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Mike Shanahan (And Others) React To The Ryan Kerrigan Pick

Posted by Matt Terl on April 28, 2011 – 11:32 pm

On Wednesday, I wrote a little bit about the inherent pointlessness of pre-draft press conferences, primarily on the grounds that no one in their right mind is going to reveal anything about their top-secret plan. Well, post-draft press conferences are only slightly less pointless; that’s when you find out how absolutely everything went according to the top-secret plan.

With that caveat out of the way, Mike Shanahan did seem legitimately pleased with his first round of this evening’s draft — not only the pick, but also the results of the trade back. “We felt very fortunate,” Shanahan said. “It doesn’t always work out that way. Obviously jacksonville wanted a quarterback; it was a perfect scenario for us.”

Part of that perfection came from the fact that Kerrigan was a player the Redskins had been interested in. He impressed the coach in his visit to Redskins Park, and fills a definite need on the team.

“You take a look at Ryan, we felt like we’ve got a football player that obviously can play the outside linebacker position opposite Brian [Orakpo],” Shanahan said. “We think he brings a lot to the table. He plays the run extremely well.”

Much of the frustration I’ve seen on Twitter stems from the fact that the Redskins passed on Blaine Gabbert, who appeared to have fallen into their laps at 10. Shanahan dismissed that question simply: “We felt we had more needs right now,” he said.

So the coach is happy, because all the machinations worked to perfection. (Just like they did for all 31 other teams, I’m sure.) But the Internet (as a whole) wasn’t trying to convince anyone that its master plan had been followed, and its response was pretty favorable as well. Here are a few of the notable reactions.

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Ryan Kerrigan's Basketball Past

Posted by Matt Terl on April 28, 2011 – 11:05 pm

That’s a much younger version of new Redskins draft choice Ryan Kerrigan staring out of that Scout.com picture, dressed in his football uniform for Muncie Central High School in Indiana.

Like so many other high schools in Indiana, Muncie’s got a storied basketball program, and Kerrigan — a two-sport athlete there — was actually on the team that got crushed by Greg Oden’s Lawrence North squad in the 2006 Class 4A State Championship. He didn’t do much that game — pulled down one rebound in one minute of play, according to the box score — but that’s pretty much how he remembers his whole basketball career.

“I blocked shots and dunked,” Kerrigan told Dennis Dodd of CBSSports.com in a profile from late last year. “That’s about all I could do.”

That would be the entirety of the footnote about Kerrigan’s high school basketball exploits — well, that and the corollary note that Muncie Central was the real-life team that inspired the state championship opponent in the movie Hoosiers — except for one other thing:

Talking with Pat Kirwan and Jim Miller of Sirius NFL Radio in the run-up to the Draft, Patriots coach Bill Belichick was asked about Kerrigan in the context of his conversion from basketball player. Greg Bedard transcribed the interview on Boston.com:

When I found out Ryan Kerrigan was a really good high school basketball player, that intrigued me that he could make that kind of conversion…

Well you know Purdue doesn’t drop him a lot into coverage but they do it some and you can definitely see it. They’ve had a really good history with those outside rushers with Ray Edwards and Rosevelt Colvin. Of course we had Colvin and now (Rob) Ninkovich and Kerrigan coming out. So it’s been a very good, productive position for Purdue and they’ve had them every year it seems like and certainly Kerrigan looks like he’s another one that’s going to be part of that legacy. It’s an interesting position and one that that school has had a lot of success with.

If three-time NFL Coach Of The Year Bill Belichick thinks some basketball experience is a positive — and that Kerrigan is part of a strong pass-rushing tradition — I’m certainly not going to argue.

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Ryan Kerrigan And Chris Cooley At The Draft [UPDATED]

Posted by Matt Terl on April 28, 2011 – 10:08 pm

Via @NFLPRguy Brian McCarthy, here’s newly-drafted Redskins LB Ryan Kerrigan with grizzled veteran Chris Cooley. Cooley is six years older than his new teammate.

UPDATE: When he called in for a conference call with D.C. media, Kerrigan was asked about his meeting with Cooley.

His response was pretty matter-of-fact, but it’s worth transcribing anyhow: “I did, I met Chris Cooley,” he said. “I’m really excited to be his teammate.”

It was suggested that Cooley might have given Kerrigan a little bit of a hard time as some early rookie hazing, but he brushed off that suggestion as well. “Not really,” he said. “He was kinda disappointed I cut my hair, but that’s about it.”

