#12 DE, Ryan Kerrigan (6’4 259 lbs.) – Purdue Boilermakers
Pass Rush Skills: Quick off the snap. Powerful and explosive rusher. Does not have elite speed, but shows a great deal of suddenness in short areas. Does a good job of getting underneath linemen and bending the corner. Closing burst is amazing. Quarterbacks rarely get away once he gets around linemen. Has the ability to use leverage and strength to walk lineman back into the quarterback. Has the knack for causing the quarterback to fumble. Caused 11 fumbles in two years. Lacks the athleticism to quickly change directions and needs to work on counter moves.
Versus the run: Very effective against the run. Has the upper body strength to shed blockers, and the lower body strength to anchor. Does a good job at setting the edge and keeping contain to his side. Anticipates the snap count well and uses his quick first step to stop ball carriers for loses. Excellent closing speed allows him to chase down ball carriers from the backside. Could be more violent with his hands.
Versatility: Has the perfect size and pass rushing ability to convert to outside linebacker, but lacks the athleticism to hold up in man or zone coverage. At this point, he is strictly a defensive end.
Instincts/Motor: Solid instincts, especially against the run. Does a good job at staying true to his responsibilities. Is rarely fooled by misdirection or screen plays. Excellent feel for jarring the ball loose from quarterbacks when securing the sack. Motor runs hot at all times. Is relentless in his efforts against the run and pass. Makes a lot of plays off of hustle alone.
Intangibles: 2010 Team Captain, BIG Ten defensive player of the year, 1st Team AP All-American, and Walter Camp Football Foundation 1st Team All-American. Received the team’s Pit Bull Award for exemplifying and sustaining tenacity and intense play. Possesses a blue collar attitude and work ethic.
Overall Stock: Ryan Kerrigan has the size and pass rushing ability to play outside linebacker in the 3-4 defense. It is yet to be seen if he possesses the athleticism necessary to play standing up. Teams will have their eyes focused on Kerrigan during offseason workouts. If he can show that he is comfortable without his hand in the dirt, then he will for sure be snatched up by a 3-4 team in the draft. If not, he’ll most likely play the power defensive end position in the 4-3. Kerrigan is a menace off the edge. His motor wears linemen down over the course of a game. His combination of power and quick burst is too much to handle, and his knack for causing turnovers makes him very desirable to teams. There are a lot of teams in need of a pass rusher. Kerrigan will for sure come off the board in the first round. Depending on how much athleticism he shows at the combine and pro day will determine how high he goes.
NFL Comparison: Jared Allen