The Ravens took their first cornerback in the draft in Round 5, selecting KyuBlu Kelly of Stanford.
Playing primarily outside cornerback at Stanford, the 6-foot, 191-pound Kelly was a four-year starter who had an outstanding career. He had his best season as a junior with 58 tackles, two interceptions and 11 pass deflections.
"What I bring to the secondary and the team is, No. 1, a competitor," Kelly said. "Whatever I'm doing, I want to be the best and beat the best. A nickel and a corner, wherever they want to fit me – man coverage – I was able to experience a lot of different scheme diversity that really helps me. Being a Swiss Army knife, putting me in different places."
Kelly is the first player from Stanford that the Ravens have ever selected. He has an NFL pedigree, the son of cornerback Brian Kelly, who spent 11 NFL seasons with the Buccaneers and Lions. His father was coached by Pittsburgh Steelers Head Coach Mike Tomlin in Tampa Bay, and Kelly said having a father who played in the league gives him an advantage starting his career.
"Without him, I wouldn't even be as close to the man I am or close to the football player I am today," Kelly said. "Just having a father in my life, let alone an NFL father."
Kelly attended the same high school as Ravens starting left tackle Ronnie Stanley (Bishop Gorman, Las Vegas), although they have never met.
Kelly's senior season wasn't as impressive as his junior year. He had a high-profile matchup against Vikings first-round draft pick Jordan Addison of USC in which he gave up one big play, but had some very good battles otherwise.
Kelly went to the Senior Bowl with something to prove, and he did so, being named the National Team's practice player of the week.
"My senior season, compared to my junior season, I had in total in man-to-man about 25 targets the entire season. Not a lot of opportunities to show myself or make plays. I knew at the Senior Bowl, I've got to turn it up," Kelly said. "People are like, 'He had a good junior year, his his senior year is just so-so. Is he still that same player?' I think I proved that."
General Manager Eric DeCosta said the Ravens had been scouring Kelly for two years.
"A very polished efficient mover, good eyes, physical, good size, can play zone, can play man. A very experienced player, durable guy," DeCosta said.
When he joins the Ravens, Kelly will be part of the mix competing for playing time at cornerback opposite Pro Bowl cornerback Marlon Humphrey. The Ravens have a young cornerback group that includes Brandon Stephens, Jalyn Armour-Davis and Pepe Williams.
Veteran Marcus Peters is a free agent and Baltimore entered the draft seeking more depth at the position. Kelly said he's up for any assignment, including playing in the slot or outside. He could be an immediate contributor on special teams.
Kelly said he hadn't talked to General Manager Eric DeCosta or Head Coach John Harbaugh in the pre-draft process and has never been to Baltimore, but he is very familiar with the Ravens' winning tradition and culture.
"The Baltimore Ravens is a historic football program," Kelly said. "I've watched Marlon Humphrey I don't know how many times. Dude's a baller. Marcus Peters when he was there, you guys have Kyle Hamilton now, Eric Weddle. Guys in the secondary I've watched my whole life, Ed Reed, too.
He is looking forward to going against wide receivers like Odell Beckham Jr., Rashod Bateman and Zay Flowers in practice, and learning from Humphrey.
"It's something I used to always think about, playing against guys like OBJ, I've seen Zay Flowers in this process," Kelly said. "Those are the guys I want to line up against, see what they've got and they can make me better. I feel like that's just going to make me better."