Patrick Ewing, for whom there was no suspense in yesterday's National Basketball Association draft, watched his future unfold in New York, where he is expected to become a franchise player for the Knicks. That was not the case for the rest of the Washington-area players selected.

Maryland's Adrian Branch watched the first-round selections on television at his home in Largo, and was so exhausted by the ordeal that he took a late afternoon nap once he knew the Chicago Bulls had selected him in the second round, the 46th pick overall.

"It was pretty tense," said Branch, one of three 1981 DeMatha High School graduates to have been selected. "I was trying to relax, but there was so much anticipation. I watched a little on TV, but I got so tense I had to stop watching. I went outside and sat on a car. My parents gave me the feedback."

The other DeMatha graduates were Richmond's Kelvin Johnson and Harvard's Bob Ferry, the elder son of Bullets General Manager Bob Ferry. Johnson, a 6-2 guard, was picked in the fifth round, 94th overall, by Indiana, and Ferry, a 6-4 guard, was picked in the seventh round, 146th overall, by Atlanta.

Georgetown forward Bill Martin was the first local player after Ewing to be selected, going to Indiana as the second player chosen in the second round, the 26th pick overall. He was unavailable for comment.

One player overlooked in the draft was George Mason's 6-5 swing man, Carlos Yates, the all-time collegiate scoring leader in the Washington area and in the state of Virginia.

Yates, who scored 2,420 points in his four-year career and ranks 29th among the all-time NCAA scoring leaders, had played at Flint Hill Academy before starring for the Fairfax college.

Branch was one of three local college players selected by the Bulls, along with George Washington center Mike Brown in the third round, the 69th pick overall, and Branch's teammate, Jeff Adkins, in the seventh round, the 149th selection.

Brown watched the draft at the Felt Forum, but without Ewing's sense of security.

"I was there so I knew right away," said Brown by telephone from his home in East Orange, N.J. "It was an experience, I'll say that, just to be a part of it while it was happening. I had no idea whatsoever. It was a total surprise to me."

Branch said he had no team preference, although he had visited Indiana. "I didn't want to get locked into one team," he said. He added he looked forward to joining swing man Michael Jordan, the NBA's spectacular rookie of the year.

"He's a great player," Branch said. "He draws a lot of attention. If I can help take some of the pressure off him, I will. I'm just going up there to do my best. They're an up-and-coming team."

Brown said he might have liked to play in the New York area. But he is a friend of Jordan's, and will have some company in Branch.

Ewing, who discovered at the May 12 lottery that he would be the Knicks' pick, found it hard to muster any new responses yesterday.

"I feel great, very happy that New York chose me," he said. "I'm just happy to get it over with. I'm just going to go out and play as hard as I can to help the team win."

Others with Washington-area affiliations selected: Virginia Tech's Perry Young (Mount Hebron High) by Portland, Rutgers' John Battle (McKinley Tech) by Atlanta, Providence's Ray Knight (St. Anthony's) by Milwaukee and Bucknell's Jaye Andrews (Landon) by Philadelphia.

Forward Jim Miller of the University of Virginia was drafted by Utah in the sixth round, the 129th pick overall.