ASHBURN, VA. (AP) - The Washington Redskins have selected defensive lineman Jarvis Jenkins of Clemson in the second round of the NFL draft.
The Redskins then made two trades Friday night, moving down in the second round to add selections in the fourth and fifth rounds.
Jenkins was taken with the 41st overall pick. His selection means Washington opted to improve its 31st-ranked defense with its first two picks. Linebacker Ryan Kerrigan of Purdue was chosen in the first round Thursday night.
The Redskins had the 49th pick after a trade with Jackonsville on Thursday, but they moved down to No. 62 after trades with Indianapolis and Chicago.
More picks were needed to address the many needs on a team that has finished last in the NFC East for three straight years.
THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP’s earlier story is below.
ASHBURN, Va. (AP) _ A blue chip quarterback fell right into the Washington Redskins’ lap, a seemingly ideal scenario after last year’s Donovan McNabb mess left a void at the game’s most important position.
Mike Shanahan took a pass. Blaine Gabbert would go elsewhere. The Redskins have too many holes to fill, so the coach made a trade. He then upgraded a defense that was a yearlong embarrassment by selecting Ryan Kerrigan of Purdue with the 16th overall selection Thursday night in the NFL draft.
“We felt we had more needs right now,” Shanahan said. “And obviously you always entertain every situation, but we were happy to do what we did, and pick up an extra pick and obviously get Ryan on our football team.”
Kerrigan was a defensive end in college, but he’ll be an outside linebacker in Washington. The Redskins switched to a 3-4 scheme last year and didn’t have the personnel to pull it off _ the talents of Albert Haynesworth and Andre Carter essentially went to waste _ but the 6-foot-4, 267-pound Kerrigan has the versatility to rush the passer and the strength to make a difference against the run.
Shanahan said he saw enough at the NFL combine to be convinced that Kerrigan can make the switch.
“A lot of times you take a defensive end who’s been in a three-point stance most of his career, and you have him do linebacker-related drills, it takes him a while to get going,” Shanahan said. “I though he was very athletic, very agile, and we think he can make the transition fairly quickly.”
Kerrigan will play opposite two-time Pro Bowl linebacker Brian Orakpo, giving the Redskins an imposing tandem threat to the quarterback. Kerrigan had 33 1/2 career sacks with the Boilermakers, including 12 1/2 last year.
Washington ranked 31st in total defense last season. Orakpo had 8 1/2 sacks, but the rest of the team combined had just 21.
The Redskins began the draft in No. 10 spot, and they found themselves in position to wheel and deal when the Jacksonville Jaguars called, seeking to move into position to take Gabbert.
So Washington swapped first-round picks with Jacksonville, moving down six spots and receiving the Jaguars’ second-round selection, No. 49 overall.
The move was hardly a surprise. Shanahan had spoken about the need to accumulate more picks. The Redskins have many needs on both sides of the ball, and they don’t have any selections in the third and fourth rounds.
“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.”
The Redskins can now address the quarterback position with one of their two second-round picks Friday. Last year’s trade for McNabb turned out to be a Redskins flop as he struggled to adjust to the offensive scheme and was benched for the final three games of the season. He is not expected to return next season.
As for Kerrigan, he expressed confidence in his ability to adapt to the linebacker position. Then he answered the burning question that came to mind when he joined Commissioner Roger Goodell on stage in New York: What happened to the trademark mop of hair?
“It was just time,” Kerrigan said. “There comes a time when you’ve got to part with some things, and the hair was that for me. It was too long. It was nice to not have something hanging in your face all day long. I love the long hair, but I’m glad it’s gone.”
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