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Can Ryan Kerrigan Become First Redskin To Win Defensive Player Of The Year?

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Could linebacker Ryan Kerrigan become the first player in franchise history to win AP NFL Defensive Player of the Year honors?

The possibility is certainly there, as Bleacherreport.com's James Dudko notes in this article.

Kerrigan, a fifth-year veteran out of Purdue, really came into his own last season, recording a career-high 13.5 sacks to go along with 64 tackles (51 solo) and five fumbles forced.

According to Pro Football Focus, Kerrigan also registered the third-most quarterback pressures last season with 72.

"Kerrigan already has the talent and production. If he follows his current career path and takes another step forward, he'll push his sack numbers and big-play stats into the ranks of the J.J. Watts and Justin Houstons of this league," writes Dudko.

What may also be in his favor is defensive coordinator Joe Barry's scheme, which will see the defensive line be more aggressive in getting to the quarterback.

"Giving D-linemen greater license to attack single gaps and get into the backfield will be a massive help to Kerrigan," writes Dudko. "He's more likely to face single blocking if more members of Washington's front seven are getting into the backfield."

CHIME IN: *Think Kerrigan can take home the league's top individual defensive honor? Let us know below. *

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