Chad Kelly slept on the basement floor during the NFL Draft to ‘feel what it was like at the bottom’

Published 11:48 am Monday, May 1, 2017

Former Ole Miss quarterback Chad Kelly knew he was in for an exhausting NFL Draft experience following a college career plagued by off-field issues and injuries that abruptly ended his senior season and forced him to leave Ole Miss’ pro day after only 12 throws.

Kicking that agony up a notch, Kelly opted to sleep on the floor of his family’s basement Thursday and Friday night as he hoped for any shot to play in the pros.

“I wanted to feel what it was like at the bottom,” Kelly told The Buffalo News. “I could’ve slept in the bed. But I wanted to feel that itch.”

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Fittingly, Kelly became the NFL’s Mr. Irrelevent on the last day of the draft after the Denver Broncos selected the quarterback as the 253rd and final pick.

Broncos general manager John Elway needed a little more convincing, telling reporters a phone call to Kelly’s Hall of Famer uncle, Jim, was all he needed to know they were making the right pick.

“He has to prove himself no matter what. We knew he wasn’t going on the first night, but even the guys who got drafted in the first round need to prove they can play in camp,” Jim Kelly told the Buffalo News the night before his nephew was drafted. “He’s the same as any other quarterback. And your second contract is the most important contract anyway.”

Kelly, who’s graduating and reportedly will walk at Ole Miss’ commencement ceremony May 13, knows he’s got a lot to prove.

“At the end of the day, I just want to show them that I’m a mature quarterback that can lead a franchise,” Kelly said.