By Rich Tandler
The Washington Redskins' top draft pick is paying some early dividends.
The NFL has named linebacker Ryan Kerrigan as the league's defensive rookie of the month for September. The 16th overall pick in the 2011 draft has made a fairly smooth transition from college defensive end to NFL outside linebacker and he is making impact plays on a weekly basis.
In his debut against the New York Giants, he tipped an Eli Manning pass, made the interception, and returned it nine yards for a touchdown. He recorded his first NFL sack the following week against the Cardinals and he tallied another Monday night against Dallas. In the Arizona game he also tipped a pass that London Fletcher intercepted to kill a potential Cardinals scoring drive.
Kerrigan is the fourth Redskins rookie to receive the award and the first since safety Chris Horton was honored in 2008. Other winners were cornerbacks Fred Smoot in 2001 and Champ Bailey in 1999.