Bruin Report Online has published an article which claims that breakout running back Joshua Kelley could declare for the NFL Draft.
This is big news if true. This morning, the UCLA 247Sports site, Bruin Report Online, published an article that indicates that UCLA football‘s soon-to-be redshirt senior running back, Joshua Kelley, is thinking about declaring for the 2019 NFL Draft.
BRO stated through sources that Kelley will “likely” declare for the NFL Draft, though the moment, he has not submitted his name. BRO also stated that the standout running back “put in for a draft grade” last month which would project where the former transfer walk-on could get drafted.
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Depsite Kelley bursting onto the scene in 2018 and leading UCLA’s impressive offensive progress over the course of the season, Bruin Report Online added that their NFL sources are “skeptical” about Kelley leaving for the NFL a year early, meaning that there is a slim chance he will get drafted, if at all.
At the beginning of last season, Kelley was in contention for the starting running back spot. With head coach Chip Kelly tinkering with the offense and the run game to start his first season, he was using all of the available backs (among those that were not suspended). Kelly finally settled on Kelley midway through the season, beating out veterans such as Bolu Olorunfunmi and Soso Jamabo, and it paid dividends.
In 2018, Kelley ran for 1,243 yards and 12 touchdowns. The peak of his breakout season came in the second to last game of the year against USC where he ran for a record 289 yards, the most anyone has accumulated in the history of the rivalry.
If Kelley was to return for the 2019 season, he would once again lead the rushing attack which made massive improvements from the beginning to the end of the season. If he decided to leave UCLA, the Bruins will most likely turn to sophomores Martell Irby and Kazmeir Allen as well as true freshmen Jahmon McClendon and Keegan Jones.
Though the Bruins have enough tools in the cupboard for 2019, it would be a huge benefit for them to utilize their biggest tool from 2018then not, than one lucky NFL team is going to get a solid running back for the roster next season.