Mr. Rodriguez goes to Washington

Published 10:45 am Monday, May 1, 2023

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Chris Rodriguez will begin his professional career in Washington.

The Kentucky running back was selected in the sixth round as the 193rd overall pick in the NFL Draft, which concluded Saturday. Rodriguez will join former teammate Jamon Davis, who was picked in the first round by Washington in 2021.

“Feels good,” Rodriguez said. “I’m excited. Ready to get to work, man. I mean, it’s one of those moments I waited for my whole life, man. It feels almost unrealistic almost, man. I’m ready to get to it.”

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Along with Davis, he will join Washington running back Antonio Gibson. Both players played prep football in McDonough, Georgia.

“He was a senior when I was a freshman. I looked up to him, kind of. I would say when I was a freshman because when we played him, he was the guy on their team,” he said. “He was one of those guys from my hometown that I followed. I don’t keep in touch with him, but I watch everything he does if he knows it or not.”

Rodriguez added it was surreal to be joining Gibson to begin his professional career.

“Who would’ve thought that I would be playing with him, especially when I was younger watching him destroy us,” he said. “I mean, my team wasn’t that good. They were extremely good, but no, watch him destroy us. Who would’ve ever thought that I would be playing next to him?”

Rodriguez finished his rushing career at Kentucky with 3.644 yards and 32 rushing touchdowns. He ran for 1,379 yards as a junior.

Valentine selected by Green Bay

In the seventh round, the Green Bay Packers chose Kentucky defensive back Carrington Valentine, the 232nd selection in the three-day draft held in Kansas City.

Valentine was a two-year starter for the Wildcats and finished with 119 tackles, two sacks and an interception in his collegiate career.