Overview: Ryan Kelly has emerged as one of Ohio's most coveted offensive linemen in the class of 2011. Kelly, who has played all three offensive line positions, settled in at center early last season after spending the first two games of the 2009 season at tackle. Now established at his future collegiate position, Kelly has picked up offers from several BCS conference programs.
Colleges are intrigued with Kelly's versatility along the offensive line, good height, and a frame to grow. Perhaps more importantly, Kelly is a nimble athlete who recorded an impressive 5.03-second 40-yard dash at the Under Armour Combine in Orlando in January.
Strengths: The best move Ryan could have made was from tackle to center. Considering Ryan is a rookie center, it's not fair to evaluate him based on what a center is supposed to look like. What I see from him is a lot of potential which would excite any college offensive line coach. Ryan has the ideal body type to grow into a solid offensive lineman. In time, his long and lean frame can easily hold another 30 pounds of good, functional weight. He is new to the center position but he flashes solid ability. Ryan is very good in space and will be called upon to lead many screens in college. Kelly is very fluid movement and appears to be flexible. A willingness to move positions late in his career and a few games into the season speaks volumes about his character.
Areas for Improvement: Kelly needs to get substantially stronger and explosive. In order for prospects with his body type to play interior line, they better have superb technique or be physically dominant. His hips are very fluid but not strong yet. Not overly impressive at the point of attack, I would like to see him become more dominant and nasty. He is new to the center position so another year under his belt will be a tremendous help.
Bentley's Projection: Kelly is a talented athlete that will have to develop into a good college player. He reminds me of Al Johnson, the former Wisconsin All-Big Ten center that was drafted by the Dallas Cowboys in the second round of the 2003 NFL Draft . His frame is ripe for development and his willingness to move positions shows me a commitment to become the best he can be. It's difficult to evaluate his film because he is so new to the position. What I can see is a kid that will flourish in a college zone blocking scheme. If he takes his God given ability and combines it with an effort to learn how to play the position and develop physically, in three years we may be talking about the one of the better centers in a BCS conference.
LeCharles Bentley is a former NFL Pro-Bowl offensive lineman with the New Orleans Saints and Cleveland Browns. He is one of only seven offensive linemen in the history of NFL to earn Pro-Bowl berths at multiple positions. LeCharles attended The Ohio State University and garnered consensus All-American honors, Big Ten offensive lineman of the year honors and The Dave Rimington Trophy presented to the nation's top center annually. His high school career at Cleveland St. Ignatius was coupled with an Ohio State Championship and a host of individual honors.
Currently LeCharles owns and operates The L. Bentley O-line Academy while his Bentley Report serves as the nation's only offensive line evaluation service to many prominent universities. He also serves as a guest columnist for the Cleveland Plain Dealer and color analyst and commentator for various television networks. His radio shows can be heard on ESPN 1540am on Monday's at 4 pm EST.
To read more from LeCharles visit www.o-lineworld.com, the premier information and networking hub for offensive linemen and coaches throughout the world.