Pickford was again outstanding for England in their quarterfinal win over Sweden.
"Jordan is a great keeper and a strong character too," Kelly, who went to Euro 2012 with the Republic of Ireland, said.
“He took a bit of stick after the Belgium game last week but that won't have upset him.
“Against Colombia, Jordan made two fantastic saves. There was the one right at the end when he pushed the shot around the post.
“If that had gone in, it would have been goal of the tournament.
“Jordan flew like a salmon to reach the shot but it hardly got showed again as Colombia scored from the corner.
“The penalty save was a good one, it was a strong arm and obviously so important.
“All the credit for Jordan being the England keeper is down to him. If it's said that others and myself have helped him, that's fantastic. But Jordan has had the sheer willpower to get to be England's No.1."