Inside The Bills

Jim Kelly-why NFL scouts miss on QBs

Posted by johnmurphyshow on February 13, 2013 – 8:30 pm

The Buffalo Bills are in the market for a quarterback, that much is clear. And thirty years after the Bills hit on a franchise quarterback in the first round, that player has some thoughts on drafting QBs.

Hall of Famer Jim Kelly was a guest on The John Murphy Show Wednesday night, to promote the 15th Annual Hunter’s Day of Hope and Prayer for Children. The event is coming up this Saturday at the Bills Healthy Zone Fieldhouse.

But Kelly also talked about the inexact science of drafting quarterbacks. Host John Murphy asked Kelly why it is that NFL scouts sometimes miss on blue chip QB prospects in the draft.

“It’s a knack to go out there and see a guy—how he drops back, how he’s going to throw a 20-yard comeback. See what type of person he is,” Kelly said. “You’re going to miss on some, you can’t get every single draft pick to fit your system. That’s what you’ve got to look at—will this guy fit our system, the one we have in place right now.”

“If you’re picking a quarterback who’s coming from a system that’s nothing like the one you have, than maybe you’re going to miss the boat,” he continued. “You might say, ‘Can I change him,’ or, ‘Do I want to change him?’ That’s what you’re going to have to look at.”

Kelly said when the Bills drafted him in the right round in 1983, he was not a finished product, like many of the prospects in this year’s draft. And when he finally came to Buffalo in 1986, he still had some parts of his game that needed work.

“One of the things I continued to work on, was my foot speed,” Kelly said. “Not so much foot speed as running, but foot speed as far as quickness. Being able to know when I had to slide to the left, slide to the right, step up in the pocket. Those are some of the things I looked at. And for me, it was just to learn a new system. I was very blessed that I had pretty much the same offense throughout my career, with some minor changes. I was able to have the same system and grow under that.”

Kelly and his wife, Jill, will host the Hunter’s Day of Hope and Prayer for Children this Saturday, February 16th. The free event runs from 1pm-4pm at the Bills Healthy Zone Fieldhouse. The event includes games, entertainment, food and activities for families.

The entire interview with Jim Kelly is accessible at

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