Chad Kelly
refer to caption
Kelly in the 2018 NFL preseason
Free agent
Personal information
Born: (1994-03-26) March 26, 1994 (age 27)
Buffalo, New York
Height:6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)
Weight:224 lb (102 kg)
Career information
High school:St. Joseph's Collegiate Institute
(Tonawanda, New York)
College:Ole Miss
NFL Draft:2017 / Round: 7 / Pick: 253
Career history
* Denver Broncos ( 2017 2018)
Career highlights and awards
* Sugar Bowl MVP (2016)
Career NFL statistics
Rushing attempts:1
Rushing yards:−1
Player stats at

Chad Patrick "Swag"[1] Kelly (born March 26, 1994) is an American football quarterback who is currently a free agent. He played college football at Clemson and Ole Miss. The Denver Broncos selected him in the seventh round with the final pick of the 2017 NFL Draft, making him that year's Mr. Irrelevant.

Early years

Kelly was born to Charlene Cudzylo and Kevin Kelly, a supermarket manager and younger brother of quarterback Jim Kelly.[2] He spent his early years in Western New York, his mother's home area, not far from where his uncle Jim was playing professional football. Chad Kelly was a consistent strong performer in Punt, Pass, and Kick competitions as a youth,[3] becoming national champion four times. His family moved to Red Lion, Pennsylvania after Kevin was assigned to a Wegmans in the area, but unexplained disciplinary issues removed Chad from the Red Lion High School football team, and he returned to Western New York. Others thought that Jim Kelly helped Chad's career. Jim had only one son of his own, who died in childhood, so tried to guide his nephew, but felt that Chad did not listen to his advice and more than once gave up on him. A football coach said, "Being Jim Kelly's nephew has been harder for him than it has helped him. A lot is expected of him because he’s Jim's nephew. He was never just 'Chad' or even 'Kevin Kelly’s son.' He was always 'Jim Kelly’s nephew.'"[4]

Jim Kelly said of his nephew, "Athletic ability, Chad has more than I had", with "a freaking rocket for an arm".[4] Kelly attended St. Joseph's Collegiate Institute in Tonawanda, New York.[5] He passed for 2,159 yards and 24 touchdowns and rushed for 1,059 yards and 15 touchdowns as a junior.[6] He passed for 3,050 yards, 27 touchdowns and rushed for 991 yards with 14 touchdowns as a senior.[7] He was rated by as a four-star recruit and was ranked among the top dual-threat quarterbacks in his class.[8] Kelly committed to Clemson University to play college football.[9]

College career

Clemson University

Kelly was redshirted his first year at Clemson in 2012.[10] As a freshman in 2013, he appeared in five games, passing for 58 yards and rushing for 117 yards with a touchdown.[11] In April 2014, Kelly was dismissed from Clemson's football team due to conduct detrimental to the team.[12]

East Mississippi Community College

He transferred to East Mississippi Community College, where he spent one year. In his lone season with the Lions, he started 12 games and threw for 3,906 yards with 47 touchdowns and eight interceptions.[13] He led East Mississippi to a 12–0 record and victory in the NJCAA National Football Championship.[14]

Ole Miss

In December 2014, Kelly committed to the University of Mississippi under head coach Hugh Freeze.[15][16] In his first year at Ole Miss, Kelly was named the starting quarterback.[17][18]

Kelly played in his first game with Mississippi on September 5, 2015, against UT Martin and completed 9 for 15 pass attempts for 211 yards and two touchdowns while adding a 20-yard rushing touchdown.[19] On September 19, 2015, he led Ole Miss to its second victory ever at Tuscaloosa. In the 43–37 victory over No. 2 Alabama, he completed 18 out of 33 passes for 341 passing yards and 3 passing touchdowns.[20] On November 7, 2015, Kelly accounted for 478 total yards and six touchdowns against Arkansas. Although he completed 24-of-34 passes for 368 passing yards and three passing touchdowns, Mississippi lost to Arkansas, 52–53, in overtime.[21] The following week, he threw two touchdown passes and rushed for two touchdowns in a 38–17 victory over No. 15 LSU.[22] On January 1, 2016, he helped lead Ole Miss to a 48–20 victory over No. 16 Oklahoma State in the 2016 All-State Sugar Bowl.[23] He won Sugar Bowl MVP Honors after accounting for 21 completions out of 33 passes for 302 passing yards, four touchdowns, and one interception. Kelly also led the team with 73 rushing yards on 10 carries. His 4 passing touchdowns tied a Sugar Bowl record and were most ever by a Rebels' quarterback in the Sugar Bowl.[24]

