Kelly still might be a first-round pick

By Jake Trotter Modified: April 26, 2008 at 12:03 am •  Published: April 26, 2008
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NORMAN — During the Red River Shootout, Malcolm Kelly demonstrated his game speed, sweeping past a Texas cornerback and free safety for an uncontested 35-yard touchdown reception.

Throughout his college career, the former Oklahoma wide receiver repeatedly coasted past defensive backfields for wide-open catches.

For that reason, many NFL analysts at one point considered Kelly the top receiver available in the draft.

But in April, when it came time to run in a straight line without pads in front of scouts, Kelly's wheels hit the brakes.

Today, during the first two rounds of the NFL Draft, Kelly will find out how his disappointing 40-yard dash times — combined with the rumors about the health of his knees and the accusations he made toward OU that made their way onto to ESPN and everywhere else — affect when he is selected.

This much is sure — Kelly, once considered a possible top-10 selection, has watched his stock fall over the last two months.

The question is, how far?

Perhaps not very.

Even though it appears that the Buffalo Bills will go in a different direction with their 11th overall pick, possibly selecting Michigan State receiver Devin Thomas, Kelly still has suitors considering him for the first round.

A Washington Redskins contingent, which included quarterback Jason Campbell, owner Daniel Snyder and head coach Jim Zorn, visited Norman on Thursday to put Kelly through a private workout with Campbell throwing passes to him.

The Redskins, who have the No. 21 pick — and who, according to The Washington Post, are looking to add a high-profile weapon for Campbell — could take Kelly in the first round.

The Redskins have tried to package that draft pick to acquire disgruntled Cincinnati Bengals wideout Chad Johnson, but they have failed to make a deal for him or for Arizona Cardinals receiver Anquan Boldin.

Since Washington's two starting receivers, Santana Moss and Antwaan Randle El, are 5-foot-10, taking someone like Kelly, who's 6-4, 229 pounds, makes sense for a franchise that is transitioning to the West Coast offense.

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