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

Purdue’s Russell driven by Den tradition

Left tackle Trent Williams (2010) and quarterback Robert Griffin III (2012) were also chosen for this years game although neither played. Williams was slightly injured in a dispute in a Honolulu nightclub last Friday and Griffin is recovering from knee surgery on Jan. 9. Outside linebacker Brian Orakpo, Washingtons first-rounder in 2009, was picked for the Pro Bowl in 2009 and 2010. The Redskins didnt have first-round selections in 2008 or 2006, but cornerback Carlos Rogers, the first of their first-rounders in 2005, went to the Pro Bowl last year with the 49ers. That makes quarterback Jason Campbell, chosen after Rogers in the first round in 2005, the last Washington first-rounder not to have made a Pro Bowl. Late free safety Sean Taylor (2004) was chosen in 2006 and 2007.

Grading Mike Shanahan’s draft classes with the Redskins

His speed and lower-body strength are in good shape, and he has fully recovered from knee and ankle injuries, but his upper body “isnt really where I would like it to be.” After practicing alongside Kerrigan as a true freshman in 2010, Russell understands the gains he needs to make. “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.

Ryan Kerrigan hangs with the Caps

At the end of the season, he finished a proven veteran. Griffin not only led the Redskins to the division championship, making what seems like a rare playoff appearance, but he turned a ragtag team of rookies, second stringers and banged-up veterans into a football powerhouse. Well, what happened? At the start of the 2013-2014 NFL season, the Redskins will have a remarkable lineup of skilled positions: QB Griffin, RB Alfred Morris, TE Fred Davis, WR Pierre Garcon, OT Trent Williams, LB Brian Orakpo, FS Brandon Meriweather, DE Adam Carriker, LB Ryan Kerrigan and LB London Fletcher. Add a few decent veterans like WR Donte Stallworth, WR Santana Moss, CB DeAngelo Hall, WR Joshua Morgan and T Jeremy Trueblood, and the Redskins should be predicted to be a powerhouse.

Washington Redskins Must Avoid Injuries To Make Playoff Run This Season

Meriweather

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.

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. 2012 The class QB Robert Griffin III (1st round), OG/C Josh LeRibeus (3rd), QB Kirk Cousins (4th), LB Keenan Robinson (4th), OG Adam Gettis (5th), RB Alfred Morris (6th), OT Tom Compton (6th), CB Richard Crawford (7th), S Jordan Bernstine (7th).

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