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Skins put two to the test

Apr 24, 2008, 10:29 PM EST

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After months of grading, ranking, interviews, workouts, medical examinations, and meeting, the Washington Redskins’ draft board is no longer on a dry erase board. It’s in permanent ink, or at least it will be after they evaluate the results of today’s workouts with Clemson DE Phillip Merling and Oklahoma WR Malcolm Kelly.

The timing of the Kelly workout is of interest. Merling hasn’t been able to show his stuff since the Tigers’ season ended as he has been recovering from a sports hernia, so multiple teams went to the session in South Carolina.

The workout with Kelly was private, with only the Redskins’ brain trust (a term I use loosely here) in attendance.

That would seem to indicate that the Skins have a very high level of interest in Kelly. To take a contingent that included quarterback Jason Campbell out to Oklahoma 72 hours before the draft starts isn’t something that you do on a lark.

It is kind of odd as this is one of the most publicized “private” workouts ever. The organization wanted to make sure that everyone knew where they were going and why. I think they even took along a beat reporter. Often, the moves you talk about the most are the ones that you are the least likely to make.

It could be a smokescreen, but I don’t think it is. First, that gives Snyder and Cerrato too much credit. Second, it’s a lot of time in effort invested in a ruse considering that they could accomplish the same thing with a well-placed leak to any of the dozens of reporters eager to broadcast any tidbit of draft info that might be fed to them.

That said, I would be surprised if the Redskins drafted Kelly. If they were sold on him, they wouldn’t have gone to see him. Perhaps what they saw blew them away, but I doubt it.

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