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Skins’ Kerrigan Named NFL Defensive Rookie for September
The National Football League announced that Washington Redskins linebacker Ryan Kerrigan has been named the NFL Defensive Rookie of the Month for September. He is the first Redskins player to win the award since Chris Horton in September 2008 and the fourth overall to receive the honor (Horton, Fred Smoot in September 2001 and Champ Bailey in October 1999).
Photo – Redskins LB Ryan Kerrigan
Kerrigan was a nominee for Pepsi NFL Rookie of the Week following his Week 1 performance against the New York Giants. In a game played on the 10th anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, Kerrigan totaled five tackles in his regular season debut and returned an interception nine yards for a Redskins’ go-ahead touchdown in the third quarter. He was the first rookie linebacker since 2002 (James Allen, Sept. 8) to score a touchdown on Kickoff Weekend.
For the month, the 16th overall pick of the 2011 NFL Draft registered 13 tackles (five solo), five quarterback pressures, 1.5 sacks, one forced fumble, two passes defended and one interception returned for a touchdown. He has started all three games this season at the left outside linebacker position for the Redskins.
During the Redskins’ Week 2 matchup against the Arizona Cardinals, Kerrigan recorded the first sack of his career and tipped a pass thrown by Kevin Kolb that was intercepted by London Fletcher in the third quarter of the 22-21 victory against the Cardinals. Both of his passes defensed this season have resulted in interceptions, with his first pass defended occurring prior to his own interception off of Giants quarterback Eli Manning in Week 1.
Kerrigan, 22, played four seasons at Purdue, where he appeared in 48 games, starting his final 35 contests. In his collegiate career, Kerrigan totaled 210 tackles, including 57 for loss, 33.5 sacks, 14 forced fumbles, three fumble recoveries, one interception and seven passes defended. The 14 forced fumbles tied the NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) record.
Ryan Kerrigan Scouting Report – Draft Insiders.com Yearbook 2011
Ryan Kerrigan #94 - 6’4’ 265 lbs. - Purdue - Sp. 4.75 /Rating 88
Rugged senior defender had an outstanding close to his career that earned him 1st team Big Ten honors over his last three seasons. Ryan is a strong hard working athlete who has the combination of intangibles and AA to grade out high in all key areas for the position. He has a strong frame with good arm length and keen instincts to use his fine athleticism off the edge. Though he is not quick twitch defender, his first step allows him to gain a consistent advantage on the snap with the technique and functional strength to push the pocket. His combination of power and speed gives him a huge advantage off the snap that enables him to pressure the passer consistently. Over his career, he has been one of the best defenders in the Big Ten and he finished with 35 consecutive starts. He displays the relentless mentality that has allowed him to develop into a fine edge pass rusher, though not the explosive upfield speed rusher of many of the other prospects. He is a tough defender with the power to win vs NFL caliber offensive tackles after facing talented blockers in the Big Ten. He has developed an array of moves that utilize his strong quick hands that gains an early advantage for him to work blockers and counter quickly. Despite his marginal size for the strongside, he has also held up well in run support with good instincts and fine functional strength that allow him to hold the POA well and shed blockers to finish plays. He has shown both speed and power off the edge with the keen instincts to locate the ball and the power to separate from blockers. He can bend the corner well to pressure the passer relying on his strong power hands and technique to gain separation along with his relentless approach to finish each play. He has a strong frame and is a long limbed (333/8”) athlete with a big wingspan that allows him to keep blockers off his body and separate quickly. Over his career, he has filled out athletically and has the strong base to hold the POA well despite a size disadvantage. As a pass rusher, he is a strong athlete with quick hands and feet to win consistently off the edge. He has fast hands and the long arms to quickly separate from blockers that allow him to use his speed off the edge to make sacks. He plays well coming off the edge and moves adequately in space, though he is no experience playing up in a 3-4 defense as an attack backer. He has improved his overall body strength that has helped him hold up better at the POA vs the run. He does use consistently good leverage and keeps him alive on the play, though he struggles holding up vs double team blocks due to his lack of bulk. He is a battler and much more effective with experience to act instinctively to plays. He uses his good speed to pursue and will work from the backside to chase the play and finish well. He is not very flexible and can struggle when asked to redirect in space. He has learned to take on blockers quickly with good diagnostic skills that assist him to read, shed and make tackles. As a pass rusher, he has a fine array of moves including a good hump, rip and swim technique that he improved with experience. With more refinement on his hand usage and shedding blocks, he can continue to develop into a fine two-way defender. He needs to learn to anchor better and play the run with better leverage especially at the POA, though he grades out fairly high in that role. As a senior, he started all 12 games and registered 70 tackles with 26 TFL and 12.5 sacks that earned him Big Ten honors. As a junior, he registered 66 tackles with 18.5 TFL and 13 sacks that earned Big Ten honors. Over his career, he totaled 210 tackles with 57 TFL and 33.5 sacks in 35 starts. At the NFL Combine, he came in at just under 6’4” and 267 lbs. and ran 4.79 time. He did 31 reps with 33.5” VL and 10’2” BJ with 4.39 short shuttle and 7.18 three-cone drills. He compares to Jared Allen in size, intangibles and AA, including playing down in the 4-3 set on the strongside. He resembles Allen in body type, and combination of quickness and power as an edge rusher. He is capable of holding up vs the run inline, stringing out plays and keeping contain on the corner. Blue-collar defender with the fine skill set and upside that carries a mid 1st round grade and top 20 selection off an impressive Senior Bowl week and game. Rising prospect and well developed athlete to make a difference. Seahawks, Eagles and Titans in the hunt.
Draft Projection: 1st Round
Draft Insiders.com publishes an annual Yearbook that has over 3000 in-depth Scouting Reports for the NFL Draft