Stuart McNair

Trent Murphy's Suspension Opens Door For Redskins rookie Ryan Anderson

The Redskins' outside linebacker position is potentially deep or thin depending on various scenarios. Either way, there's room for Washington's 2nd round pick to make a move.

By Jamual Forrest, special to Breaking Burgundy

Second-round pick Ryan Anderson has undoubtedly won the fans over already. From his tenacity on the field, to fierce comments off it, it’s a guy on the surface the Redskins have lacked and needed for some time now.  At just 6’2”, he draws comparisons to Elvis Dumervil due to his height at the position he plays. The challenge that the Redskins will be facing with Anderson and the OLB group, is generating a pass rush on the edge without the presence of Trent Murphy as he’s suspended for the first 4 games due to PED’s.

Anderson is the third OLB to be taken in the second round by the Redskins in the last 4 NFL drafts. Each of the last two, Preston Smith and Trent Murphy, have gotten off to very slow starts in their rookie seasons. Murphy prior to his breakout 2016 campaign, was seemingly on his last leg with the team being converted to a defensive line before injury to Junior Galette changed Murphy’s course in 2016. With Anderson, albeit this may not be fair to him, he’s going to be counted on to make an immediate impact on this defense as an edge rusher.

Third-year defender Preston Smith has yet to show consistency as an OLB in the NFL. Junior Galette has been injured each of his first two seasons with Washington. Ryan Kerrigan, the team’s best pass rusher, disappeared at times in critical situations. The best thing about Anderson is that he rocked against players in the best division in the NCAA. Anderson, to me, is not a guy who’s elite at anything but he’s good at almost everything. He was a playmaker, and game-changer for the Crimson Tide as he always found a way to get to the quarterback.

Credit that to his relentless motor, and the Redskins are counting on his effort and motor to carry over to the NFL. We are just a couple months away until training camp is back in full force, soon time will tell what Anderson is able to do against two of the better tackles in the NFL in Trent Williams and Morgan Moses.

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