Since arriving in the NFL, Ryan Kerrigan has been one of the premier pass rushers in the NFL. The four-time Pro Bowler has recorded 90 sacks since 2011; only three players -- J.J. Watt, Von Miller and Chandler Jones -- have more sacks than Kerrigan over that span.
However, as Kerrigan enters his 10th season with the Burgundy and Gold, he's not the pass rusher (or pass rushers) everyone in Washington is talking about. That would belong to Chase Young -- the No. 2 overall pick who has earned comparisons to Miller and future NFL Hall of Famer Julius Peppers before he's even played a down -- and Montez Sweat, a 2019 first-round pick who has also generated a buzz of his own.
In an interview with NBC Sports Washington's J.P. Finlay, Kerrigan was asked if all the attention going to Young and Sweat bothered him at all. The veteran responded by saying "not really," and then gave an answer many Washington fans will love to hear.
"Chase Young is as advertised for a reason," Kerrigan said. "That guy put up incredible numbers at Ohio State."
As a junior in 2019, Young led the nation with 16.5 sacks, despite missing two games for the Buckeyes due to suspension. Young won almost every defensive award that he was eligible for last season and was the first defensive player sent to New York as a Heisman Trophy finalist since Ndamukong Suh in 2009.
Kerrigan said that one of the things he admires about the 21-year-old Young is that he has proven on every level he's played at that he's exceptional at getting after the quarterback.
"That's one of the things I really liked about him coming out, was that Chase wasn't just potential. He had numbers to back it up," Kerrigan said. "It wasn't like, 'Oh this guy is big and fast, he's probably going to be a pass rusher.' It was 'this guy is big and fast and he has the production to back it up.'"
For Sweat, Kerrigan thinks the shift in defensive systems from Greg Manusky's complex scheme to Jack Del Rio's simple, yet fast style will certainly benefit the second-year pro.
"I know Sweat is excited to play in this scheme, a scheme that allows him to play vertical," Kerrigan said.
Pass rusher is an elite position in the NFL; you can never have too many pass rushers. While it's unlikely Kerrigan, Sweat and Young will all be on the field at the same time frequently, each one of them will have ample opportunities to get after the quarterback.
Overall, Kerrigan is thrilled to have Sweat and Young alongside him and says fans should be, too.
"I'm excited for those guys," Kerrigan said. "People should be excited about those guys."