Joe Kelly Hawley was born on October 22, 1988 in Bakersfield, CA. He attended Esperanza High in Anaheim, CA before enrolling at the University of Nevada at Las Vegas. As a freshman, he appeared in 11 games as a reserve guard. He started 9 games as a sophomore at center. He started 7 games at center as a junior, and 5 at right guard. As a senior, he started all 12 games at right guard and earned All-Mountain West honorable mention. He was selected by the Atlanta Falcons as a fourth round pick (117th overall) in the 2010 NFL Draft.
Signed by the Atlanta Falcons on June 15, 2010 ... Suspended by NFL for 4 games due to a violation of the performing-enhancing drug program on November 19, 2012.
He signed a four-year contract worth $2.273 million, including a $483,000 signing bonus. He will have base salaries of: $320,000 (2010); $405,000 (2011); $490,000 (2012); and $575,000 (2013).