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Meet The Prospect: Ryan Kelly


One of the top interior offensive line prospects in this year's NFL Draft, Ryan Kelly was a three-year starter at center for the Alabama Crimson Tide earning the Rimington Trophy Award (given to the nation's top center), second-team All-America honors and helping bring home a National Championship as a senior in 2015.

The 6-4, 311-pound Kelly was responsible for making the calls at the line of scrimmage for an offensive line that opened up holes for Heisman Trophy winner Derrick Henry year. The Crimson Tide averaged 199.9 rushing yards per game. According to Alabama, Kelly had just eight missed assignments in 1,012 snaps. He allowed no sacks (he didn't surrender any in 2014 either), four hurries and was called for just one penalty (none holding) all season.

As a redshirt sophomore in 2013, Kelly took over for Rimington Award-winner Barrett Jones, who is now an Eagle, and started nine games. He followed up that campaign as a junior starting all 12 games for an offensive unit that ranked among the best in the SEC and the country in rushing, pass protection and total offense.

In recent years, it's not just elite tackle prospects who are being selected high in the draft. Last year, center Cam Erving was selected No. 19 overall by the Browns. Guard Nick Martin was chosen No. 16 overall by the Cowboys in 2014. Where will Ryan Kelly be selected? NFL Network's Daniel Jeremiah has mocked Kelly as a first-round selection.

Tenacious leader and three-year starter for highly successful Alabama program that puts a heavy emphasis on physical and mental toughness. Kelly might not be a Combine warrior, but when the pads are strapped, he plays with enough strength and athleticism to thrive in both gap and zone running schemes. While he could use more mass on his frame, Kelly has the necessary skill set and football intelligence to step in and challenge for a starting position right away. - Lance Zierlein

What He Said

"I've always been the kind of guy that wanted to walk the walk before I talked the talk, so to say. By leading by example, I think, you can earn the trust of other people. This year was a big step for me. I tried to become more of a vocal leader, which isn't always easy to do unless you're kind of just given that talent. I'm always evolving. I think we're always evolving into new leadership. It's never something that you can attain overnight. I always want to be more of a vocal leader, but at the same time you got to do the right things on and off the field to earn players' trust." - Ryan Kelly on his leadership style

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