With the eleventh overall selection in the 2008 SBNation NFL Mock Draft, the Buffalo Bills have selected Oklahoma wide receiver Malcolm Kelly. With nearly half (49%) of the Buffalo Rumblings readers that voted (nearly 400 participants) in favor of Kelly, the junior eligible was a shoo-in over Michigan State wide receiver Devin Thomas, who received 25% of the vote.
Want to know more about Malcolm Kelly? Join the club. Here's what we know about the young man right now; keep in mind that Kelly has an ultra-important workout ahead of him when Oklahoma holds their Pro Day on April 9.
MALCOLM KELLY - WR - OKLAHOMA
40 Time: We all wish we knew this
STRENGTHS: Chain Chugger
- An extremely physical receiver... Has outstanding hands and is probably the most natural receiver available in this class... Extremely adept at catching the ball in traffic... Has great field awareness, knows how to position his body and can make the spectacular catch along the sideline... Possesses great footwork... Tough to bring down once he catches the ball; looks for contact after the catch rather than running around guys... Has good balance, allowing him to keep running after contact... Very adept at beating the jam... Gives great effort as a run blocker; The Sporting News calls him "one of the most competitive blocking receivers our scouts have ever graded"... Excellent possession-type receiver that has the ability to make big plays.
- Has dealt with his fair share of injuries, most prominently to his knees... Timed speed is questionable at this point... Runs upright in the open field, limiting his home run speed... Needs to become more concise in his route-running, where he tends to round off his routes... Has good acceleration, but lacks the burst to beat a corner every snap... Is a deep threat due to his size, but won't out-run corners.
NFL COMPARISON: Anquan Boldin, Arizona
- Check out the video linked in Boldin's name. Then watch the Kelly highlight video at the bottom of this post. You'll see similarities - both are physical guys with a nose for the end zone, but like Kelly, Boldin lacks home run speed (a big reason he was drafted in the second round - bet there are some teams that are miffed they passed on him). Boldin even runs similarly (a.k.a. high) in the open field like Kelly does. These players are very, very similar, even down to being nicked up frequently. If Kelly can develop into a Boldin-type player, it's a win for the Bills.
DOES HE FIT THE "BILL"? Yes.
- How long has it been since the Buffalo Bills have employed a hard-working physical wide receiver? Eric Moulds was the last name that was able to do any of the things that Kelly can do, especially in the run blocking department. Buffalo employs a physical rushing attack, and Kelly's run-blocking makes him an ideal fit on the outside in that type of offense. Any way the Bills can add more physicality to their offense is a good thing, especially when it comes to the passing game. Would immediately give QB Trent Edwards an intermediate threat to move the chains, and can be an over-the-middle presence for a receiving corps sorely lacking in that department. Kelly's potential outweighs question marks at this point, especially when considering Buffalo's dire need for talent at wide receiver.
FINAL GRADE: 9.0 out of 10
OK. Let's hear it. I know what the prevalent attitude toward wide receiver in general is amongst y'all, so let's table those discussions for, oh, every other draft-related thread we bring up. Let's talk about Kelly specifically. What do you like about him? What worries you? Let's hear it, folks. (And make sure to leave your thoughts on the selection in general over at Mocking the Draft.)