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NFL Draft Diamonds Scouting Report: Kyle Kelley, DE, San Diego State

Kyle Kelley is an underrated player with a motor and football I.Q. 

Kyle Kelley, DE, San Diego State 

Height: 6’3”

Weight: 262 lbs.

Jersey Number: #59

Class: Senior

  • 2016 Stats (14 games): 49 Tackles, 7.5 Tackles for Loss, 6 Sacks, 1 Pass Breakup, 11 QB Hurries
  • 2015 Stats (14 games): 24 Tackles, 9 Tackles for Loss, 7.5 Sacks, 1 Pass Breakup, 1 Forced Fumble, 1 Blocked Kick, 8 QB Hurries
  • 2014 Stats (10 games at Saddleback Junior College): 46 Tackles, 13 Tackles for Loss, 9.5 Sacks, 1 Fumble Recovery, 1 Interception, 2 Pass Breakups
  • 2016 All-Mountain West Honorable Mention
  • 2016 AP All Bowl Team Honorable Mention
  • 2015 AP All Bowl Team First Team

Games Viewed: Highlight Tape

Strengths: Kelley is a competitive defensive end who plays with a high motor on a majority of snaps.  He has decent hands that allow him to beat blockers with a rip or swim move in tight spaces.  Once he’s gets into the backfield, he can close quickly to bring down the QB or RB.  On inside runs, he can crash down the line of scrimmage, and chase down the ball carrier.  Against the pass, he uses his hands decently to beat OTs & TEs in pass protection.  He shows that he can line up on the line of scrimmage as a DE in a 9-, 7-, 6-, 5-, and 3-technique.

Weaknesses: On film, Kelley tends to rely on his high motor than athletic ability.  He doesn’t have a lot of explosiveness at the snap of the ball.  He isn’t very flexible as a pass rusher, especially when engaged with an offensive guard.  On outside run plays, he can get tied up to the point where he can’t set the edge.  He’s not quick at shedding blocks on passing play on a consistent basis.  His strength at the point of attack is a question.

Summary: Kelley is a player that lined up in multiple techniques as a DE in San Diego State’s 3-3-5 defense.  He plays with a high motor that allows him to compete to make a play.  While not very strong at the point of attack, he uses his hands to rip & swim pass blockers in order to get to the ball carrier or QB.  He can crash down the line of scrimmage to close in on the RB on inside runs, but doesn’t show that he can set the edge against outside runs.  While he can get to the QB at times, he doesn’t show much flexibility to be able to bend & dip under an OT to beat him outside consistently.  Overall, he doesn’t have the explosiveness that an NFL starter has, but I see him becoming a contributor as a backup on defense that can be brought in as an undrafted free agent for a team that runs a 4-3 defensive scheme.

Grade: Undrafted Free Agent

This piece was put together by our scout Brandon Davis. Follow him on Twitter!

Damond Talbot

NFL Draft Diamonds was created to assist the underdogs playing the sport. We call them diamonds in the rough. My name is Damond Talbot, I have worked extremely hard to help hundreds of small school players over the past several years, and will continue my mission. We have several contributors on this site, and if they contribute their name and contact will be in the piece above. You can email me at

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