- The Washington Times - Friday, July 17, 2009

Hours before Thursday’s NFL supplemental draft, Jeremy Jarmon made a final plea to Washington Redskins vice president of football operations Vinny Cerrato via text message.

“I want to be a Redskin. Make it happen,” the Kentucky defensive end wrote.

Cerrato and the Redskins acquiesced, selecting Jarmon in exchange for their third-round pick in next year’s regular draft.

Of the eight players available, the 6-foot-3, 278-pound Jarmon was the only player selected in the supplemental draft.

“If he would have gone through the combine [next year], he probably goes in the second round,” Cerrato said. “We get a chance to get a quality player at a quality price. I don’t think we could have got him in the third round next April.”

The supplemental draft began in 1977 to accommodate players who did not enter the regular draft the previous spring because they still had college eligibility. Jarmon was only the 38th player to be selected in the supplemental draft and the first selected by the Redskins.

Jarmon entered the draft after he lost an appeal with the NCAA for a failed drug test resulting from an over-the-counter dietary supplement. He worked out for 18 NFL teams on July 8, met with Redskins officials that night and, two days later, flew to Aspen, Colo., to meet owner Dan Snyder and coach Jim Zorn.

The Redskins were one of six teams to put a claim on Jarmon, according to a league source - the other five teams, including Detroit, wanted to select Jarmon in the fourth round.

Jarmon, 21, joins a crowded group at defensive end. He’ll play on the left side with veterans Phillip Daniels and Renaldo Wynn. Cerrato said the role of first-round draft pick Brian Orakpo won’t change because of Jarmon’s addition - Orakpo will be a linebacker/situational pass rusher.

Jarmon’s arrival means Alex Buzbee and Rob Jackson face longer odds of making the team.

“It’s the place I wanted to be,” Jarmon said. “I’m just glad that dream has come true for me.”

Jarmon started 31 games at Kentucky and ranks third in school history with 17.5 sacks. In 2007, he led the Wildcats with nine sacks, which ranked fourth in the nation, and 62 tackles (13.5 for a loss).

“As a player, we liked his production,” Redskins director of player personnel Scott Campbell said. “He’s good against the run and can rush the passer. … After meeting him and spending time with him, it’s easy to see he is a quality person with good upside and all the qualities we look for.”

Jarmon was content to return to Kentucky for his final year, but his college career ended because of the failed substance test. Following the Wildcats’ season, Jarmon was told to stop working out for six to eight weeks to let tendinitis in his left shoulder disappear. During the time, he bought a dietary supplement to help control his weight.

When he lost his appeal, he had two choices: Transfer to an NAIA team or enter the draft.

“There have been a lot of ups and downs,” Jarmon said. “The ruling was definitely a low point, if not the lowest point, of my life. But then I started to get over it.”

Jarmon moved to Nashville, Tenn., to prepare for his workout day.

“It kept my mind off [the ruling], and it got me back into a football environment,” he said. “It gave me time to focus on my football.”

Said Cerrato: “He was in good shape. I was impressed by the condition he was in.”

Cerrato anticipates Jarmon playing right away on special teams because of his running ability, and the Redskins want him to learn the pro game from veterans like Wynn and Daniels.

“There’s no pressure on him to where he has to [start right away],” Cerrato said.

Jarmon will have to play catch-up when he signs his contract. The Redskins begin training camp July 30.

“It’s definitely going to be a test,” he said. “I feel like I’m a pretty smart guy, and the No. 1 thing is getting acclimated to the area and getting to feel comfortable. As soon as I can get a playbook, I need to jump into it and learn the plays and learn the formations so I can go to camp with an idea of what I’m supposed to do on each and every play.”

The Redskins have five picks remaining in the 2010 draft. Their sixth-round selection was sent Miami to complete the Jason Taylor trade.

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