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Redskins Opt for Defense, Select Kerrigan

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Getty Images
    Ryan Kerrigan tackles quarterback Dan LeFevour, of the Central Michigan in a game on Sept. 20, 2008, in West Lafayette, Ind.

    Many believed what the Washington Redskins needed more in the NFL draft than the No. 10 pick was more picks overall -- including coach Mike Shanahan. So it wasn’t a surprise that the team traded down Thursday night.

    The Skins sent their first pick to the Jacksonville Jaguars in exchange for the No. 16 pick and the No. 49 pick in the second round. Washington also has the 41st pick in the second round.

    With the No. 16 pick, the Redskins selected Purdue defensive end Ryan Kerrigan for their 3-4 defense. Kerrigan likely will be used as an outside linebacker opposite Brian Orakpo.

    What are Kerrigan's strengths?  We turn to his NFL.com combine page for the answer:

    "Kerrigan has good size and speed. Explodes off the line and plays with sound leverage to get under offensive tackles. Persistent pass rusher with great closing burst that has a knack for making strip sacks. Reads quickly and has a strong lower half which makes him stout against the run. Very productive. "

    Sounds good.  But what about his weaknesses?

    "Lacks the elite burst and speed to consistently get around the edge. Does not show an adequate repertoire of pass rushing counter moves. Struggles at times to make plays in space. Lacks experience on his feet as an outside linebacker."

    Any way you look at it, this has to be an upgrade for a Redskins' defense that ranked 31st in the league last year.

    The Redskins have many holes to fill, and they began the draft without any selections in the
    third and fourth rounds.

    Jacksonville selected Missouri quarterback Blaine Gabbert at No. 10.