Redskins trade up, pick McIntosh 35th

April 30, 2006|By EDWARD LEE | EDWARD LEE,SUN REPORTER

ASHBURN, Va. -- When Miami linebacker Roger "Rocky" McIntosh paid a visit to the Washington Redskins a couple of months ago, he had a good feeling about his potential employer.

"I spent a lot of time when I was there, and it was nothing but positive things that they said about me," McIntosh said. "They really showed that they cared about me."

It turns out that McIntosh wasn't kidding. Not content to wait until the latter half of the second round to make their first move in the NFL draft yesterday, the Redskins acquired the 35th overall pick from the New York Jets and took McIntosh.

Washington surrendered the 53rd choice, a sixth-round slot (No. 189) and next year's second-round selection to the Jets, but added a player who could replace former Pro Bowl player LaVar Arrington at the weakside linebacker position.

McIntosh, 6 feet 2, 237 pounds, is regarded as a fast defender who likes to attack the line of scrimmage. Versatile enough to stuff a running back in the gap or follow a tight end in coverage, McIntosh is expected to compete with veterans Warrick Holdman and Chris Clemons for the opportunity to start with linebackers Lemar Marshall and Marcus Washington in assistant head coach Gregg Williams' 4-3 scheme.

"Obviously, the spot on our team where we were the thinnest would be linebacker," head coach and team president Joe Gibbs said. "We feel like he has a lot of flexibility from the standpoint that we think he could play any of the three [linebacking] spots. ... He is very smart, and we think he is capable of doing that."

McIntosh's durability and strength have been of concern among draft experts but did not bother the Redskins.

"We made up our mind that if it got down to the end of the first round that we would like to try and move," Gibbs said. "We didn't feel like we were going to get him at 53."

In four seasons at Miami, McIntosh was credited with 266 tackles (including 32 behind the line of scrimmage), 9 1/2 sacks, three forced fumbles and two recoveries.

But what impressed Gibbs and other team officials was McIntosh's intelligence. The 24-year-old has a degree in criminology and is working toward two others in African-American studies and English and scored a 29 on the Wonderlic Test (the average score is 21).

McIntosh joins former Hurricanes Sean Taylor, Clinton Portis and Santana Moss in Washington.

"I'm kind of quiet," he said, alluding to the bad-boy reputation the Hurricanes once had. "I love playing football and I'm going to go out there and do my job."

edward.lee@baltsun.com

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