Lacks a great first step off the snap and isn't going to be able to threaten the edge at the next level. However, is consistently one of the first defensive linemen moving off the football and knows how to quickly get into his opponents.
Extends his arms well into blocks and is able to gain leverage with his hands and dictate to opposing linemen initially, but isn't a guy who consistently keeps his base down through contact. Nevertheless, exhibits good strength in his upper body and knows how to use his violent hands — loves to work his club — to gain a step and works his legs through contact in order to work his way toward the quarterback.
Works very hard in pursuit, has a motor that runs nonstop and showcases the type of short-area suddenness to slip blocks initially on contact. Isn't ever going to win with his initial get off burst but has enough body control, power and savvy to create a step for himself on contact and fight his way toward the quarterback as a pass rusher.
Now, isn't a real gifted athlete and really looks to lumber in pursuit when asked to chase the football down the field. Isn't going to make many plays from the backside and the more space he is in the less effective he plays. Doesn't possess the type of stack and shed ability vs. the run many people think.
Gets too high at the point when asked to anchor and too often can be overwhelmed when run at. Does a nice job extending his arms into blocks, but doesn't disengage with much success because of his high pad level. Lacks the kind of athleticism to consistently stack and shed and make plays off his frame.
Impression: A good pass rusher who uses his hands well to slip blocks, works hard and has some suddenness in tight areas. Would like to see him play the run better, but is a tough, high-character kid who could mature into a solid starter with some time."
Run Defense: Intelligent, assignment-sure run defender. Keeps arms extended to stack tackle to contain on the edge, though he could shed more consistently. Works hard to get down the line if the play is run away from him. Recovers quickly from cut blocks using his hands to keep his balance, but will lose the ball in the process. Presses double teams, will not give up on a play. Good overall build and has improved his functional strength. Better tackles can control him off the snap, though he will overpower or shed tight ends on run plays when one-on-one. Lacks speed to keep containment against quicker backs if he takes a step inside.
Explosion: Is not a quick-twitch athlete but has enough explosiveness from his stance to challenge strong-side tackles as a pass rusher. Keeps his hips low and delivers a strong punch into his blocker's chest, giving him a strong bull rush and the ability to keep his distance from tackles on the edge.
Strength: A taller defensive end, he plays with good leverage on the edge and gets under the pads and moves tackles into the backfield. Moves with blockers on the edge to prevent plays getting outside. Must improve using his hands to consistently disengage from blocks to make plays.
Tackling: Secure tackler inside and when chasing downfield. Excellent hustle to track down receivers and running backs downfield on short throws. Long, strong arms make it difficult for ballcarriers to elude his tackles. More of a drag-down tackler than explosive, but brings enough pop to force fumbles when attacking the quarterback. Lacks elite speed and has only adequate change-of-direction agility for his size; he might struggle to corral quick and elusive NFL backs.
Intangibles: Team captain and unquestioned leader of the defense. Off-the-charts work ethic on the field and weight room, equally excelling at both. Exceptional student-athlete, has garnered multiple Academic All-Big Ten and All-American honors during his career. Full name is Patrick Ryan Kerrigan. Father played football at Ball State. He had surgery on broken foot after 2009 season, which he also aggravated during spring practices in 2010."
Kerrigan is ready for the next level.
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.
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"
Positive: Intense defender who has been one of most prolific pass rushers in the nation the past two years. Displays outstanding first-step quickness, plays with suddenness, and viciously attacks ball carriers. Fast off the edge, gets his hands up, and effectively uses them to protect himself. Plays with good balance, rarely off his feet, and can flatten off the edge and pursue the action from the back side. Plays with terrific pad level, quickly changes direction, and is fluid moving in every area of the field. Relentless in pursuit of the action, displays an explosive burst of speed, and is constantly around the action. High-character prospect known for his work ethic.
Negative: Lacks bulk, neutralized at the point of attack, and struggles shedding blocks. Tends to take wide angles around blockers instead of meeting them head on. Primarily used up the field at Purdue and rarely asked to drop off the line of scrimmage.
Analysis: Kerrigan has been an exceptional defensive player who has taken over games the past two seasons. He possesses all the skills to be a one-gap defensive end at the next level, and though he lacks the great upside, Kerrigan comes with minimal risk."
"Positives: Very solid production, including 66 tackles, 18.5 for loss, 13 sacks and seven forced fumbles in 2009... 13 career forced fumbles is ties Big Ten record with Simeon Rice and Bob Sanders... Solid pass rusher... Good combination of speed and strength... Can turn the corner... Plays with good balance... Can push the pocket... Good bull rush... Shed blocks well... Goes for the strip... Solid versus the run... Plays with good leverage... Good lower body strength... Solid range... Decent closing speed... Can shift inside to play tackle in passing downs... Good instincts... Good motor... Team captain... Two-time Academic All-Big Ten... Received Purdue's Pit Bull Award for exemplified and sustained tenacity and intense play during 2009 spring practices.
Negatives: Not a great first step... Lacks pass rushing counter moves inside... May lack the size to play defensive end in all systems... Lacks experience dropping into coverage... High pad level... Struggles with mobile quarterbacks in the open field... Injury concerns, did not start 2008 season opener with sprained ankle... Brook foot in 2009 season finale and required surgery following the season... Aggravated the injury in spring practices."
