During an interview with Matthew Fairburn of NewYorkUpstate.com during Senior Bowl week, Buffalo Bills GM Doug Whaley discussed how the team will evaluate Chad Kelly over the next few months. The Ole Miss quarterback is the nephew of former Bills quarterback Jim Kelly.
“We'll sit down with him at some point,” said Whaly, mentioning he wasn’t sure if the talk will be during the Combine in late February or if the Bills will use one of their official visits on Kelly. Here’s Whaley’s entire quote about Kelly the prospect and what he was able to do during Senior Bowl week despite not being able to practice due to injury:
“Obviously with his uncle and everything, but he knows the business in totality. He can't perform, but one of the big things here is having the interviews with the different teams, so he made himself accessible so that's a positive. And with him, obviously the arm, it's undeniable. The arm is there and this is why we want to get in with him, get our hands on him, have our quarterback coach say, 'Alright, we see you have the arm, tell me about your mind. How did you make these decisions? What are you supposed to me looking for? What types of defenses are you calling as in secondary play? Are you identifying the MIKE?' All these little mental things that you want to get your hands on these guys."
Kelly is rehabbing a torn knee-ligament he suffered in early November of 2016. His off-field issues are well-documented, and the root of those issues will probably be examined just as closely as his Ole Miss game film before the draft.
Had Kelly finished his final collegiate season on any type of hot streak or with a bowl win, there almost assuredly would’ve been a firestorm campaign from many Bills fans who would’ve wanted Buffalo to draft him almost solely because his uncle is a local Hall of Famer. While having an NFL pedigree isn’t a negative, Chad’s family situation clouds the judgement of many. However, his season-ending knee injury has subdued that buzz.
We’ll take an in-depth look at Kelly’s game — which is ten times more important than who is uncle is — as a part of our scouting report series. Regardless of whether or not we ultimately like Chad Kelly the prospect or if the Bills retain Tyrod Taylor, it seems as though Buffalo’s personnel department will take a long look at him during the draft process, as they do with a handful of quarterbacks each year.