Is Kyu Blu Kelly a 2023 NFL draft target for Baltimore Ravens?

Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports

The Baltimore Ravens have a need at cornerback. Is Stanford cornerback Kyu Blu Kelly a fit? What is his best NFL fit and NFL comparison?

Baltimore Ravens NFL draft profile: Stanford CB, Kyu Blu Kelly

Kyu Blu Kelly's dad played in the NFL, and he grew up as a top prospect. His play and professionalism got him onto the field as a freshman for the Cardinal. Kelly was a four-year starter, but his play was up and down. As a freshman, he allowed 0.98 yards per coverage snap. That jumped to 1.18, and 1.47 in the following two seasons before dropping back to 1.08 last season.

Overall. Kelly finished with 2,335 snaps, and 1,275 snaps in coverage. At Stanford, he ran about half of his snaps in zone and half in man. He also has 324 snaps in the slot, most of those coming during the 2021 season. Kelly improved his stock in 2022 and took that even further at the Senior Bowl, where he was a standout performer.

He also participated in the NFL combine.

He has the adequate height, weight, and length needed in the NFL. His deep speed is not great, but the 10-yard splits and jumps show that he is good in tight spaces.

How Kyu Blu Kelly projects in the NFL

Kelly can show his burst in zone coverage. Kelly has solid press technique, but he can also play off coverage and can jump routes. He is best when he is playing downhill and attacking in-breaking routes. Kelly also has a good understanding of zones and can pass off routes.

However, at times he can get caught up with double moves, and abandon his responsibility. He has an eye to make plays, and his ability to jump routes can cause him to force incompletions, but he does not do well when the ball is in the air over his head. He will also need to improve on his tackling and physicality in the NFL. Kelly may be better in zone than man because he is not the most sudden mover, but in a cover-3 scheme, he could play with comfort.

NFL Comparison for Kyu Blu Kelly

The best NFL comparison for Kyu Blu Kelly is Walter Thurmond. They have a similar athletic profiles. Thurman was also a longer cornerback who could play in and out of the slot but was always best in zone coverage. He was solid as a compliment to Richard Sherman and in the right scheme he got starter snaps. However, once a team paid him and asked him to be more than that, they realized he was limited.

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Should Baltimore Ravens draft Kyu Blu Kelly?

Right now his projection is the third round. He brings professionalism of the son of an NFL player and is a four-year starter who may get on the field next season. However, for a cornerback with some of the flaws he has, that may be rich. In the fourth round or later, he could be closer to the best player available.