He was the final pick of the 2017 NFL Draft, but Chad Kelly isn’t the average Mr. Irrelevant. The former Ole Miss quarterback is the nephew of Hall of Fame signal caller Jim Kelly.
But once he got drafted, what advice did Chad’s get from his uncle upon being picked up by the Denver Broncos?
“I told Chad, ‘Don’t worry about going in there and thinking you’re going to compete for that starting job.’ The bottom line is, you gotta go there and get healthy, learn the system and be humble. And I think he’s finally got it. He understands that,” Jim said, per ESPN’s Mike Rodak. “I said, ‘Just go in there, focus on learning the playbook, focus on what it takes to be a professional and let us handle all the other stuff, Chad.’ He finally gets it. I’m excited for him. I really am.”
Kelly has certainly dealt with a share of issues. In 2014, he was kicked off of Clemson’s football team. Later that year, he was arrested outside of a nightclub following an altercation. He did go a long way in turning things around at Ole Miss, but his 2016 season was cut short with tears to his ACL and lateral meniscus. Without all of that, Kelly likely would have been taken much higher in the draft.
The elder Kelly said that he was asked about Chad by Broncos general manager John Elway, a fellow Hall of Famer and 1983 draftee.
“I said a lot of things that have happened have been three years ago. Sooner or later, people got to forget about that. I understand, you got to bring things up. Some of the stuff to me, totally (has been) blown up.”
That’s certainly a good recommendation for Chad to have. While some of his past likely hurt his draft stock, his bloodline worked to help it. With that said, it will now be on Chad to prove that the past is nothing more than that and thrive in Denver.