The Denver Broncos said they vetted Chad Kelly carefully, and that’s why they used the draft’s final pick, 253rd overall, to select the Mississippi quarterback on Saturday and add him to the roster.
Kelly, a gifted quarterback who guided Ole Miss to wins over Alabama, Auburn and LSU in the 2015 season, had several off-field incidents in college and was dismissed from Clemson early in his career. His invitation to the NFL scouting combine was rescinded, and teams around the league investigated his issues the past four months.
Broncos executive vice president of football operations/general manager John Elway said the Broncos carefully examined Kelly’s troubles. The QB, who is the nephew of Hall of Famer Jim Kelly, is also working his way back from the torn ACL and meniscus he suffered in November.
Elway said he reached out to Jim Kelly on Saturday before the Broncos made their selection. Both former QBs were drafted in 1983.
“I called his uncle, and he said, ‘He’s a good kid,'” Elway said. “I said, ‘OK, that’s all I need.’ I trust Jim with that. Obviously, there’s been some history there, but we felt comfortable.
Chad understands what he’s been through and is ready to take this step and realizes the step that he’s taken is different than when he was in college. We’re full of confidence that Chad’s going to be able to come up here and understand the situation he’s in.”