Kelly still might be a first-round pick

By Jake Trotter Modified: April 26, 2008 at 12:03 am •  Published: April 26, 2008

/> But according to the Post, the Redskins could select Limas Sweed of Texas with their first-round pick instead.

Or they could take Clemson defensive end Phillip Merling, the other player the Redskins visited Thursday, with hopes that Kelly would still be around in the second round.

Kansas City (17th pick), Philadelphia (18), Tampa Bay (20), Dallas (22, 28), Pittsburgh (23), Tennessee (24), Seattle (25) and San Francisco (29) all also have needs at receiver and could have Kelly on top of their boards today.

But whenever Kelly's name is finally called, it will end what has been a turbulent six months dating back to December when he suffered a partial quadriceps tear the week after the Sooners won the Big 12 championship.

That injury kept Kelly out of the Fiesta Bowl and eventually from participating in the NFL Scouting Combine.

Not only that, the NFL Network speculated that several teams were taking Kelly off their draft boards because of concerns of chronic knee pain.

Those rumors intensified so much that Kelly's agent wrote a letter to every NFL team calling those rumors "irresponsible” and "untrue” and enclosed a doctor's letter stating Kelly was healthy.

The culmination of the last sixth months, however, occurred on April 9 at OU's second pro day, when Kelly ran a sub-standard 4.68 40-yard dash. He then publicly criticized OU for moving the testing to FieldTurf from AstroTruf, even though the scouts in attendance had requested the change. He also accused the OU training staff of misdiagnosing the quadriceps injury.

Kelly later apologized for his remarks and re-ran the 40 at OU a week later on the track, which is a faster surface than FieldTurf.

His 40 times, however, weren't any better, leaving his status in doubt with some teams.

Even so, Kelly was a productive player in college, with vice grips for hands and a knack for blazing past defensive backfields.

That might be enough to keep him from dropping out of the first round.

Today, we'll finally find out.

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