Grading Mike Shanahan's draft classes with the Redskins

Redskins Finding First Round Gold, But Still Need Late Round Help

Kerrigan has recorded 16 sacks combined in two seasons -- good but not great. If nothing else, he'll be a solid long-term starter. The rest As of now, only two other players could end up being starters -- Jenkins and Hankerson. Jenkins started 15 games this past season for injured Adam Carriker, who, when healthy, will start. Hankerson improved last year, but can he wrestle the starting job away from Joshua Morgan? Hankerson needs to be more consistent, but he has a chance. Several could be key backups: Helu (if healthy) and Royster in the backfield as well as Gomes (good on special teams) and Paul (key special teamer who must improve on offense). Rating: B Eight players from this class have played in at least 16 games through two years. This class has helped the depth; this is a key year for several players.

Ryan Kerrigan hangs with the Caps

Instead, the Redskins appear to be in no rush to rework Orakpos contract. Nor do they need to be. Washington is currently projected to be somewhere around $30 million under the salary cap for next year, so even if this situation ends with the franchise tag being used on Orakpo (that price was $9.619 million for linebackers in 2013), there ought to be enough wiggle room for the remainder of the roster. Its also safe to assume that the Redskins want to see Orakpo prove he is healthy before handing him a massive contract. The pectoral injury that sidelined him last season first popped up late in 2011, meaning that Orakpo has not been 100 percent for an extended period of time.

Lorenzo Alexander, Ryan Kerrigan reflect on first Pro Bowl appearance

He also experienced success despite missing a significant stretch of his rookie training camp after spraining his knee during the very first practice . But a quality work ethic, high intelligence level and impressive strength all enabled him to overcome the early obstacles. For a rookie to walk in with no OTAs, no minicamp and walk in, have two weeks practice, start a NFL game and cover the way he did. To do what he did sack-wise and get an interception for a touchdown is pretty impressive, defensive coordinator Jim Haslett said. But the coach wants and needs more now. I would like to have him step up, Haslett said. When you lose one of your edge rushers, the other guy has to step up and get in that double-digit sack range and get a little bit more pressure. Kerrigan aims to deliver. With a full season and offseason under his belt, he is at ease in the Redskins system and says he now thinks and feels like a linebacker, rather than a defensive end trying to play linebacker. He still is looking for improved consistency, however. Although Kerrigan had a sack in each of his past two games, he expressed disappointment with his run defense.

Redskins Ryan Kerrigan wants to prove hes full of good days with Brian Orakpo sidelined

Purdue fans are invited to join Boilermaker football great, Ryan Kerrigan, on May 3 for a golf event that will help raise funds for scholarships. April 9, 2013 Ryan Kerrigan/12th Boiler Golf Outing Purdue fans are invited to join Boilermaker football great, Ryan Kerrigan , on May 3 for a golf event that will help raise funds for scholarships. Kerrigan, a 2010 unanimous All-American for Purdue at defensive end and a member of this year's NFL Pro Bowl team as a linebacker with the Washington Redskins, will play a major role in the Ryan Kerrigan/12th Boiler Golf Outing that Friday at the Ackerman Hills Course of the Birck Boilermaker Golf Complex in West Lafayette. Purdue's Trademark Licensing Office, in conjunction with the National Football Ryan Kerrigan Youth Jersey Foundation's Joe Tiller Chapter of Northwest Indiana, is sponsoring the scramble event for the fifth straight year. Many of the participants will be vendors, retailers and licensees of the University, but there will is plenty of spaces available for the general public to take part. Cost is $165 per adult player, covering box lunch, golf cart and 18 holes of golf plus reception and dinner at Bruno's Restaurant after golf. Price for college-age students is $125 each. In addition to Kerrigan, who was the Big Ten's Defensive Player of the Year in 2010 and a first-round draft choice of the Redskins, several other Purdue celebrities will play in the event, including former Purdue and NFL greats Leroy Keyes and Rosevelt Colvin. Proceeds will be split between the 12th Boiler Scholarship Fund, which endows a football scholarship in Purdue Athletics, and the NFF Scholarship Fund, which helps high school students who are headed into their first year of college.

