2011 NFL Draft Player Profile | Ryan Kerrigan
The former three star recruit out of Muncie Central High School in Indiana has done nothing but make a name for himself as an athletic, high motor defensive end. He wasn’t very highly recruited, despite having 19 sacks in his senior year of high school.
Kerrigan received a good amount of playing time as a true freshman. He burst on the scene in 2008 as a sophomore, starting 11 games for the Boilermakers, and began to make a true name for himself as one of the most underrated players in the Big Ten.
Player Name: Ryan Kerrigan
Position: Defensive End
Height: 6’3 7/8
Arm: 33 3/8
One of Kerrigan’s biggest strength’s, is in fact his brute strength. He’s a physical bull rushing defensive end who uses his hands very well, knocking down the lineman’s initial punch to avoid being controlled. He gets inside of the lineman quickly, having an explosive first step, as well as power step on the inside pass rush. He gets up field in a hurry, catching slower offensive lineman off guard. He is a smart player who recognizes his opposition’s weaknesses. He has the quickness off the edge to be a speed rusher at times, and his excellent blend of quickness and strength sets him apart from a few others pass rushers in the 2011 NFL Draft. He’s an extremely hard worker, that some would call a “lunch pail” guy, who come to work, and gets the job done, no matter what he’s faced with.
Some feel that Kerrigan is extremely athletic, but I am not crazy about his athleticism. While he’s not a stiff player, he’s just not very fluid overall, and that’s why I question him being able to transition to a 34 outside linebacker. He’s never truly been tested in coverage, and doesn’t really play well in space, which is huge for a 34 outside backer. I think his ceiling has somewhat been reached, and while he will be a very good pro, I don’t see him ever being a truly dominant defensive end. With the proper coaching, however, that could change.
I feel that Kerrigan has a more broad draft range than a few other prospects. The NFL Combine will tell us a lot more about his overall athleticism, and we’ll see if he has more range as a hybrid linebacker like some scouts feel he can be. As of right now, I could see him being selected between pick 14 and pick 29. St. Louis may try and improve their pass rush a bit more and grab him at selection 14 if a great wide receiver doesn’t fall to them. New England may try and convert him to the 34 outside linebacker position with the 17th pick as well. I think that Tampa Bay, Seattle, New Orleans, Baltimore and Chicago make a lot more sense with him around the 20-29 range, to play a pure 43 defensive end role.
NFL Comparison: Ray Edwards