Chad Kelly sits atop list of quarterbacks with the strongest arms
Chad Kelly is coming off an incredibly successful junior season in which he became the first Ole Miss quarterback to lead his team to wins over Auburn, Alabama and LSU in the same season, so it comes as no surprise he is garnering attention as one of the nation’s premier signal-callers.
On Wednesday, Dan Parr, College Football 24/7 Editor for NFL.com, released his “16 for 16” series in which he ranked the 16 college quarterbacks with the strongest arms—and Ole Miss fans will be pleased to see Kelly at the top of the list.
Of Kelly, Parr writes:
“There’s recent video proof of Kelly’s arm strength, not that we needed more convincing about his ability in that area. The Rebels quarterback last week posted a clip to Instagram of him chucking a ball 76 yards down the field after a 5-yard running start.”
Parr went on to add statistical proof for why he has placed Chad at the top of the list:
Parr’s complete “16 for 16” list includes:
- Chad Kelly, Ole Miss
- Patrick Mahomes, Texas Tech
- DeShone Kizer, Notre Dame
- Mason Rudolph, Oklahoma State
- Josh Rosen, UCLA
- Deshaun Watson, Clemson
- Wes Lunt, Illinois
- Patrick Towles, Boston College
- C.J. Beathard, Iowa
- Seth Russell, Baylor
- Joshua Dobbs, Tennessee
- Davis Webb, Cal
- Maty Mauk, Eastern Kentucky
- Brad Kaaya, Miami
- Gunner Kiel, Cincinnati
- Feleipe Franks, Florida
(SEC quarterbacks in bold)
Kelly’s record-breaking season
In 2105, Kelly was named one of 10 Manning Award finalists for the nation’s top quarterback. He was the first Ole Miss player to win Sugar Bowl MVP honors since Archie Manning in 1970. He was named SEC Newcomer of the Year by Athlon and was on the Maxwell Award watch list.
Kelly was the first quarterback to lead Ole Miss to five victories over top-25 ranked teams and finished with the most wins (10) by a first-year starting Ole Miss quarterback since Jake Gibbs in 1959.
Kelly led the SEC and was nationally ranked in several important categories:
- passing (310.9 yards per game, 10th in the nation),
- total offense (349.4 yards per game, 7th in nation)
- passing touchdowns (31, 9th in nation)
- points responsible for (246, 7th in nation)
He was also ranked in the top 20 nationally in the following:
- passing efficience (155.9)
- completion percentage (65.1)
- completions per game (22.9)
- yards per pass attempt (8.83)
Kelly also shattered the record books in many categories in his first season as a Rebel, breaking or tying 14 Ole Miss single-season records including:
- total yards (4,542)
- passing yards (4,042)
- passing touchdowns (31)
- touchdowns responsible for (41)
- completions (298)
- completion percentage (65.1)
- passing efficiency (155.9)
- 300-yard passing games (8)
All things considered, it is no wonder Chad sits atop the “16 for 16” list of quarterbacks with the strongest arms.
(Feature image credit: Amanda Swain, The Rebel Walk)
Evelyn has covered sports for over two decades, beginning her journalism career as a sports writer for a newspaper in Austin, Texas. She attended Texas A&M and majored in English. Evelyn’s love for Ole Miss began when her daughter Katie attended the university on a volleyball scholarship. Evelyn created the Rebel Walk in 2013 and has served as publisher and managing editor since its inception.