So, of course, someone had to ask why he HAD cut his hair. And that answer was pretty matter-of-fact as well. “Y’know, It was just time,” Kerrigan said, chuckling. “There comes a time where you’ve just gotta part with some things and the hair was that for me. It was too long and it’s nice not to have something hanging in your face all day long. I mean, I loved the long hair, but I’m glad it’s gone.”

There’s a higher-res picture over on Cooley’s SportsBuzz page. Read more »

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Redskins Select Ryan Kerrigan, LB From Purdue

Posted by Matt Terl on April 28, 2011 – 9:42 pm

With the sixteenth pick in the first round, the Redskins select linebacker Ryan Kerrigan out of Purdue. We’ll hear from Kerrigan shortly, but here’s a quick scouting report on him from The Sports Xchange at CBS Sports:

03/28/2011 – Best of defensive line prospects: Ryan Kerrigan, Purdue, 6-4, 267, 1…Kerrigan is working hard to shed the label of being an effort player. He clearly opened some eyes with a 4.67 40 at the combine, faster than any of the first-round end prospects who ran in Indy other than Quinn (4.62). It was impressive enough to draw 23 scouts to Purdue’s pro day, where Kerrigan went through end and linebacker drills as some 3-4 teams are giving him a stronger look. He’s already an excellent pass rusher with a nose for creating turnovers. Kerrigan leaves Purdue with 33?? sacks, 57 tackles for loss and a Big Ten-record 14 career forced fumbles. – Derek Harper & Jeff Reynolds, The Sports Xchange

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Redskins Trade Back

Posted by Matt Terl on April 28, 2011 – 9:00 pm

The Redskins have traded back in the first round with Jacksonville. Receive pick 16 (first round) and 49 (second round) in exchange for the tenth. Missed out of Blaine Gabbert, who went to the Jaguars.

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Chris Cooley, Draft Analyst

Posted by Matt Terl on April 28, 2011 – 8:44 pm


Perhaps “analyst” is the wrong word, but … well, he’s at the Draft and he’s talking to CSNWashington.com. Read more »

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51 Of The 125 Most-Updated Mock Drafts Were Wrong

Posted by Matt Terl on April 28, 2011 – 8:37 pm

According to DC Pro Sports Report’s final mock draft munch, 51 of the 125 most-updated mock drafts had Julio Jones going to the Redskins at 10. Ooops. Guess they didn’t account for Atlanta giving up two firsts and two seconds to get him at number 6. Read more »

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Cam Newton To Panthers Makes Me One For One

Posted by Matt Terl on April 28, 2011 – 8:06 pm

[UPDATE: So much for that. Von Miller busts my bracket at #2. It was a fun streak while it lasted.]

I only did one mock draft, and only the top ten picks of that. I am currently one for one, and I owe it all to Peter King. Here was my reasoning at the time:

Similar to my feeling on the Dallas running backs, my feelings about Cam Newton going first overall crystallized when I read what Peter King had to say about the pick in today’s Monday Morning Quarterback column. “Someone in the top five is going to fall in love with Newton and take him,” King writes. “Carolina? Can’t see it, not with arch-conservative Jerry Richardson having to sign off on it and GM Marty Hurney, who still likes Jimmy Clausen, having to bypass a more sure thing defensively in favor of a quarterback.” Once I read that, I pencilled in Newton to the Panthers and never looked back.

Sounded good then, worked out in the end.

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The Redskins Table On The Draft Floor

Posted by Matt Terl on April 28, 2011 – 6:00 pm

This is the team’s table on the draft floor at Radio City Music Hall. In just two more hours, this will be a lively hub of activity and all of this conversation will turn from speculative to practical. For now, we wait just a little bit longer.

One more picture below. Read more »

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What Brian Baldinger Got From Yesterday’s Presser

Posted by Matt Terl on April 28, 2011 – 3:33 pm

When I wrote about Mike Shanahan’s press conference yesterday, I implied that he didn’t say very much. In fact, I directly referred to an “abject lack of information,” which I suppose goes beyond implying. But perhaps I was a bit hasty in that assessment; Brian Baldinger would certainly think so. The NFL Network analyst (and former offensive lineman) is doing live pre-draft hits from a room here in Redskins Park, and I talked to him in the downtime between his on-air appearances about what he learned from listening to the coach yesterday.

A couple of fair points, I suppose — always assuming that the coach was being forthright in his statements. The thing about the safeties sounds legit, at least. (I also wound up hypnotized by Baldinger’s messed up pinky finger. Seeing it on TV is no preparation for the reality of it.) Read more »

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