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Report: Chad Kelly made pre-draft visit to Buffalo Bills

This is probably the least-surprising news you’ll hear today.

Vic Carucci of The Buffalo News is reporting that the Buffalo Bills brought Ole Miss quarterback Chad Kelly in for a pre-draft visit on Monday. His report confirms what was initially reported by Jon Scott from SPECNews in Buffalo.

The verbiage in the article is explicit: Carucci calls this a pre-draft visit, implying that it’s one of the top 30 visits available to each team before the draft. However, there may be some ambiguity as to how the NFL would define this trip. Scott originally reported that the purpose of Kelly’s visit to One Bills Drive was to take part in Buffalo’s local prospects day, which allows the team to invite athletes with high school or college backgrounds near Buffalo to work out for the scouts.

(Incidentally, the local prospects day is a practice I wish the Competition Committee would abolish. It gives great advantages to teams in major markets. The Rams and Chargers can privately work out any player from USC or UCLA, the Texans can check on Texas A&M Aggies and Houston Cougars, and the Saints can call up LSU’s finest. The Bills get UB and Canisius College)

Kelly, the nephew of Bills legend Jim Kelly, was a high school star who earned a reputation as his uncle’s heir apparent. He committed to Clemson, and appeared in a few games as a freshman, but was dismissed from the team in 2014 due to a number of violations of team rules.

After a stopover in East Mississippi Community College, Kelly transferred to Ole Miss, where he was named the starting quarterback. He played a memorable season that saw him complete 65.1 percent of his passes, throwing 31 touchdowns against 13 interceptions, and rushing for ten more touchdowns.

Oh, and he beat Alabama in Tuscaloosa.

With the departure of first-round talents Laremy Tunsil and Laquon Treadwell, Kelly’s stats took a dip in his second year, but were still respectable for an NFL prospect. He tore his ACL during the Rebels’ game against Georgia Southern, ending his college career prematurely.

Kelly attended the Senior Bowl for interviews, but was unable to work out. He wasn’t invited to the Combine, and during a throwing session at his pro day, Kelly tore a ligament in his wrist, an injury that will require surgery and several months to rehab.

He also has a laundry list of off-field incidents putting him in that uncomfortable territory where he could either be a football savant who got bored with day-to-day life, or a person more interested in partying than playing the sport.

Kelly is my eighth-ranked quarterback, given the mixture of his tremendous talents and his exceptional risks. He does have franchise potential, but it’s buried under a small hill of asterisks.

He could end up drafted as early as round three, if a team really loves his potential. The more likely landing is somewhere between rounds five and seven, and it wouldn’t surprise if he went undrafted, given his injury and off-field history.