ASHBURN — The Redskins selected Alabama outside linebacker Ryan Anderson with their second-round selection in the 2017 NFL Draft on Friday night.
Anderson was chosen No. 49 overall. He was a fifth-year senior for the Crimson Tide with nine sacks and 19 tackles for loss in 2016.
A steady, technical player, Anderson is a bit undersized for the position at 6-foot-2, 253 pounds. But he adds another pass rusher at a position of need.
“He converts speed to power better than any player in this draft,” NFL Network analyst Mike Mayock said. “He gets underneath you and knocks your jock on the ground.”
Washington has the reliable Ryan Kerrigan on one side at outside linebacker. On the other are questions. Trent Murphy had nine sacks last season, but was suspended the first four games of the 2017 season for violating the NFL’s drug policy.
Junior Galette had 22 sacks total in 2013 and 2014, but has missed the last two years with torn Achilles. Preston Smith dropped from eight sacks as a rookie to 4.5 last season and had coaches and teammates openly questioning his production. Anderson provides another option. He joins college teammate Jonathan Allen, a defensive end the Redskins drafted No. 17 overall.
“I’m a playmaker, man. I’m a game changer. I’m a good teammate, man,” Anderson said. “I’m a good dude to have in the locker room. I’m the ultimate football player, man. I’m not a Combine warrior, I’m not a workout warrior, I’m a football player. At the end of the day, that’s what it boils down to. It boils down to ‘See ball, get ball’ and striking the man in front of you. That’s what I bring to the table.”
Anderson insists that he can cover tight ends and running backs and will set a physical edge in the running game.
“Right now I’m working to set my own mold, to break that mold,” Anderson said. “I’m going to be the best outside linebacker in the game. That’s what I’m going to do. I’m going to be the best Ryan Anderson I can be.”
Follow Redskins reporter Brian McNally on Twitter