Kelly finished his first season with Ole Miss with 298 of 458 (65.1%) completions for 31 touchdowns and 13 interceptions. He also accounted for 10 rushing touchdowns while appearing in all 13 games.[25] While finishing the season with a 10–3 record, he became the first Ole Miss quarterback to lead the Rebels with victories over Alabama, Auburn, and LSU in the same season.[26][27]

Kelly returned for his senior season in 2016. On November 5, 2016, Kelly suffered an injury during a 37–27 victory over Georgia Southern.[28][29] The following day, it was reported that he would miss the rest of the season due to a torn ACL and a torn lateral meniscus.[30] On February 16, 2017, the NFL rescinded an offer previously made to Kelly to participate in the NFL Scouting Combine.[31]


Year Team Passing Rushing
Cmp Att Pct Yds Avg TD Int Rtg Att Yds Avg TD
2013 Clemson 10 17 58.8 58 3.4 0 0 87.5 16 117 7.3 1
2015 Ole Miss 298 458 65.1 4,042 8.8 31 13 155.9 106 509 4.8 10
2016 Ole Miss 205 328 62.5 2,758 8.4 19 8 147.4 81 332 4.1 5
Career 513 803 63.9 6,858 8.5 50 21 150.9 203 958 4.7 16

Professional career

Denver Broncos

Kelly was drafted by the Denver Broncos in the seventh round, 253rd overall (Mr. Irrelevant), the last selection in the 2017 NFL Draft.[32] He was placed on the reserve/non-football injury list after having offseason wrist surgery.[33]

Going into mini-camps for the 2018 season, he would compete with 2016 first-round draft pick Paxton Lynch for the backup quarterback role behind newly acquired Case Keenum. On August 13, 2018, Kelly was promoted to second team to act as Case Keenum's backup.[34][35] In Week 6 of the 2018 season, Kelly appeared in his first NFL game, kneeling for a one-yard loss at the end of the first half.[36]

On October 24, 2018, the Broncos released Kelly following his arrest on suspicion of first-degree criminal trespassing.[37] He allegedly entered a woman's place of residence after leaving teammate Von Miller’s Halloween party.[38] On March 20, 2019, Kelly pleaded guilty to misdemeanor second-degree criminal trespassing for the incident.[39]

Indianapolis Colts

On May 20, 2019, Kelly signed with the Indianapolis Colts.[40] He has been suspended for the first two games of the 2019 season for violating the NFL’s personal conduct policy, stemming from the incident while with Denver.[41] On September 4, 2019, Kelly was released by the Colts.

Personal life

Kelly's uncle is Pro Football Hall of Fame quarterback Jim Kelly.[42] His younger brother, Casey Kelly, also played quarterback for St. Joseph's and Mallard Creek High School.[43][44]

In December 2014, Kelly was arrested following an altercation outside of a Buffalo, New York, nightclub in which he fought with bouncers and resisted arrest. Criminal charges were dropped in exchange for his plea of guilty to disorderly conduct, and he was ordered to complete fifty hours of community service.[45]


