Rodriguez believes he has found perfect NFL home in Washington D.C.

Published 4:11 pm Monday, May 15, 2023

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Kentucky running back Chris Rodriguez talked to several NFL teams during the draft process, including the Washington Commanders, but still had no idea it would be the Commanders who drafted him in the seventh round.

“They love to run the ball. They have big physical backs and I feel I can fit in well,” Rodriguez said. “Whatever it takes, even if it is special teams. Maybe I can be the missing piece and fit in as needed.”

He came back to Kentucky for the 2022 season to improve his pass protection, He said playing for offensive coordinators Liam Coen and then Rich Scangarello he learned a lot because they “preached the same things but in different ways” to him.

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“Pass protection is one of those things that kind of helped me (with the draft),” he said. “I feel like it will come easy to me once I get there (Washington).”

Former UK all-SEC defensive back Van Hiles played for the Chicago Bears when current Washington coach Ron Rivera was an analyst with the team. Hiles likes Rodriguez’s chance to succeed with the Commanders.

“He (Rivera) is a great man and great coach for C-Rod. Coach is all about a running back going downhill and that is C-Rod’s forte. He has a great shot at making that team,” Hiles said.
Rodriguez had watched Kentucky quarterback Will Levis drop from a likely first-round draft pick to the second pick in round two by Tennessee. He said he “understood” how the draft process worked and had no idea when he would be drafted or by who.

“It’s just a waiting game,” Rodriguez said. “For Will, and I don’t want to get into details, but I think he ended up where he was supposed to. God has a plan for him and where he went he is going to shine.”