The Patriots’ youngest legitimate receiving “prospect” is 28 years old. His name is Wes Welker. While the Patriots could be set at the position for the upcoming season, they desperately need youth. To me, one player that could bring both youth and talent to the table is Clemson wide receiver Aaron Kelly.
I was actually fortunate enough to interview Aaron, and I learned a lot about him.
If you were to meet Aaron Kelly in person, one of the first thing you would probably notice about him. At 6-5, 204 pounds, Kelly has insane height for the receiver position. But it doesn’t end there. Aaron Kelly is fast; running a 4.49 at the Scouting Combine. He also had a great vertical, at 38 inches.
Tall and fast with a great vertical. Remind you of any other receivers on the Patriots roster? Possibly a Randy Moss. Aaron Kelly wasn’t quick to reject any such comparisons, aknowledging that he can “go up and get the football and make plays like Moss.”
After a relatively pedestrian first two seasons at Clemson, Aaron Kelly burst on to the scene his junior year, totaling 88 receptions for 1,081 yards and 11 touchdowns. Wow. While his production dropped some his senior year, it was in large, do to more bump and run and double teams that Kelly received due to his production in 2007.
While interviewing Aaron Kelly, he really rubbed off as a Patriots type of player. I asked him about what it meant to be a “student of the game,” and he explained the steps he took when analyzing film. Pointing out that he tries to do small things like “picking up what coverage teams play the most [in certain situations] individual tendencies of the corners he goes against.
Just like a Patriots type of player, he came off as very modest. I tried to ask him what teams have talked to him, and if playing for the Patriots would be something he would be interested in. His repsonse: “I would like to play anywhere that gives me a chance.” Does that not sound like a Patriot answer? However, he later told me that he has had some contact with the Patriots, a scout to be exact.
Aaron, as you could imagine has been nervous about the draft process. I asked him what the most exciting and scariest parts of the draft process had been thus far, and he responded, “I think the answer is the same to both questions: not knowing where you are going.”
Later in the interview, Kelly described himself as a “great player and an even better person.” And from my conversation with Aaron, he seemed like just that.
Patriots Draft Prospects