Sunday, April 27, 2003

3. Kelley Washington, WR, Tennessee

Size, speed make Washington a threat

By Kevin Kelly
The Cincinnati Enquirer

Despite the inconveniences, the long bus rides in the minors and a serious neck injury, Kelley Washington finally got to his destination Saturday.

POSITION: Wide Receiver
SCHOOL: Tennessee
SIZE: 6-2, 223
HOMETOWN: Stephens City, Virginia
CAREER NOTES: Former infielder in the Marlins farm system. Played in 14 games at Tennessee. Led Sherando (Va.) High to Virginia's Class 2A state football championship as a senior.
ROOKIE PROJECTION: Will challenge for starting job at receiver.
The Bengals used their third round pick (65th overall) on the Tennessee wide receiver, filling a need for a big, speedy receiver.

"This young man is a very talented player with great speed up the field and is someone that can stretch a defense as well as work the underneath routes," offensive coordinator Bob Bratkowski said. "He is a very exceptional athlete. We're very excited about having him to complement the other people we have on offense."

A former high school quarterback and infielder in the Marlins minor-league system for four years, Washington was limited to four games for the Vols last season.

He suffered a neck injury in a game against Georgia in October and had neck fusion surgery the following month.

"Ever since it's felt well and strong," Washington said. "I'm ready to get back on the field, go out there and show the nation. I'm very excited about my opportunity and am thankful."

Projected to go as early as the late first round, the neck injury likely played a part in his eventual draft position.

"As we sat up there and reviewed it with the doctors upstairs they felt it was a non-issue at this point and that we were able to go forward," Bratkowski said. "It's not an issue."

Washington still finished third on his team with 23 receptions for 443 yards and one touchdown.

He had caught a team-leading 64 passes for 1,010 yards and five touchdowns in 2001.

"He's an impressive guy," Bengals coach Marvin Lewis said. "As you watch one tape, he's a big guy that can really just flat out run. We felt we need to get a guy that not only could run vertically but also could catch and run after the catch. He's a tremendous athlete."

The combination of speed (4.35 in the 40-yard dash) and size (6-feet-2, 223 pounds) means Washington will be counted on.

Bratkowski said Washington likely would compete for a spot when the Bengals line up with two and three receivers.

"I'm just a physical receiver," Washington said. "I'm a very gritty receiver who can really stretch the defense vertically with my speed. I've also got the size and strength to go underneath. I just feel like I'm an all-around type of receiver."

BENGALS DRAFT ( Complete draft coverage )
Fourth pick Weathersby recovering from gunshot
Bengals all offense on draft's Day 1
Guard Steinbach slips out of first round
Size, speed make WR Washington a threat
Palmer glad fuss is over

Rating the draft: Winners & losers
Draft picks by team | By number
Defensive line dominates first round
Surprise: Browns take center
Ravens, Steelers trade up to fill needs
Three UC players drafted
Five Buckeyes selected
Jets take Colerain grad Askew
Jags get Leftwich; big questions to come
Newman goes to Cowboys
Jets trade up for UK's Robertson
Bad news, good news for Simms

Reds 7, Padres 5
Sunday Box, Runs
Phillies' Millwood no-hits Giants

Reds 7, Padres 6
Photo gallery | Box, Runs
Kearns shows power, promise and poise
Reds E-Mail: Boone genius or time to go?
Reds Chatter
Solid start relieves Graves
Reds Notebook: Wily Mo gets a start
Reds' Minor League Notebook
Toledo 4, Louisville 0
NL: Dodgers finally get big hit
AL: Angels get lift from Shields
Who's Hot & Who's Not

Fan's guide to the Kentucky Derby
Other Derby Week Events
Where else to go in Louisville
Derby Notebook: New owners for Domestic Dispute

Flying Pig gets new start

DAUGHERTY: Let's hope XU reason kids come
What's the motta with Matta?

UC defense bares teeth
Three UC players picked in NFL draft

Lesser-known Buckeyes star in spring game
UK unveils two-headed QB

NBA: Jazz not ready to crown Kings

NHL: Ducks take 2-0 lead on Stars

Cyclones go down 3-0 in series
Vogelgesang cracks PBA top 60
College Update: For NKU, winning starts with pitching
Enquirer Power Rankings
Sports on TV-Radio

Mayo billed as next LeBron
Saturday's High School Results

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