Wide Receiver, University of Southern California
6'0", 183 pounds, 4.35/40
Two Hundred Second Pick Overall, Sixth Round
Speedy wide receiver Kareem Kelly arrives in New Orleans as the antithesis of his 4.35 speed leaves for Seattle. DT Norman Hand was traded to Seattle for the 6th round pick the Saints did not have to take Kelly.
Kelly is a lean, angular receiver with tremendous physical ability and athleticism despite weighing in far less than 200 pounds. An extremely fast deep threat with acrobatic skills and great hands. Lifted 225 pounds 15 times at the combine, impressive for a receiver with such lean stature.
A three-year starter for USC, Kelly is a major steal in the sixth round, as some scout NOPF spoke to expected him on the first day. A clear weapon on special teams as a kick return, Kelly is used to being a major weapon in the offense but is not a well-refined receiver. While he has an outstanding 39" vertical jump and explosive burst to top speed, he doesn't run as crisp routes as you would expect from such a long-time starter.
Concentration and work ethic have been concerns for Kelly. Also is not much of a contributor as a blocker in the running game, although he has in the past. His senior year was statistically his worst year of four at USC, but still managed 46 games for 605 yards and four touchdowns. Had 796 and 801 yards in his sophomore and junior years, respectively, even though as a senior he was catching passes from Heisman Trophy winner and first overall pick QB Carson Palmer.
"Skinny guy who can fly. Has experience, but it hasn't done much for him. In the sixth round he's an absolute. Unless he works himself into another doghouse by screwing around in the workout room, he should easily be the fourth receiver."
"Poor man's Donte Stallworth. Track guy. One of the best collegiate receivers in USC history. Development guy. Needs to know how to run a route. His speed on the turf is really going to be a deep threat."
"Kelly would be deep threat... possible #4 in the long run... inconsistent hands... vertical receiver... okay, but not great routes..."