A steady presence for Temple during his college career, Matt Ioannidis is ready to get to work with the Redskins and provide the team youthful production from the middle of the line.
While the Washington Redskins were happy with their defensive line depth prior to last week's NFL Draft, as evident from their early selections, the team couldn't pass up the opportunity to pick Temple defensive tackle Matt Ioannidis in the fifth round of the draft.
Ioannidis was not only a senior captain for the Owls in 2015 – totaling 39 tackles and two fumble recoveries – but the 6-foot-3, 299 pounder had the versatility to play all across the defensive line, which is something the Redskins hope will carry over to this season.
"In base, we're looking at him more at nose, but he can still play the three [technique]," Redskins general manager Scot McCloughan said on Monday. "But in sub, which we're in a lot more than base, he can move around the line. The thing about him too, again, he's not the prettiest, he's not the best athlete, but he's a football player. You know what, he's a tough son of a gun that I respect a lot."
At 299 pounds, Ioannidis is currently the third lightest defensive lineman on the roster along with Corey Crawford.
Only Ricky Jean Francois and James Gayle weigh less, but the Redskins plan to have Ioannidis pack on 15 or 20 to solidify himself primarily as a nose tackle.
"It's very easy for him to do [that]," Redskins head coach Jay Gruden said. "And I think he can be a very good nose or three, or what have you."
While the Redskins were linked to defensive linemen with their No. 21 pick in the first round in most mock drafts over the last couple months, Washington waited until Saturday to select Ioannidis, the first and only defensive lineman they picked.
"I knew that this was a great class going in, everyone's been saying that," Ioannidis said. "So I just took it upon myself to be patient and wait for my time to be called. I tried not to stress it and put too much emphasis on it because I knew good things were coming, honestly."
With the 152nd pick in the 2016 NFL Draft, the Washington Redskins selected defensive tackle Matt Ioannidis of Temple. Take a look at his collegiate career in photos.
Ioannidis admitted it was stressful having to wait until he was picked with the No. 152-overall selection, but the elation once he got a phone call from the Redskins was all worth it.
"If I could've seen my face, a big smile swept across it," Ioannidis told reporters. "I just remember turning to my mom and just being so incredibly grateful."
Ioannidis enjoyed the moment with his family over the weekend, but now his focus turns to being a Day 1 contributor for the Redskins.
Having a "great motor" should help out of the gates.
"I would just say I'm a relentless, tough player who's going to bring a lot to the table," Ioannidis said. "I'm just excited to get to work, honestly."