  1. Corcoran, Tully (2018-10-23). "I Made This Mistake Of Trusting A Guy Known As "Swag Kelly"" (in en).
  2. "Ole Miss' Chad Kelly credits father as big influence" (in en). The Clarion Ledger.
  3. "Aschoff: The risky, lucky and extremely talented Chad Kelly" (in en).
  4. 4.0 4.1 Graham, Tim (December 20, 2015). "Chad Kelly rises from the depths to college football's pinnacle". The Buffalo News. Retrieved August 15, 2018.
  5. "Kelly throws five TD passes as St. Joseph's Collegiate of Buffalo tops Monsignor Farrell, 47-32" (in en-US).
  6. Wawrow, John. "Jim Kelly's nephew, QB Chad Kelly, chooses Clemson" (in en-US). San Diego Union-Tribune.
  7. "Chad Kelly has fightin’ words for Clemson’s other backup QB" (in en-US). Yahoo! Sports.
  8. "Chad Kelly".
  9. "Chad Kelly commits to Clemson".
  10. "The Chad Kelly story: How the QB came to enroll at Ole Miss" (in en-US). Saturday Down South. August 10, 2015.
  11. "Chad Kelly 2013 Game Log" (in en).
  12. "Clemson Tigers dismiss QB Chad Kelly for conduct detrimental to the team".
  13. "Ole Miss quarterback hopeful Chad Kelly attracts the spotlight".
  14. DeSalvo, Reed. "East Mississippi CC claims NJCAA national championship" (in en). Meridian Star.
  15. "East Mississippi QB Chad Kelly commits to Ole Miss".
  16. Riley Blevins, The Clarion-Ledger (December 10, 2014). "East Mississippi QB Chad Kelly commits to Ole Miss". The Clarion Ledger.
  17. Fox Sports. "Freeze names Chad Kelly as opening game starter". FOX Sports.
  18. Hugh Kellenberger and Jeffrey Wright, Clarion-Ledger (August 31, 2015). "Chad Kelly is Ole Miss' starter in week 1, at least". The Clarion Ledger.
  19. "Chad Kelly shines in Ole Miss debut" (in en-US). WKBW. September 6, 2015.
  20. "Bizarre touchdown helps No. 15 Ole Miss upset No. 2 Alabama, 43-37" (in en-US). NY Daily News.
  21. "Arkansas shocks Rebels in overtime" (in en-US). The Daily Mississippian. November 9, 2015.
  22. "No. 25 Ole Miss defeats slumping No. 17 LSU" (in en). USA TODAY.
  23. Brandt, David. "Ole Miss cruises to 48-20 win over Oklahoma St in Sugar Bowl" (in en-US). San Diego Union-Tribune.
  24. "Ole Miss Rebels Official Athletics:Chad Kelly Biography".
  25. "Chad Kelly 2015 Game Log" (in en).
  26. "2015 Ole Miss Rebels Schedule and Results" (in en).
  27. "Tim Tebow, Cam Newton, Johnny Manziel, Dak Prescott … Chad Kelly?" (in en-US). Saturday Down South. March 23, 2016.
  28. "Georgia Southern at Mississippi Box Score, November 5, 2016". Sports Reference. Retrieved July 26, 2017.
  29. Stephensen, Creg (November 5, 2016). "Ole Miss QB Chad Kelly leaves game vs. Georgia Southern due to injury". The Birmingham News. Retrieved July 26, 2017.
  30. Chase Goodbread (November 6, 2016). "Chad Kelly to undergo season-ending knee surgery".
  31. Rodak, Mike. "NFL rescinds combine invite for former Ole Miss QB Chad Kelly". ESPN.
  32. Meyer, Max (April 29, 2017). "Broncos tab Chad Kelly as 2017's Mr. Irrelevant".
  33. Mason, Andrew (September 2, 2017). "Broncos trim roster at deadline".
  34. Heath, Jon (April 28, 2018). "Paxton Lynch and Chad Kelly will compete for Broncos' No. 2 QB job" (in en-US). Broncos Wire (USA Today).
  35. Wesseling, Chris (May 1, 2018). "John Elway: Broncos not giving up on Paxton Lynch".
  36. "Los Angeles Rams at Denver Broncos - October 14th, 2018" (in en).
  37. Patra, Kevin (October 24, 2018). "Chad Kelly released by Broncos day after arrest".
  38. Phillips, Noelle (October 23, 2019). "Broncos backup QB Chad Kelly arrested after allegedly entering strangers’ home, sitting on couch and mumbling incoherently".
  39. "Ex-Broncos QB Kelly pleads guilty to trespassing". March 20, 2019.
  40. Walker, Andrew (May 20, 2019). "Colts Sign Quarterback Chad Kelly".
  41. Smith, Michael David (May 31, 2019). "NFL suspends Colts’ Chad Kelly two games". NBC Sports.
  42. "Who is Chad Kelly? New Ole Miss quarterback is Jim Kelly's nephew".
  43. Fornelli, Tom (October 7, 2016). "WATCH: Ole Miss' Chad Kelly storms field during brawl at brother's high school game". CBS Sports. Retrieved October 16, 2016.
  44. Rodriguez, Miguel (2018-07-26). "Casey Kelly leaving St. Joe's for North Carolina power" (in en-us).
  45. "Ole Miss QB signee Chad Kelly reaches plea deal following arrest".

External links

Template:Ole Miss Rebels quarterback navbox


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