Ryan Kerrigan was one of the most successful defensive ends in Purdue's history.
Now, he's going to play linebacker in the NFL.
Kerrigan was drafted No. 16 overall on Thursday by the Washington Redskins. The Redskins play a 3-4 defensive scheme, and coach Mike Shanahan said he intends to play Kerrigan opposite Pro Bowler Brian Orakpo at outside linebacker.
Despite never playing linebacker at Purdue -- Kerrigan worked on linebacker drills at the NFL Combine -- Shanahan said he thinks Kerrigan "fits into our system very well."
"A lot of times you take a defensive end who's been in a three-point stance most of his career, and you have him do linebacker-related drills, it takes him awhile to get going," Shanahan told the AP. "I thought he was very athletic, very agile and we think he can make the transition fairly quickly."
Kerrigan was with his family in New York City and attended the draft. That meant he got the full first-round treatment -- getting a hat, a jersey and a hug from commissioner Roger Goodell. He even got a picture snapped with current Redskins tight end Chris Cooley.
Kerrigan's future teammates quickly commented on the pick.
London Fletcher tweeted that Kerrigan "seems talented with high motor & relentless effort. Can't wait 4 him 2 buy me breakfast sandwiches!"
Cooley tweeted that he was "excited" about Kerrigan.
Phillip Daniels tweeted that he loved the Kerrigan selection, saying "Kerrigan is a really good player with a very high motor. Took over some games single handed."
Orakpo tweeted a "congrats."