He was in Washington two weeks ago — on April 13 and 14 — and met with coaches. He visited nearly 20 teams in the weeks leading up to the NFL draft but went home to Indiana raving about the Redskins.
“We watched a little bit of film. They taught me a few of their base defensive packages to see if I could reiterate them to them,” he said of his visit. “I think I did well with that. I think they like my ability to learn quickly and apply things from the film room and the game film.”
His parents — Brendan, a financial planner, and Anita, a nurse practioner, in Indiana — warned him not to get tied to any one team because a draft prospect can’t control who picks him. He was calm as the draft began, but once Commissioner Roger Goodell began announcing picks No. 5 and 6, he said he could feel butterflies churning.
“I knew they liked me,” Kerrigan said. “I knew they liked me and a couple guys. ... I’m really glad they chose me.”
Though he’ll be transitioning to linebacker from defensive end, he thinks he’ll fit in the defense well and prefers to rush the quarterback from the left side — which will be opposite Pro Bowler Brian Orakpo.
Said his mother, Anita: “It’s special as it is, but knowing he’s going some place where he’s comfortable, it’s a good fit, it eases my mind.
“Ryan will embrace the community,” she says. “He’s that kind of person. I think in turn, people will see the genuineness and niceness of Ryan, and they’ll embrace him.”