The Redskins addressed one of their biggest needs on Day 2 of the NFL draft Friday, selecting Southern Methodist left guard Josh LeRibeus after trading down two spots in the third round.
LeRibeus played in a man blocking scheme at SMU, but he felt “more at home” in the zone blocking scheme at the East-West Shrine game this winter, he said in a teleconference Friday. He played out of a two-point stance at SMU, as opposed to a three-point stance at the postseason showcase.
“Getting in a three-point stance and exploding off the ball is definitely something I feel more comfortable with,” LeRibeus said.
Redskins coach Mike Shanahan utilizes a zone scheme. However, LeRibeus seemingly breaks the prototype for a Shanahan offensive lineman because he ran the 40-yard dash at the combine in a relatively slow 5.37 seconds.
Shanahan declined to comment.
Former NFL scout Russ Lande, a contributor to Sporting News, praised the pick.
“He is an athletic lineman with quick feet and outstanding recovery ability,” Lande wrote on Sporting News’ web site. “Washington’s zone blocking scheme requires linemen to be light on their feet in space, so LeRibeus is a perfect fit and capable of starting at any of the three interior line positions.”
The Redskins acquired a seventh-round pick from Buffalo (No. 217 overall) in the trade.
LeRibeus described himself as quick. He started all 13 games last season and in 2009. He missed 2010 because he was academically ineligible.
“I was an economics major, and I wasn’t a big fan,” LeRibeus explained. “They ended up switching me over to sociology, but I had only taken one class in sociology, so they shouldn’t have let me do it. From there, having three hours towards my major was kind of a no-no. They ended up pulling that year from me.”
His weight ballooned during his ineligible season, and he lost 70 pounds before his senior year.
“I lost a toddler off the side of my belly,” he said with a laugh.
He allowed his diet to deteriorate while he was ineligible.
“I ended up moving away from home, so I got away from mom’s cooking,” he said. “A bit of a tight budget, so I kind of bought chicken or whatever at Tom Thumb.”
Redskins incumbent left guard Kory Lichtensteiger is coming back from an extremely serious right knee injury. He tore the ACL, MCL, medial meniscus and lateral meniscus. LeRibeus could push Lichtensteiger, or the selection could affect center Will Montgomery because Lichtensteiger also can play that position.