Alright, I admit it. I was not doing cartwheels when the Redskins drafted Oklahoma wide receiver Malcolm Kelly with their third second-round pick in the 2008 NFL draft. In fact, in this very blog, I believe I compared him to Rod “Stone Hands” Gardner. This is the part where I’ll say that I possibly overreacted after hearing one too many stories about his less-than-stellar workouts and the comments made immediately following those workouts just before the draft. If he had never ran the 40-yard dash, and therefore never been labeled a problem child for his comments pertaining to those workouts, then all I would have had to go off of were some sweet highlights from his college days. He’s got a big body, he made some big-time catches for a big-time program and he has speed when it counts during gametime.
Compounding matters, one of the guys who I respect from the Redskins organization told me he’s dealt with Malcolm Kelly a couple times since he arrived in town and has been nothing but a pleasure to be around. So that settled it, if I only talked to one rookie on day one of the Redskins 2008 minicamp, I wanted to it to be Kelly. I wanted to get a feel for this kid and see for myself what he’s made of.
Right away he talked about getting the “day one jitters out” and came across completely humble. He also admitted that he’s going to have to concentrate more on running precise routes, because coaches at this level notice every single misstep you make. He ended the interview by promising me he’s going to “play hard every play, and never take a play off.” If you’d like to hear for yourself, here is the link for the full audio.
(photo by Brian Murphy)