Washington Redskins coaches and officials have a busy day on tap: they are scheduled to interview three draft prospects today, according to league sources and multiple media reports.
The Redskins were meeting with Purdue defensive end Ryan Kerrigan Tuesday morning, according to a source. Alabama running back Mark Ingram and North Carolina middle linebacker Quan Sturdivant also were reportedly scheduled to pay the team a visit.
Most mock drafts have Kerrigan projected to be selected in the 15 to 20 range of the first round. He could be a possible target for Washington if the team trades down from the 10th overall pick.
The 6-foot-4, 263-pound Kerrigan played end in Purdue’s 4-3 defense, but his size makes him better suited to the outside linebacker position in the 3-4. (All of Washington’s defensive ends last season were asked to bulk up to 290 to 300 pounds to play in the 3-4.)
Aware that he may be asked to learn a new position, Kerrigan this past winter and spring has been working on developing the skills needed to play linebacker.
“I played a 4-3 defensive end in college, so I don’t have too much experience with it,” Kerrigan said at the NFL combine. “But in my training for the combine, I’ve been working on a lot of drops from a 3-4 linebacker standpoint and I feel I’ve made a lot of strides with that. When you’re a 4-3 defensive end you drop back in pass coverage occasionally, but not too often. Whereas with a 3-4 linebacker you drop back quite a bit. I think that will be the biggest adjustment. Whatever a team wants, I’m willing to play. Whether it’s a 3-4 linebacker or a 4-3 defensive end.”
At the combine, Kerrigan clocked a 4.71 40-yard dash, bench pressed 225 pounds 31 times, recorded a 33.5-inch vertical jump and ran the three-cone drill in 7.18 seconds
Ingram won the Heisman Trophy in 2009 and is regarded as the top running back in the draft. He is projected to go in the mid- to late first-round range. Running back is a position that the Redskins are likely to shore up either through the draft or free agency. They like what they have in Ryan Torain, but his durability is a concern.
Ingram himself was slowed by injury last season. He rushed for 1,658 yards and 17 touchdowns on 271 carries the year he won the Heisman. Last year, he was slowed by arthroscopic knee surgery, however, and tallied 875 yards and 13 touchdowns on 158 carries. He scored 13 touchdowns. Ingram said at the combine that his knee “feels great” and that it’s “a non-issue.”
“I’m a complete all-around back,” the 5-10, 215-pound Ingram said of his potential. “I could be in the game first down, second down, third down, goal line, short-yardage, pick up pass protections, go out of the backfield and catch the ball, things like that. So I’m a complete back.”
The 6-2, 235-pound Sturdivant is a versatile linebacker who played both outside and inside during his college career. As a true freshman, he played in all 12 games, and as a sophomore he started every contest, leading the Tar Heels with 122 tackles. In 2009, he moved to middle linebacker and led the team with 80 tackles (12 for a loss). As a senior, Sturdivant missed five games with a hamstring injury, but recorded 61 tackles and three sacks. He is projected to go somewhere in the second round, where Washington holds the 41st pick.