Matt Waldman’s RSP NFL Lens examines the efficient footwork of Rams rookie RB John Kelly, who is pushing his way up the Los Angeles depth chart.
If Walter Payton was the Black Panther of running backs, John Kelly is the mortal version of the warrior-king after the Wakandan antidote has been administered. What already makes Kelly a good NFL running back is his efficient footwork.
Unlike many runners blessed with greater athletic ability, Kelly understands how to create his own space so he can set up multiple moves — subtle solutions to problems that are often difficult for more athletic talents.
Kelly’s vision and footwork combined with his balance and second-effort make him a compelling late-round option. While former Vols teammate Alvin Kamara was the stud of the running back stable, there were weeks in 2016 where Kelly performed like the more polished and superior runner.
If called upon this year, Kelly will produce. If he stays healthy, he’ll have a long career in the league for a running back.
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