Darnay Holmes selected by Giants, Joshua Kelley selected by Chargers in NFL Draft
Running back Joshua Kelley (left) recorded back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons in his two campaigns with UCLA. Cornerback Darnay Holmes (right) recorded two interceptions and six pass breakups in 10 games with UCLA football in 2019. (Kanishka Mehra/Assistant Photo editor)
By Sam Connon
April 25, 2020 10:19 a.m.
Joshua Kelley and Darnay Holmes may have been selected within two picks of each other, but one will have to go a lot further from home to join his new team.
The New York Giants picked Holmes with the 110th overall pick of the 2020 NFL Draft on Saturday, while the Los Angeles Chargers selected running back Joshua Kelley 112th overall just minutes later. The duo joined tight end Devin Asiasi to give UCLA football three selections in the first 112 picks, a feat the program has achieved just twice since 2002.
Holmes was the 12th cornerback to hear his name called on the weekend. Holmes entered the weekend as the No. 16 prospect at his position, according to CBS Sports, and had been projected to go as early as 80th overall and as late as 173 overall by prominent mock drafts.
Holmes is just the fourth UCLA cornerback drafted since 1996 and the first since Fabian Moreau went 81st overall in 2017.
The former five-star recruit led UCLA with two interceptions in 2019, and he recorded eight picks and 20 pass breakups in his 35 career games as a Bruin.
Holmes will be joining second-round pick Xavier McKinney of Alabama and premiere free agent cornerback addition James Bradberry as new faces in the Giants secondary. UCLA coach Chip Kelly told the media NFL teams were planning to use Holmes as a slot or nickel corner at the next level during a teleconference April 8.
Back on the Pacific coast, one of Holmes’ former teammates will get the chance to line up alongside former Pac-12 quarterback and sixth overall pick Justin Herbert in the Chargers’ backfield.
Kelley was rated as the No. 10 running back prospect entering the draft by CBS Sports, and he wound up being the 10th to get picked.
2016 Pro Bowler Jordan Howard was the 10th running back picked in the 2016 draft, while 2018 Pro Bowler Tarik Cohen was the 10th tailback off the board in 2017.
Kelley is the highest UCLA running back selected since Maurice Jones-Drew went 60th overall in 2006.
Kelley racked up 2,303 rushing yards and 25 total touchdowns in his 22 career games with UCLA. The former transfer and UC Davis walk-on posted back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons in 2018 and 2019, becoming the first Bruin to do so since Paul Perkins in 2014 and 2015.
Former UCLA linebackers Krys Barnes, Lokeni Toailoa, Josh Woods and Keisean Lucier-South highlight the rest of the Bruins left on the board, while center Boss Tagaloa and kicker JJ Molson are still available as well.