The Washington Redskins figure they got a bargain by taking Kentucky defensive end Jeremy Jarmon in the third round of the NFL's supplemental draft Thursday.
And Jarmon figures he gets an early jump on his professional career after being declared ineligible for his senior season by the NCAA because he tested positive for a banned substance.
"There's been a lot of ups and downs. ... I was real disappointed at the time, when the ruling came out. That was definitely one of the low points, if not the lowest point, of my life so far," Jarmon said in a conference call with reporters. "But I started to get over it."
The 6-foot-3, 277-pound Jarmon is the first player the Redskins have taken with a supplemental selection. The team relinquishes its third-round pick in the 2010 NFL draft.
Washington executive vice president of football operations Vinny Cerrato thinks Jarmon would have been taken in the second round if he'd remained in school for his senior year.
Cerrato called Thursday's choice "a chance to get a quality player at a quality price," and noted that other teams indicated they would have tried to take Jarmon in the fourth round of the supplemental draft.
Cerrato said Jarmon will play left defensive end, the same primary position played by Brian Orakpo, Washington's top pick in April. Getting Jarmon is the latest move aimed at upgrading a pass rush that ranked last in the NFC in 2008 with only 24 sacks. Washington began free agency by landing All-Pro defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth, then drafted Orakpo.
Jarmon was the only player drafted in Thursday's special selection process, which was conducted electronically by the league from its New York headquarters.
He had 17 1/2 sacks in three seasons, third-most in Kentucky history – including nine sacks as a sophomore. Cerrato said that Jarmon "has a great lower body, needs to get stronger in the upper body."
Cerrato pointed out that by taking Jarmon now, the Redskins get a chance to groom him, and he can be tutored by veteran ends Phillip Daniels and Renaldo Wynn.
Redskins players report for training camp on July 29, and the first practices are the next day.
"I feel like I'm a pretty smart guy," Jarmon said, adding that he wants to get his hands on a play book as soon as possible.
"I need to jump into it and get to learning the plays and learning the formations and sitting down in the film room and putting plays through the video to see what they look like, to see how guys play in certain packages and try to go into camp with an idea of what I'm supposed to do on each and every play," he said. "I'm going to be so busy when I get to Washington."
He worked out for NFL teams, including Washington, last week in Kentucky, then had dinner a couple of days later with Redskins owner Dan Snyder and coach Jim Zorn in Aspen, Colo.
"The kid's an articulate kid. He's already graduated in poli-sci. He's only 21 years old," Cerrato said. "He made a mistake taking a dietary substance from right around the corner."
Jarmon acknowledged in May he was being punished by the NCAA. On Thursday, he said he took an over-the-counter dietary supplement to avoid putting on weight while unable to work out in the offseason because of tendinitis in his left shoulder.
He wouldn't say Thursday what the supplement or substance was.
When being interviewed by teams before the supplemental draft, Jarmon said, "It wasn't an issue, because I told teams exactly what the supplement was, what the substance in the supplement was that I tested positive for. They did their research on it."
(This version CORRECTS EDITS 9th graf to correct stats)