'Skins Spotlight - Ryan Kerrigan

Bryan Manning

Ryan Kerrigan has been with the Washington Redskins since 2011 when the team selected him with the 16th overall pick in the NFL Draft.

Since that time, Kerrigan, along with former left tackle Trent Williams, were the best Redskin players of the decade. In his nine years with Washington, Kerrigan has led the team in sacks in six of those nine seasons.

During his first eight seasons, Kerrigan played in 128 games, never missing a start. Unfortunately, in 2019, the longtime Redskin finally had to battle injuries. Kerrigan would suffer a concussion in Week 12 and would miss the next game.

After missing one start, Kerrigan returned to the lineup in Week 14 before a calf injury sidelined him again. In December, he was placed on injured reserve.

Statistically, Kerrigan had the worst season of his career in 2019. Is it a sign he has nothing left or were the two injuries just bad luck?

The good news for the Redskins is they aren’t depending on Kerrigan to be the stalwart he once was. With Chase Young now in town joining Montez Sweat, there is less pressure on Kerrigan. He can play fewer snaps with the hope he becomes more effective in his opportunities.

Inside the Numbers:

During his nine seasons in the NFL, Kerrigan has recorded 90 sacks. That is second-most in Washington’s history behind only Dexter Manley. Kerrigan needs just one sack to tie Manley. It is important to remember sacks weren’t an official stat during Manley’s 1981 rookie season.

Kerrigan enters the 2020 season in the last year of a five-year, $57.5-million contract extension he signed in 2015. He is due to count around $11.7 million against Washington’s cap this season.

Kerrigan has been one of the more consistent Redskins over the past three decades. Never an explosive pass-rusher, Kerrigan always provided consistent pressure and was strong in defending the run.

Excluding his 2019 season in which he missed four games, Kerrigan had at least 8.5 sacks in every season outside of his rookie campaign in 2011. In that season, Kerrigan finished with 7.5 sacks while adjusting to a new position of outside linebacker.

Kerrigan finished with a career-high 13.5 sacks back in 2014. His best back-to-back seasons were in 2017 and 2018 when he finished with 13 sacks in each year.

A former unanimous All-American at Purdue, Kerrigan has proven to be a playmaker during his NFL career. Kerrigan has three interceptions — all of which he returned for touchdowns.

Kerrigan is tied for No. 33 all-time in forced fumbles with 26.

Pro Football Focus gave Kerrigan the second-lowest grade of his career in 2019. His lowest was his rookie year. PFF gave Kerrigan an 84.1 grade back in 2017, which would the highest of his career.

Kerrigan is a four-time Pro Bowl selection.

He will turn 32 years old on August 16.

Video Analysis/Highlights:

Ryan Kerrigan has proven he can make plays on the football. Here is one of his three career touchdowns against Carson Wentz and the Philadelphia Eagles.

From 2011-19, Kerrigan had the fourth-most pressures of all defenders in the NFL.

Kerrigan has taken down many quarterbacks using his brute strength.

Here is an extended look at many of the impact plays Kerrigan has made during his career.

What They’re Saying:

New head coach Ron Rivera joined JP Finlay and the Redskins Talk podcast back in February and was asked if Kerrigan figured into the team’s plans in 2020. Rivera was effusive in his praise of Kerrigan, per NBC Sports Washington.

"Yes, he is," Rivera said. "Most certainly.”

“We had a great conversation with Ryan and it was awesome," Rivera continued. "He's all fired up about getting ready for next season. I'm not going to get into a player's contract, but he's a guy we're looking forward to having around."

Rivera made it known Kerrigan is a part of Rivera’s core group moving forward, even if he is toward the end of his career.

Much like Rivera, defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio knows defensive talent and will be counting on Kerrigan to play a major role in 2020.

Mike Clay’s 2020 Projections:

Mike Clay Redskins Stats Projection ESPN
Mike Clay - ESPN Twitter

ESPN’s Mike Clay is projecting Kerrigan to play 742 snaps and finish with just over six sacks. That would be the highest snap total Clay projected for all of Washington’s defensive linemen. However, Clay’s projections came before Chase Young’s selection.

For more "Skins Spotlight" features - click on the players below.

Jon Bostic - Linebacker

Dustin Hopkins - Place Kicker

Ronald Darby - Cornerback

Tress Way - Punter

Terry McLaurin - Wide Receiver

Jonathan Allen - Defensive Lineman

Landon Collins - Safety

Caleb Brantley - Defensive Lineman

Cole Holcomb - Linebacker

Steven Sims Jr. - Wide Receiver

Nick Sundberg - Long Snapper

Kendall Fuller - Cornerback

Ryan Anderson - Linebacker/DE

Fabian Moreau - Cornerback

Jimmy Moreland - Cornerback

Adrian Peterson - Running Back

Geron Christian - Offensive Tackle

Bryan Manning writes about the Washington Redskins for RedskinsReport.com and contributes to "All Hokies" on SI.com. He has covered the NFL, MLB, NBA, college football and college basketball for almost 10 years for various outlets such as Bleacher Report, SB Nation, FanSided, USA Today SMG, and others. For his day job, Bryan works in engineering for a major communications company. 

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