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Kelly beats out Randle El, Thomas for Redskins' No. 2 WR job

ASHBURN, Va. -- Malcolm Kelly has won the three-way competition to be the Washington Redskins' No. 2 wide receiver.

Redskins coach Jim Zorn said Wednesday that Kelly earned the job ahead of veteran Antwaan Randle El and fellow second-year pro Devin Thomas.

"He's gone all of training camp really improving along the way," Zorn said. "His overall explosion along the line of scrimmage has been very good."

Kelly was limited by a knee injury as a rookie. The second-round draft pick from Oklahoma played in just five games and caught three passes.

"This is what we've been waiting for," Zorn said. "We wish we would have had what he's doing now last year. I think he's earned the right to get out there and mix it up."

At 6-foot-4, Kelly gives quarterback Jason Campbell a sizable target opposite 5-10 Santana Moss. Randle El, who caught 53 passes for 593 yards and four touchdowns last season, will see action primarily as a slot receiver on passing downs.

The decision ends another disappointing preseason for Thomas, also a second-round pick in 2008. He struggled to master the offense last year and caught just 15 passes, but Zorn considered him to be ahead of Kelly early in training camp.

Zorn said he'll also try to find room for Thomas in Washington's game plan.

"He's shown in preseason he's somebody we want to throw the ball to," the coach said.

Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press

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