Washington Redskins Have Another Edge-Rusher


Oct 11, 2014; Starkville, MS, USA; Auburn Tigers quarterback Nick Marshall (14) steps out of the pocket and is chased by Mississippi State Bulldogs defensive lineman Preston Smith (91) during the game at Davis Wade Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Spruce Derden-USA TODAY Sports

With Ryan Kerrigan and Brian Orakpo coming of the edges, the Washington Redskins put heat on the quarterback. But last year, Orakpo was out for the season with a pectoral tear while Kerrigan did his part with 13.5 sacks. And this offseason, Orakpo as moved on to the Tennessee Titans so the Redskins are looking to replace him.

Last year, in the second round, the Redskins selected Trent Murphy out of Stanford to take Orakpo’s place. But his 2.5 sacks last year doesn’t exactly show he will replace what Orakpo brought to the Redskins. So in the 2015 NFL Draft, the Redskins got themselves another edge-rusher in Preston Smith.

At 6’5″, 274 pounds, there were questions as to where he would play as he was a 4-3 end in college while the Redskins run a 3-4.

Would he be a 3-4 end and kick inside to tackle on third down?

Having run a 4.7 40 at the combine, is he athletic enough to play outside linebacker?

Smith has taken starters reps at OLB with Kerrigan out with a knee scope in the Redskins’ offseason program. However, his competition will be Murphy when the Redskins open camp in a few days. The Redskins like Smith’s length at 34-inch long arms and have been impressed with him in offseason workouts.

Head coach Jay Gruden told CBS Sports, “I think he’s doing a good job,” Gruden said. “I talked to him today about trying to get a little bit more suddenness to him, and he’s just saying, ‘I’m getting my bearings straight. I’m getting my plays down.’ You’ll see it once camp continues to hit and he gets more comfortable with the terminology, but I’ve been impressed with him.”

So it comes down to Smith vs Murphy to replace Orakpo.

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