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Redskins nab hell-on-wheels Kerrigan

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Recent posts by Eric Edholm

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Posted April 28, 2011 @ 11:31 p.m. ET
By Eric Edholm

I am about to praise the Redskins for their — wait for it — patience. Really.

The rumors you heard about them trading up to No. 2? Never were true. They had Blaine Gabbert in their laps. They passed. Good for them.

Allow me to explain …

For years we have chided the Redskins for their wanton disregard for the value of draft picks and for aimlessly chasing big-name players in the draft and free agency. Save for one year in the past decade or so, they have been short of picks heading into the draft, and every year we heard the same refrain: "We'd love to add picks."

And it never really happened. Patience never was their virtue.

Exit Vinny Cerrato. Enter Mike Shanahan.

The landscape has changed. Shanahan knows exactly what he wants in a quarterback, and Gabbert wasn't a great fit. Had the kid lasted to No. 16, who knows? Maybe then. But the option to add a second-rounder and slide down to get a quality pass rusher and instant fan favorite in Ryan Kerrigan? Gold.

The Redskins have taken a lot of high-risk, high-reward players over the years. Many have flamed out. Kerrigan is not this kind of player. You pretty much know exactly what you are getting, although there is some mystery as to how he'll perform as a stand-up linebacker in a 3-4 scheme.

He's not an elite athlete, but he has a history of collecting sacks and forced fumbles in bunches, and defensive coordinator Jim Haslett craves this kind of disruptor. Brian Orakpo will be happy — no more constant double-teaming.

Could they have used a nose tackle? Yeah, but that guy wasn't worth taking at No. 16. You don't want a Phil Taylor in this kind of gap-splitting style of 3-4 defense.

Kerrigan's motor is already going. He'll step in and compete from Day One. He has a little Mike Vrabel in him. There is a lot to like about this pick. And let's just say that a lot of teams picking soon after the Redskins were not happy when this one went down.

Good pick. Redskins fans will love this guy. And consider this: They'll have an extra pick to enjoy! Maybe it will be a quarterback Shanahan really likes. It's a brave new world the Redskins are in.

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