Patriots Draft Prospects: Aaron Kelly

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

Clint Sintim |    Malcolm Jenkins |    Percy Harvin

Rey Maualuga |    Fullbacks |    Aaron Kelly

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7 Responses to Patriots Draft Prospects: Aaron Kelly

  1. bagwell368 says:

    Harvin will not be drafted by the Pats. Sintim would be grabbed as a falling player at #58 if at all. Rey is probably not the prospect Mayo was, so why force it? Put AT at ILB (not as good there, but its tough to learn for rookies) and take advantage of the huge amount of edge rush guys at OLB, along w/ Jason Taylor to fix the LB positions.

    Then you can focus on the other needs LG, and S for ’09 and the future after ’09 with an OT and a DL, since our draft picks with be at #32, #64, and #96 next year.

  2. Greg says:

    Don’t worry… I have a flurry of “Patriots Draft Prospects” articles ready to roll out. I’m going to be doing offensive lineman, defensive lineman, edge linebackers, inside linbackers, defensive backs, etc.

  3. Bruce says:

    Aaron Kelly downfall has never been consistent, other than consistently underachieving. If there is a mid-round WR who has Patriot written all over him I believe it is Brandon Gibson. This guy is immensely competitive, intelligent, and hardworking. Displays excellent drive, determination, leadership even while on a team with no hope at all. Most notably I would like to stress his hands, route running (best in the draft), and shiftiness in space. Aaron Kelly won’t be able to contribute on special teams the way Gibson would. We all know BB wants contribution from the entire roster.

  4. Bruce says:

    just to add… I agree that Aaron Kelly is a great talent and that, given the right situation, he will be a factor in the league for a while. I just don’t him fitting in with the Pats this year. And PLEASE roll those “Patriots Draft Prospects” out, you do a great job!!

  5. Greg says:

    Well the two receivers are completely different types of receivers. Brandon Gibson is very underrated at this point. Like you mentioned a tough worker who is very physical, and is technically sound.

    The thing I see with Aaron Kelly is potential. He has very very unique size for the position. And he also proved he has excellent speed and catch/secure the ball nicely. With an excellent leaping ability, I think that there is so much a team could potentially do with him. He already has proven success scoring in the red zone too.

  6. Shawneeboy60 says:

    He is a nice kid . He talked to my son and his teamates at Walton high schools XPE program on a sat mornig. He is a real come from behind type of story. It is really neat knowing my son is going to be molded by the same coaching staff as Aaron Kelly.

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