You can add Malcolm Kelly to the ever growing list of high draft pick busts, the Washington Redskins have had at the wide receiver position. As you all likely already know, yesterday he was cut.
We’ll talk more about Kelly’s sad situation, but first, consider this: Michael Westbrook might have been one of the better ‘players’ the Redskins have drafted in the last sixteen years, at the position. Who else have the Redskins drafted early since then? Here’s a spoiler: It’s not exactly a who’s-who, of players who will be embronzed in Canton.
Since 1995, the Redskins in addition to Westbrook, also drafted Rod Gardner, Taylor Jacobs, Devin Thomas, and Cliff Russell, all before the fourth round on the NFL draft. All of whom, have done little of anything, to speak of.
But unlike those other players, we never had a chance to really see much of what Kelly could really do. As Mike Shanahan said yesterday, “He looked like he was in excellent shape, but we weren’t able to watch him on the field.”
Malcolm isn’t even 25-years-old yet, and already it seems, his body has broken down.
This season it was a sore foot that prevented Kelly from being able to practice. Last season it was a bad hamstring, during Malcolm’s rookie year, it was knee damage that prevented him from playing eleven games in the season. The injuries are different, but the story remains the same.
As it stands, for a player who certainly had the size, and should have had the talent to play in the NFL, Malcolm only gave us one game where he looked fully succinct with the offense. Where he looked like he had the talent to take his game to the next level during the next season.
I remember it distinctly. It was the last game of the 2009-10 season, and at 4-11, it was not exactly a well kept secret that Jim Zorn was likely coaching his last NFL game. It was also a game in which the Redskins were playing a San Diego Chargers team, that was resting many of their starters, having already clinched a playoff spot.
For the first time ever as a Washington Redskin, Malcolm Kelly, ‘went off.’
Kelly beat Chargers defenders downfield on numerous occasions, out-leaping, and outmuscling defenders in his path, for a monster, 106 yards, five receptions, game. It would be the last game of the 2009-10 season, and the future for Kelly looked bright.
And then it all went away. Life can be a fickle thing, and maybe we shouldn’t be surprised. The career average, after all, for NFL players, is 3.5 years.
But while most players fade obscurely into the background, Malcolm suffered the slings of his bad luck, on the front page of the sports section.
Pragmatically though, Mike Shanahan made the right choice to cut him. We didn’t have to get to this point though, as there were injury concerns about Malcolm, even before he played his first NFL game. (Props to ExtremeSkins posters for being up on that.) As it is, we can chalk this up to being another failed, Vinny Cerrato draft pick.
As the famous NFL refrain goes, ‘next man up.’
Predicted Redskins Regular Season Depth Chart: Wide Receiver
- Santana Moss
- Jabar Gaffney
- Anthony Armstrong
- Leonard Hankerson
- Terrance Austin