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2018 DRAFT Round 6 #176: Rams take John Kelly, RB, Tennessee

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  • 2018 DRAFT Round 6 #176: Rams take John Kelly, RB, Tennessee

    more info to come!!


  • #2
    Los Angeles Rams select John Kelly, Kansas City Chiefs pick Kahlil McKenzie in NFL draft
    Blake Toppmeyer, USA TODAY Network - Tennessee
    Published 3:40 p.m. ET April 28, 2018 | Updated 8:10 p.m. ET April 28, 2018

    John Kelly is headed to the West coast.

    The Los Angeles Rams selected Kelly on Saturday in the sixth round of the NFL draft with the No. 176 overall pick.

    "This feels unreal. I can’t even explain it," the former Tennessee running back told reporters during a teleconference after his selection.

    Kelly's UT teammate, defensive tackle Kahlil McKenzie, came off the board later in the sixth round. The Kansas City Chiefs took McKenzie with pick No. 198.

    McKenzie will join the AFC West rivals of the Oakland Raiders, where his dad, former Tennessee standout Reggie McKenzie, is the general manager.

    Overall, the Vols had three players selected in the draft. The Carolina Panthers took defensive back Rashaan Gaulden in the third round on Friday night.

    How Kelly thinks he can help the Rams
    Kelly rushed for 778 yards on 189 carries as a junior. He opted to forgo his final season of eligibility.

    Kelly doesn’t have elite speed, but he runs with a tough, determined style. He's also a factor in the passing game, evidenced by his 37 catches for UT last season.

    Los Angeles Rams
    @RamsNFL

    Now joining the #LARams backfield… @Vol_Football RB John Kelly!#RamsDraft

    3:37 PM - Apr 28, 2018
    "I definitely just wanted to be able to incorporate the route running and pass-catching in my game because I know it translates to the league," Kelly said.

    Kelly started the 2017 season with a bang, leading the SEC in rushing through four weeks. His production declined after that, perhaps due in part to his having to run behind a battered offensive line.

    Several reputable mock drafts projected Kelly to be a fourth- or fifth-round pick, but Saturday forced him to be patient. Five running backs were drafted over him in the fourth round and another in the fifth.

    Kelly signed with Tennessee as a three-star prospect from Oak Park High School in Michigan. He rushed for 1,573 yards during his Vols career.

    Kelly was part of a crowded running back room in 2016 that included Jalen Hurd and Alvin Kamara. Hurd quit the team during the season and later transferred to Baylor, creating more playing time for Kelly, who became UT's feature back in 2017.

    Kelly had three 100-yard games in the first four games last season. He was suspended for the Oct. 28 game against Kentucky after he was cited by Knoxville police for misdemeanor marijuana possession, driving without proof of insurance and a broken headlight following a traffic stop. He is scheduled for a May 22 court date.

    Kelly produced 163 yards on 64 carries in the four games after that one-game suspension.

    Kelly joins Kamara as former Vols running backs in the NFL. The New Orleans Saints selected Kamara in the third round of last year's draft, and he became the NFL offensive rookie of the year.

    The Rams return starting running back Todd Gurley, the reigning AP offensive player of the year who rushed for 1,305 yards last season. L.A's running back corps also includes Malcolm Brown and Justin Davis.

    "I really just can’t wait to be able to learn some of the things that (Gurley) was able to do and just be able to compete with him at practice," Kelly said.

    Comment

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    • Nick
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      One week from now, Los Angeles will have already completed a training camp practice at UC Irvine in preparation for the 2018 season. Our position-by-position breakdown continues with running backs in today’s edition of Countdown to Camp.

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      Any discussion regarding the Rams’ running backs often begins and ends with Todd Gurley — for good reason.

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      (April 13, 2007) -- The 2007 NFL Draft is upon us.

      You've read all the mock drafts. You've heard about all of the descending and ascending players. And, of course, you've kept up with all of our Pro Day updates (234 schools this year!).

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      Fifty-four different schools have seen an alumnus taken No. 1 overall in the draft. Two of those schools no longer play football -- the University of Chicago (Jay Berwanger, Philadelphia, 1936) and the University of Tampa (John Matuszak, Houston Oilers, 1973).

      The No. 1 overall pick in the draft has been traded 13 times before or on Draft Day.

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