An unrestricted free agent, Kelly nominated the Bombers as his preferred destination after ending his contract at West Lakes in 2021.
The 26-year-old played 110 games for the Crows after being recruited via the 2014 Rookie Draft, and will now return to his home state of Victoria.
Added steel in defence ✊
Welcome to the Dons, Jake.
— Essendon FC (@essendonfc) October 1, 2021
Kelly will now join Essendon on a three-year contract and will aid the Bombers' impressive defensive structure.
Kelly will venture to Tullamarine in the same week the Bombers announced the appointment of Tigers champion Alex Rance in a part-time development role for 2022.