Photo via the Caps. While the Capitals were busy scoring a touchdown of their own, Washington Redskins linebacker Ryan Kerrigan took in the game, then paid a visit to the locker room for a meet and greet with the players. Though its not uncommon for D.C. athletes from different sports to support each other at games, this wont be a one-time thingfor Kerrigan. Ive been a lot this year, he said, asCaps players introduced themselves, including Eric Fehr, who talked at length with him about football. Kerrigan was shown on the big screen during the game, and fans shouldnt be surprised if they see more of him.When told of former teammate Chris Cooleys shenanigans at the Caps games, like coming down to the locker room and interviewing players , hanging out in the press box, or racing Fred Davis on tricycles , Kerrigan was amused. That sounds about right, he said, smiling.Thats gonna be my thing. Ben Sumner works in the Posts IT department and writes for Capitals Outsider .

Contract-Year Player to Watch: Brian Orakpo

NFL statisticians credited him with 139 tackles, the sixth-most among NFC linebackers. Fletcher, 37, played through a sprained left ankle for almost all of the season-ending seven-game winning streak. He has been an alternate for each of his Pro Bowl appearances. Kerrigan in his second NFL season led the Redskins with 8.5 sacks. He also had an interception, which he returned 28 yards for a touchdown.

Purdue's Russell driven by Den tradition

For further proof of the lack of correlation of hitting on a first-rounder to the teams record during his rookie season or vice-versa, Washington had a winning record in all but two years from 1969-79 (going 6-8 in 1970 and 8-8 in 1978) without having a first-round pick. The Redskins then chose Hall of Famer Art Monk in 1980 but went 6-10. They were 14-2 in Hall of Famer Darrell Greens rookie year, 1983, but that was the only season from 1981-90 that they used a first-rounder while posting eight winning records, an 8-8 season and a 7-9 finish. Washington whiffed on defensive tackle Bobby Wilson in 1991 but won the Super Bowl. Receiver/return man Desmond Howard (1992) failed with the Redskins even during his playoff-bound rookie season but made a Pro Bowl with Detroit eight years later.

Ryan Kerrigan/12th Boiler Golf Outing Info

Chad Greenway from Green Bay was cool. Getting to know Earl Thomas from Seattle was good. That secondary in Seattle gets a bad rap, but he was actually a real cool guy. Kerrigan agreed with Alexanders assessment. It was an awesome week because you get to know guys, the second-year pro said. You see them on TV all the time, but you dont really know them. Just getting to hang out by the pool, and talk to them, and see everybodys just real humble, and just like you, it was pretty cool. Kerrigan said he was most impressed with how normal Peyton Manning was. You see him on TV, doing all these commercials, and you actually talk to him and see, Wow, hes a regular guy, just like me. Alexander wound up playing extensively at inside linebacker as well as on special teams. He said it became apparent early in the week that he would get a chance to play on defense as well. He made the most of the opportunity by leading the NFC with five tackles.

Redskins must bring pass rush back to life

With the fear of Orakpo removed, teams were able to commit those extra blockers to Kerrigan all season long. Though he flashed his playmaking ability, the Redskins didn't get the consistent, week-to-week quarterback pressure on which their defense is designed to rely. Washington finished the 2012 season with 32 sacks, more than only eight other teams in the league. The Redskins' pass defense ranked 30th in the NFL for the season, and during the seven-game win streak that delivered the division title it relied on the ability of the coaches and defensive backs to design and adjust to game plans that would change from week to week or even, sometimes, from quarter to quarter. They were able to play well enough against the pass to win games, though they all admit they would rather give up fewer yards this season through the air than 4,511.

Linebackers Ryan Kerrigan, London Fletcher headed to Pro Bowl courtesy of 49ers' win

"Ryan Kerrigan was one of the strongest people I've ever met," Russell said, "so when that's the standard with the Big Ten, Purdue defensive linemen and defensive ends, we definitely and myself personally have a long way to go." Kerrigan led the country in tackles for loss (26) in 2010, finished third in sacks (12.5) and tied for second in forced fumbles (5). Russell observed firsthand the relentless motor that drove the Boilers' star. When one pass-rush move didn't work, Kerrigan would simply move to the next and the next until the whistle blew. "Pass-rushing a lot of the time is a mentality, going 110 percent, outworking somebody all the time, every play," Russell said. "[Defensive line coach Rubin Carter] always says, 'If you're not going to make the play, they will.' So just always having that mentality that youre going to get there is a big thing. "Your get-off and your motor is the engine that runs the train." Russell is taking well to the new staff, the faster practice pace and the new defensive scheme under Hudson. He has worked extensively with Carter, a former longtime NFL assistant, on using his hands more effectively to fend off offensive linemen. Hudson, who last season had a front-row seat for one of the nation's best defensive lines as a Florida State defensive assistant, shapes his system around Russell and the other down linemen. "We will do things to turn him loose," Hudson said. "We cater to the D-line.