[Editor's Note: This story was first published on PFF.com on March 24, 2017]
With the 2017 NFL Combine in the rearview mirror and the focus now on cross-examining every facet of play for hundreds of draft-eligible players, the Pro Football Focus team has put together a list of some of the more intriguing prospect matchups from the 2016 season — one-on-one meetings that featured players who are surely going to hear their name called come April.
Whether it was a quarterback targeting a cornerback or an edge defender blowing past an offensive tackle, some 2016 games pitted top players against one another in a preview of how they may fare against next-level talent. We'll be revealing these matchups one at a time, starting with quarterback Chad Kelly versus some of the top cornerback prospects out of the SEC.
QB CHAD KELLY VS. CBS TRE’DAVIOUS WHITE AND MARLON HUMPHREY
In the 2016 season, Ole Miss quarterback Chad Kelly faced off against two of this year's top cornerback prospects in LSU’s Tre’Davious White and Alabama’s Marlon Humphrey. Kelly had one of his best games — statistically speaking — against White. In Senior Analyst Steve Palazzolo's latest mock draft, the former Tiger was picked 13th overall by the Arizona Cardinals. Kelly targeted White six times, completing five passes into his primary coverage for 77 yards and a touchdown. In fact, Kelly fielded a perfect NFL QB Rating of 158.3 against White.
Against Humphrey — the No. 35 overall prospect on PFF's draft board — Kelly saw his fifth-highest NFL QB rating when targeting any one defender six or more times during the 2016 season. The Ole Miss quarterback targeted Humphrey on eight passes, completing five of them for 141 yards and a touchdown to garner a 145.8 NFL QB rating.
Chad Kelly is ranked as PFF’s seventh-best QB prospect heading into April.