Ole Miss quarterback Chad Kelly might actually turn out to be Mr. Relevant.
The former Red Lion High School quarterback was selected Saturday afternoon as the final selection of the 2017 NFL draft, taken with the 253rd and final pick by the Denver Broncos.
“A talented player & great competitor who had a lot of success in college,” Broncos general manager John Elway tweeted.
The NFL’s last draft pick is hailed as “Mr. Irrelevant,” but Kelly joins a team with serious question marks at quarterback.
Peyton Manning is long gone, and the Broncos’ current roster includes incumbent Trevor Siemian and last year’s 26th overall pick, Paxton Lynch of Memphis.
Siemian, a seventh-round pick out of Northwestern in 2015, passed for 3,401 yards and 18 touchdowns against 10 interceptions last season. The Broncos went 9-7 and missed the playoffs, a year after Manning led them to the Super Bowl.
But first, Kelly has to get into playing shape. He’s coming off a knee injury he suffered late in the 2016 season, and untimely wrist surgery before the draft.
Elway told reporters Saturday that he expects Kelly to be fully recovered by September.
Kelly was initially invited to the NFL Combine, only to be apparently snubbed later over issues from his past – including his dismissal from the Clemson program in 2014.
A nephew of NFL Hall of Fame Jim Kelly, the former Rebels QB was the 53rd draft pick from the SEC, as the conference led the NFL’s haul of new players for the 11th year in a row.
Kelly also ran into trouble during his time in Red Lion. He started for the Lions during both his freshman and sophomore years, but was suspended from the team both seasons before eventually moving to Buffalo, where he became a high school All-American and earned a scholarship to Clemson.