 296-pound redshirt senior didn't give up a sack all year and had an 88.4 percent grade this season. "Ryan deserved it," Derrick Henry said. "He's a great leader and the heart and soul of the offense. I'm excited to see him get an award."
Sat, Dec 12, 2015 05:36:00 PM