Fifth-Round Pick Cody Glenn Has Only One Year Experience at Linebacker
Monday, April 27, 2009
The Washington Redskins gambled in the fifth round of the NFL draft yesterday, selecting an oft-injured, undersized linebacker who spent his first three years at Nebraska as a running back. The Redskins took Cody Glenn after swapping fifth-round picks with Minnesota, picking up a seventh-round pick in the process. In the sixth round, they took another linebacker, Robert Henson from Texas Christian.
"We have concentrated on the defensive side of the ball," Coach Jim Zorn said. "Last year our first four picks were on the offensive side of the ball. This year our first four picks are on the defensive side."
The Redskins have a need for depth at linebacker, and speed on the outside, and while Glenn has strong athletic ability, he is raw on the defensive side of the ball. At 6 feet, 235 pounds, he was an honor roll student and earned citizenship awards at Nebraska, but some teams did not have him on their boards. He missed six games in his senior season, including the final two of the regular season, the Big 12 championship game and a bowl game because of a suspension.
Glenn had some success as a running back, including scoring two touchdowns against top-ranked USC in 2007, but made the switch to defense as a senior by mutual agreement because of a logjam in the backfield.
"I felt like I could help the team more on defense rather than playing in a crowded backfield," Glenn said.
Glenn survived a near-fatal car accident as a freshman while driving back to his home in Texas. "I fell asleep at the wheel," he said. "I almost died. It was kind of a wake-up call and put everything in perspective."
He also suffered foot and knee injuries during his career at Nebraska and ended up being suspended because of his involvement in a ticket-scalping incident. (Zorn said the Redskins thoroughly investigated the matter with the Nebraska staff before making this pick.) "I got caught up selling some tickets that I wasn't supposed to be doing," Glenn said. "Coach [Bo] Pelini did what he had to do."
The seventh-round pick the Redskins required in this trade, No. 221 overall, was originally Washington's pick. Executive Vice President of Football Operations Vinny Cerrato dealt that pick to Minnesota last year to acquire injured defensive end Erasmus James.
The team hopes Henson finds a special-teams role quickly while he develops as an inside linebacker. With many of the prospects best suited to the weak side, Zorn said the Redskins could switch Rocky McIntosh to the strong side, while they hope first-round pick Brian Orakpo can contribute there as well.
The Redskins used their seventh-round picks on Idaho tight end Eddie Williams (No. 221) and Nevada wide receiver Marko Mitchell (No. 243).
Washington signed Maryland offensive lineman Edwin Williams and Missouri quarterback Chase Daniel to free agent contracts last night. Williams was a first team all-ACC selection at center last season.
Tackle Chris Samuels is still recovering from triceps surgery, and will miss next weekend's minicamp, but he should be ready for June organized team activities, Zorn said. Wide receiver Malcolm Kelly, recovering from another knee surgery, will also not be ready to get on the field until June. Guard Randy Thomas (neck surgery) and safety Reed Doughty (back surgery) have been cleared for work but will be limited during minicamp. Zorn said tackle Mike Williams, who was signed Friday, will also miss minicamp as he tries to shed weight. Williams is 410 pounds -- he once weighed 450, Zorn said -- and the Redskins hope to have him around 370 for training camp. Williams has not played an NFL game since 2005 and has been living with guard Derrick Dockery, his teammate at Texas. . . .
Zorn said he expects fullback Mike Sellers, who has been skipping all voluntary workouts and is seeking a new contract according to team and league sources, to be at minicamp. . . . The Redskins have not expressed interest in free agent linebacker Leroy Hill, according to league sources. Hill, who had been with Seattle and knows several coaches here, is drawing interest from other teams. Zorn did not rule out the possibility that the Redskins might investigate signing him.