Kentucky football running back Chris Rodriguez Jr. drafted No. 193 overall by Washington Commanders


Jack Weaver

Kentucky Wildcats running back Chris Rodriguez Jr. (24) warms up before the No. 7 Kentucky vs. No. 14 Ole Miss football game on Saturday, Oct. 1, 2022, at Vaught Hemingway Stadium in Oxford, Mississippi. Ole Miss won 22-19. Photo by Jack Weaver | Staff

Samantha Money, Assistant Sports Editor

Kentucky football running back Chris Rodriguez Jr. was drafted No. 193 overall, No. 16 in round six, overall by the Washington Commanders in the 2023 NFL Draft on Saturday.

The senior from Georgia spent five seasons at Kentucky where he grew to be one of the SEC’s leading running backs and one of the most decorated running backs in Kentucky program history.

His career total of 3,644 rushing yards is the third most at Kentucky, while his 32 rushing touchdowns and 35 total touchdowns is the second-highest and fourth-highest, respectively, at the university.

The two-time team captain also recorded a school record of 20 100-yard games.

Rodriguez Jr. rushed for 904 yards on 175 attempts this past season, despite missing Kentucky’s first four games due to a suspension in May of 2022.

In the 2021 season, the capabilities of Rodriguez Jr.’s talent truly started to show, as he played his best season at Kentucky, racking up 1,379 total rushing yards for nine touchdowns off of 225 attempts. 

At the NFL Combine, Rodriguez Jr. received a total score of 74, ranking him 12th in comparison to other running backs. He also received a prospect grade of 5.85 via, while being called a “powerful runner” and a “physical blitz protector”

In Rodriguez Jr. ‘s time as a Wildcat, he grew from being the backup running-back to former Cat Asim Rose to helping lead Kentucky to a 10-3 season, bowl game wins and a historical home win over the Florida Gators in 2021 for the first time since 1986.

With his successful college career at Kentucky now in the record books, Rodriguez Jr. will look ahead to the Commanders, where he joins the likes of fellow 2023 Draft picks such as Mississippi State corner Emmanuel Forbes, Illinois corner Jartavius Martin and Arkansas center Ricky Stromberg.