The Washington Redskins selected linebacker Ryan Kerrigan in the first round (No. 16 overall) of the 2011 NFL Draft. The Redskins acquired the 16th and 49th selections from the Jacksonville Jaguars in exchange for the 10th overall choice.
Kerrigan, 22, played four seasons at Purdue, where he appeared in 48 games, starting his final 35 contests. In his career, Kerrigan totaled 210 tackles, including 57 for loss, 33.5 sacks, 14 forced fumbles, three fumble recoveries, one interception and seven passes defensed. The 14 forced fumbles tied the NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) record.
As a senior in 2010, Kerrigan became the first unanimous All-American at Purdue since 1980. In addition, he was the team co-captain, Defensive Most Valuable Player, first-team All-Big Ten, Academic All-Big Ten, Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year, Ted Hendricks Award (nation’s outstanding defensive end) runner-up, and a semifinalist for the Chuck Bednarik Award, Rotary Lombardi Award and Ronnie Lott IMPACT Trophy.
On the season, Kerrigan (6-4, 263) led the FBS in tackles for loss (26), tied for second in forced fumbles (5) and third in sacks (12.5), leading the Big Ten in all three categories. He also contributed a career-high 70 tackles and two fumble recoveries.
In 2009, Kerrigan started all 12 games, leading the Big Ten and finishing third in the nation with 13 sacks. His seven forced fumbles led the nation and tied the school season-record, one shy of the Big Ten’s annual mark. Kerrigan also recorded 66 tackles, including 18.5 for loss, one fumble recovery and two passes defensed. Following the campaign, Kerrigan was chosen as a second-team All-America choice by The NFL Draft Report and Rivals.com as well as an Academic All-American, Purdue’s Defensive Most Valuable Player and recipient of the Boilermakers’ Pit Bull Award – Defense (given for exemplified and sustained tenacity and intense play).
As a sophomore in 2008, Kerrigan was voted All-Big Ten Conference honorable mention by the league’s media and added Academic All-Big Ten accolades. He appeared in all 12 games, starting his final 11 contests, and ranked fourth on the team with 56 tackles, including a team-leading 11.5 for loss. Kerrigan led the Boilermakers and placed seventh in the conference with seven sacks and also recorded two forced fumbles, one interception and four passes defensed.
Kerrigan appeared in 12 games as a freshman in 2007, recording 18 tackles and one sack.
A native of Muncie, Ind., Kerrigan attended the city’s Central High School, where he was a two-time first-team all-state selection. Patrick Ryan Kerrigan was born Aug. 16, 1988.
Other Notes on Kerrigan
Kerrigan is the 24th player selected by the Redskins in the first round since the common draft began in 1967.
Kerrigan is the third player from Purdue the Redskins have drafted since 1967, joining center Mark Fischer (1998, fifth round) and running back Mike Northington (1977, ninth round).
Kerrigan is the 42nd player from the Big Ten Conference the Redskins have drafted since 1967 and the first since wide receiver Devin Thomas in 2008 (second round).
Kerrigan is the fifth player from the Big Ten the Redskins have selected in the first round, joining Penn State’s LaVar Arrington (2000) and Andre Johnson (1996), Michigan’s Desmond Howard (1992) and Michigan State’s Bobby Wilson (1991).
Kerrigan is the third Boilermaker selected in the first round in the last five drafts, joining Jets tight end Dustin Keller (2008, No. 30 overall) and Cowboys linebacker Anthony Spencer (2007, No. 26 overall). Prior to that, Purdue’s last first-round selection was Pro Football Hall of Famer Rod Woodson in 1987 (Steelers, No. 10 overall). A total of 14 Boilermakers have been selected in the first round since 1967.
Kerrigan is the fourth player who played his high school football in Indiana drafted by the Redskins since 1967. The other three were defensive back Jamel Williams (1997, fifth round), tight end Jamie Asher (1995, third round), and center Matt Elliott (1992, 12th round).
Notable Quotes on the Kerrigan Selection
Executive Vice President/Head Coach Mike Shanahan
“When we take a look at Ryan we felt like we got a football player that can obviously play the outside linebacker position, opposite Brian [Orakpo]. I think he brings a lot to the table. He plays the run extremely well, obviously a converted defensive end that when you look at him we think he fits into our system extremely well, not only being able to the run, but the pass. Blue-collar player, plays extremely hard, did a lot of great things through his career and we are surely glad he is part of the Redskins.”
“One of the things that I was first impressed with, besides watching him play the game, was some of the drill work he did over in [Indianapolis]. A lot of times when you take a defensive end who has been in the three-point stance most of his career, playing a seven or nine technique or sometimes a six technique, and you have them do linebacker related drills it takes them a while to get going. I thought he was very athletic, very agile and we think he can make the conversion fairly quickly and hopefully painless.”
On his interview with Kerrigan:
“He’s a very smart guy. You can see that he picks up the game extremely well. He’s very intelligent. Anytime you talk to a defensive end about the linebacker position you go through your defensive scheme, adjustments, secondary coverages. A defensive end picks it up very quickly without playing the position, you know he’s got some football intelligence. He’s been that type of guy. He’s a very smart guy, academic all-American. He’s what we are looking for and hopefully he plays accordingly.”
“... we needed something opposite [Brian Orakpo] on the other side to put some pressure. We felt like any time you can slide to a guy like Brian, you would like to have another dominating pass rusher on the other side. We think Ryan gives us that ability to beat tight ends, to beat backs, to obviously beat tackles. He’s played against everything. He’s just a guy that plays extremely hard. A lot of the time he does it on second effort; sometimes he does it with power. We just liked him as a football player and we think he’ll fit in well.”
How Kerrigan Feels About Being A Redskin
“It felt awesome. You know, to hear coach Shanahan call and congratulate me on becoming a Redskin. You know, I’ll never forget that moment and I’m glad to be a part of a great organization. I had an idea about being selected. I had a good couple of visits with them and really like what they are doing with their defensive scheme and thought I fit very well there, so I’m very excited to be a part of the Redskins team.”
Kerrigan on Kerrigan: “I think I am someone who is versatile. I’m good against the run, I’m good against pass. I feel like I’m someone who is athletic and can make plays.”
The Redskins also drafted Miami’s Leonard Hankerson in third round (79th overall). With Santana Moss a free agent, the Hankerson selection could prove to be a wise one.
On the quarterback topic, still no word, but coach Shanahan says they have a plan. "We have a lot of different directions we could go," he explained. "I can't share it with you for obvious reasons. But we do have a plan."
The Redskins still have John Beck and Rex Grossman on the roster, as well as #5. At least for now.
Redskins Draft History