Kyu Blu Kelly (DB) / Stanford University / Senior
6’0” / 190.0 lbs (Official)
2021 Stats: 11 games, 42 solo tackles, 16 assists, 58 total tackles, 2 INT, 11 passes defended, 1 forced fumble, 1 fumble recovery, 1 TD
2022 Stats: 10 games, 26 solo tackles, 9 assists, 35 total tackles, 0 INT, 6 passes defended, 0 forced fumble, 1 fumble recovery, 0 TD
Awards: On multiple award watch lists leading up to 2022 campaign
Measurables: (AVAILABLE POST COMBINE/PRO DAY)
Games Watched: NINO: 2021 vs Arizona St., 2022 vs USC, 2022 @ University of Washington. COACH: 2021 vs. Arizona St., 2022 vs. USC.
[NINO] Kyu Blu Kelly plays well in zone coverage; his lateral movement and instincts allow him to attack ball carriers out of the backfield as well as identify screens (Recognized screens 2x vs USC was able to attack Travis Dye at the line). Kelly has an elite eye discipline. Kyu has a low back pedal which allows for the touch-n-go closing on the ball when giving cushion/space to WRs (Took Odunze & McMillian out of plays with his closing speed: 4.50-40). His ball skills are elite. (Both Jayden Daniels (ASU) and Michael Penix (Washington) respected Kelly only challenged him a total of 6 times) Kelly plays physically with WRs and has a stiff arm at the line. His quick hips allow Kelly to recover downfield and his quick, sneaky hands tend to knock the ball loose. Kelly’s quickness allows him to cover in the slot, and he played 100+ snaps in the slot in ‘21.
[COACH] Aggressive press/man corner. Sturdy frame, strong with long arms (32”) that he uses to reroute receivers and throw off their timing. Poised with good eye discipline, capable of taking on an assignment of jamming a receiver at the line of scrimmage and then dropping into zone coverage while finding new work. Good job of aggressively initiating contact in opponents chest to create separation when coming down hill as a run defender. Good instincts, pops up often underneath routes in which he’s not covering but nearby, see’s the field/reads the QB well.
[NINO] Kelly plays physical but can gamble and get burned. He loves to jump routes. Sometimes Kelly looks like he has two left feet when transitioning to attack mode which leads to big plays (Caleb Williams hit Jordan Addison on a quick slant and Kelly stumbled out of transition to attack leading to 20+ yds). He can get lit up by the double move as his route recognition is not at a high level yet. (Kelly got beat 2x by Jordan Addison on double moves, 1 leading to a TD. Versus Washington #11 McMillian turned Kelly around with a double move but the ball was overthrown by Penix) Kelly can get handsy when trailing WRs.
[COACH] Though Kelly had multiple interceptions at Senior Bowl practices, he only has 3 career interceptions in 37 games played. Kyu does best when he’s lined up face to face with the receiver and can dictate his release, struggles a bit when he is not leading the dance and has to react to the receiver when there’s space between them. Likes to rely on strength which slows him down when trying to break on screens, needs to work on quickness and avoidance rather than always mixing it up physically with blockers. Struggles a bit with allowing receivers to get on his heels when playing off coverage.
[NINO] Kyu Blu Kelly will draw a lot of attention from teams that run a heavy zone coverage scheme. Kelly hits on many traits that GMs are looking for in an early DB selection: height/length, fluid movement, top notch technique, and numbers that back up his skill set. Kelly should be an early 3rd round draft pick in the 2023 draft. My player comp for Kyu Blu Kelly is former Baltimore Raven DB Lardarius Webb.
[COACH] Arguably had the best week out of any cornerback at the 2023 Reese’s Senior Bowl. Showed off strong man to man ability during 1 on 1s but what really won me over was his coverage instincts during team periods, Blu Kelly was able to stick to his man/assignment and break off once the quarterback made a decision and make a play on the football. Strong blood lines, Kyu’s father spent time in the NFL, playing for both the Lions and the Buccaneers. At his best in press man, either pressing and sticking or pressing and retreating to a zone, struggles with off man coverage.
Completed by: @NinoBrown_T2T, 11/2022
Added: @coachschepps, 03/03/23
Reviewed and edited: J. Clark 12/30/22, 03/04/23