Scouting UT: Kelley Washington

Kelley Washington, 6-4, 225, is every bit as good as he says he is, and a likely early first round pick in next spring's NFL Draft. He has the size, strength (420 bench), speed (4.4) and athletic ability to defeat man coverage, which has prompted defenses to double team him.

Despite the extra attention, Kelley Washington has 23 catches for 443 yards in four games, an average of 19.3 yards per catch and 110.8 yards per contest. However he only has one touchdown on the season, and was held to 32 yards on three catches against Georgia, including a couple for minus yardage.

His impact in the Alabama game may depend on who is quarterback. With Casey Clausen at the controls, Tennessee will probably try to hit the short seams and expand the range as protection allows.

Washington is very talented, but he can be contained as LSU managed here in last year's SEC championship game. (GettyImages)

If James Banks is quarterback, he might be able to buy extra time with his mobility and provide Washington opportunity to work deep.

Because of his ability to run and throw the ball, Washington, who was a minor league catcher, is an offensive weapon of the first order. He'll have the strongest arm in Saturday's showdown with Bama, but Tennessee hasn't used him to throw, possibly because no other wide receiver has stepped up as a viable target. Neither has Washington run the ball on reverses nor gotten any reps at quarterback.

Washington has been calling for the ball this week and the Vols staff is likely to comply--not to appease Washington but because he's too good to ignore as an offensive weapon. If you don't believe that just ask him.

Better yet, ask any defensive coordinator in the SEC or scout in the NFL.

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