Some Denver Broncos fans won't be at all surprised to find out that Chad Kelly has become a good professional quarterback. The unfortunate reality, it wasn't with the Denver Broncos. But Chad Kelly, the former Broncos seventh-round pick, has found himself a home up North of the border.
Kelly is the quarterback for the Toronto Argonauts and was just named the Most Outstanding Player in the CFL for the 2023 season, believe it or not.
The former Ole Miss product has completed 68.5 percent of his passes in 2023 with 23 touchdowns and 12 interceptions. He threw for 4,123 yards this past season and added eight rushing touchdowns, giving him 31 touchdowns combined.
Although the season ended badly for the Argos, Kelly had a fantastic year overall and many Denver Broncos fans weren't surprised to hear about it. Kelly was once a preseason star for the Broncos and had fans of the team clamoring for him to get an opportunity to actually start some games when he was on the roster from 2017-18 because of how much the team had been struggling at the position to find consistency and continuity.
There was a point in the 2018 season in which it really felt like the Broncos might insert Kelly into the lineup over starter Case Keenum, but nothing ever came to fruition as Kelly ended up getting in trouble after Von Miller's annual Halloween party.
Dressed up as a cowboy, Kelly allegedly wandered into someone's home and was beaten with a vacuum pole before getting arrested on trespassing charges.
If only this story were fiction, am I right?
Kelly was almost immediately cut by the Denver Broncos, and he floated around the NFL for the next couple of years before getting his shot in the CFL in 2022.
Kelly has consistently been a controversial player. He was a big-time recruit whose college career started at Clemson, but ended at Ole Miss. At Ole Miss, Kelly had put some things on tape that had people thinking he might be a first-round pick, but NFL scouts and executives were afraid that his personality and off-field issues would cost him any shot at "franchise QB" status.
Talent was never a question for the nephew of NFL legend Jim Kelly, so despite all of his issues, the Broncos drafted him in the 7th round back in 2017. That pick appeared to be a very worthwhile dart throw at the time, and Kelly actually ended up pushing former first-round pick Paxton Lynch off of the roster in 2018. The Broncos rolled with Kelly as their primary backup that year and like I said, it felt like things were trending toward him getting an actual shot.
Unfortunately, he made some poor decisions after Von Miller's Halloween party, and that likely cost him his most legitimate NFL shot.
We'll see what happens if his success in the CFL continues, but that might just be where his professional football future lies. Kelly has obviously found a niche at that level and it's great to see him staying the course and playing well.