The Redskins were in shambles after the 2010 season. But the way I saw it -- and Washington apparently agreed -- the best plan was to rebuild the defense during the offseason before the 2011 season, then deal with the offensive side of the ball after this regular season.
Well, the offense is still a mess. Fine. But the defense is vastly improved, and the work Washington did in this past free agency and draft classes has directly improved that side of the ball. No addition was better than Ryan Kerrigan. A defensive end in college, Kerrigan has adjusted better than expected to 3-4 outside linebacker. An underrated athlete, Kerrigan hasn't looked lost in coverage and has fluid enough hips to cover the short zones.
But Kerrigan's allure is his overall playmaking ability and his pass rush. In both areas, Kerrigan has been superb. He uses his hands well, has several pass-rush moves that he can go to and gets off the ball with quickness and leverage. Match these traits with excellent hustle and a natural ability to consistently be around the ball, and you can see why Kerrigan has been a weekly member of my top 10.
Scouts Inc. watches games, breaks down film and studies football from all angles for ESPN.com.