Ryan Kelly   OC   Alabama

Ryan is a smooth-snapping center with the size, athleticism and foot quickness to play the center position at a high level for a very long time. He has strong lateral agility to snap the ball and move to help guards double team a defensive lineman. He shows the leadership skills and confidence that you need at the center position. Ryan can play more than one position at guard or center, but truthfully he is a pure center and that should be his impact position for the team that selects him. Ryan can make all the snaps with an impressive flick of his wrist that does not use much movement and makes it very hard for pass rushers to get a jump. This is a talent that very few center possess and this, along with his natural athleticism and lateral agility, should serve Ryan well at the next level.

Although Ryan has nice foot quickness, he is a little heavy legged going out to the second level on sweeps and screens. He gets out there fine, but the more he runs, the more problems occur with change of direction skills and balance. When he goes out to the second level, he needs to be more patient and wait for his blocker to read and react first before he attacks them. This is basically a timing issue and is easily corrected with patience and through repetition.

Ryan did an excellent job this year helping his quarterback to progress in every game and gained more confidence with each start. Ryan called all the blocking assignments for the offensive line, taking a lot of pressure off this inexperienced quarterback. He also re-adjusted those line calls to match adjusted calls in the running game before the snap. He is smart and I would think with this type of athletic and football intelligence that the center for the Championship team in all of college would be a high priority to draft especially since there are so many quick-twitch pass rushing defensive tackles coming into the NFL lately. Ryan will have to improve his footwork and timing going to the second level, but those are techniques issues that a player with Ryanís football intelligence should have no problems correcting. This is a quality football player and teams really need to understand the value of a pro bowl center and what it does for your offense. Selecting a potential pro bowl center is the start of a pro bowl offensive line. If you donít believe me, look at the teams in playoffs and Super Bowl every year. If they have a top offense, itís most likely they have a pro bowl center snapping the ball.

Drew Boylhart  FEB.2016