It took a little bit longer than expected, but the Baltimore Ravens finally addressed the cornerback room when they drafted Kyu Blu Kelly with their fifth-round pick. Kyu Blu Kelly is someone our site profiled as a fit in the third round, and the Ravens admitted they had a day-two grade on him as well.
So, what does Kyu Blu Kelly bring, and why are the Baltimore Ravens excited about the Stanford cornerback?
4. Kyu Blu Kelly is a four-year starter at Stanford
Kyu Blue Kelly came to Stanford and got onto the field early. He started nine games as a freshman, stepping in after just a few games, and he did not look back from there. He finished his career with 35 starts over the four seasons, and he was second-team All-Pac 12 in the last two seasons with the Cardinal.
For his career, Kyu Blu Kelly has 2,335 snaps played with 1,275 in coverage. He has 1,054 snaps against the run and only blitzed six times. Beyond that, Kelly played 1,994 snaps on the outside. He has 324 snaps in the slot, and nine as a free safety, so Ravens fans should expect that he stays on the outside.
3. Kyu Blu Kelly brings athletic traits to the Baltimore Ravens
Overall, Kyu Blue Kelly is an above average athlete.
However, you can see that his athletic profile does match his game. He has good, but not great speed, and he is better in the short areas, where he click-and-close in an instant to make plays. However, his change of direction is also average, and that can typically show up on double moves that involve him flipping his body and turning to run with receivers.
2. Kyu Blu Kelly improved significantly in 2022
Kelly took off early into his freshman career and got attention early. He allowed just 0.98 yards per coverage snap. The next year that number rose to 1.18, but that was still a great season. The issue is that he had a drop-off in his junior season. He was targeted more, and he struggled, allowing 1.47 yards per coverage snap.
That made it an easy decision for Kelly to return to school, and he, fortunately, got his stats back in line. He allowed just 1.08 yards per coverage snap as a senior. His most notable performance came against Jordan Addison, where he put the tape out there that could consider him a draftable player.
1. Kyu Blu Kelly can play zone and man coverage for the Baltimore Ravens
One of the good traits about Kelly is that he came from a Stanford defense that ran multiple concepts. In fact, he had 51% of his snaps come in man coverage last season, and 49% in zone coverage. It is worth noting he allowed 123 yards on 15 targets in man coverage and then allowed 163 yards on 17 targets in zone. However, he did grade out better in zone, per PFF, and Stanford was also more zone heavy in 2021.
His closing ability may be best in zone, but his combination of size, and his ability to mirror routes may have him better off in zone. The good news is that he comes in and the team does not have to lean one way or the other.