Strengths: Ryan Kerrigan has been insanely productive at DE for the Boilermakers ever since earning a starting role as a redshirt sophomore. He's played against top-notch competition and put up some very impressive numbers. He possesses good size as a 4-3 DE, but also has the strength and quickness to get pressure when he lines up at DT, and could also be effective as either an OLB or DE in a 34 front. Kerrigan is a relentless player who doesn't quit until he hears a whistle. As a result of his motor, he earned the team's Pit Bull Award in 2009 for his relentlessness and intensity. He's an excellent backside pursuer because of his determination. He has a good first step and is typically the first defensive player moving on the snap. He's able to get into the offensive lineman quickly and has the functional football strength to bullrush the opponent, frequently walking him back into the QB and disrupting the play. As a run defender, he's stout at the POA and reads the action well. He uses his long arms to keep the blocker at bay and shed him in order to make the play. As a pass rusher, he has surprising quickness and can get the edge on slow-footed offensive linemen along with his exceptional bullrush. Kerrigan has a knack for not only getting to the QB, but also creating turnovers. Kerrigan is a leader on and off the field, takes well to coaching, and is a bright kid. He's a solid character guy as well.
Weaknesses: While Kerrigan appears to have the athleticism and strength to play a number of positions, he's going to be most effective at strongside DE in a 4-3 as he's not quite big enough to handle DE in a 3-4 yet, nor does he have the athleticism or coverage skills and experience to work the OLB position in a 3-4. As a pass rusher, he relies very heavily on either the speed rush off the edge or the bullrush. He doesn't have an arsenal of moves to use yet and is effective at the collegiate level primarily because he outworks the other guy all game. While Kerrigan plays with intensity, he sometimes gets too aggressive and will overpursue or bite on play fakes. He also appears to guess incorrectly on some plays and needs to show better recognition at the next level (although he appears to be the type who can certainly be coached up). The big question with Kerrigan is how high his ceiling is and if he's already reached it.
Projection: Kerrigan did everything he could to help his stock during his senior season and can only solidify his status as a late-first to early-second round selection in the 2011 NFL Draft with strong post-season showings. Might be a nice fit for Atlanta at #27."
He has great hands and has a knack for making plays as exhibited by his ability to force fumbles. Kerrigan lacks eye-popping athleticism and is not in great physical shape. His commitment and want-to on the field are unquestioned, the questions arise when it comes to the little things that turn great college players into great NFL players. He lacks an explosive first step, plays with high pad leverage and can be overpowered by strong blockers. Plays with stiff hips and has very little quickness. Kerrigan is a likely late first or early second round pick."
Coming from a program known for producing strong pass rushers will only help Kerrigan's case. The jury is still out about whether he can handle lining up as an outside linebacker in an odd front, and if he shows he can bend, flip his hips cleanly and drop in spring workouts, it could help his draft value."
"To be mentioned in that light is pretty special to me," Purdue defensive end Ryan Kerrigan said recently. "They're all tremendous players."
If you don't recognize Kerrigan's name, you're not alone. Few outside of West Lafayette, Ind., do. But he's a player worth getting to know.
To understand why, look at the chart on the right and consider how Kerrigan's past two years with the Boilermakers stack up to Ndamukong Suh's final two seasons with Nebraska -- a span during which Suh was named AP Player of the Year and finished fourth in Heisman voting.
Playing for the floundering Boilermakers, Kerrigan has been overshadowed by fellow Big Ten defensive line standouts such as Iowa's Adrian Clayborn, Wisconsin's J.J. Watt and Northwestern's Vince Browne. The Purdue senior is college football's best-kept secret.
Kerrigan earns All-America honors from SI.com
Kerrigan's success results from his stamina. He often plays up to 90 snaps per game -- an outrageous number for a defensive lineman -- and wears out tackles with his relentless pursuit of the ball-carrier. His ability to ward off fatigue was evident earlier this summer.
"Our first 12, 13 practices, it was triple-digits heat wise," said Purdue coach Danny Hope. "A lot of guys lost weight, lost strength and wore down. He just kept getting stronger. His stamina really separates him."
So does his strength. The 6-foot-4, 263-pound Kerrigan bench presses a mind-blowing 475 pounds (Clemson's Da'Quan Bowers, by comparison, bench presses 385 pounds), but still possesses the speed to blow by offensive linemen. He's repeatedly ripped down quarterbacks with one arm while jarring the ball loose with the other, allowing him to rack up 14 career forced fumbles, the most in Big Ten history.
He's also been a leader. Purdue lost its entire starting secondary and four of its top five linemen entering 2010, forcing Kerrigan to anchor a developing unit. He responded with five sacks and three forced fumbles as the team raced to a 4-2 start, a span during which the defense allowed just 20.3 points per game.
"He certainly wasn't a cheerleader type," said Hope, "but when Ryan needed to get their attention, he spoke up. The rest of the time he led by example."
Purdue's promising start didn't last, as the defense surrendered 37 points per contest during an 0-6 finish. It was a return to normalcy for the Boilermakers, who have gone just 13-23 (8-16 Big Ten) since Kerrigan's sophomore season.
That record has relegated Kerrigan to a spectator during bowl season, but that doesn't mean he'll be resting this December. He plans to watch game film, increase his lifting regimen and complete cardio exercises to better position himself for the NFL combine in the spring. He's looking to improve his draft stock, though many analysts already have him projected as a mid-to-late first round pick.
"I'll work on my flexibility a lot, especially in my hips," Kerrigan said. "I'll also work on incorporating more pass rush moves into my repertoire."
He'll also work on making a name for himself, something that was increasingly difficult at Purdue. Kerrigan's anonymity stems from his team's sustained mediocrity, and despite his staggering statistics he was omitted from consideration for the Bronco Nagurski Trophy, the Chuck Bednarik Award and even the Rotary Lombardi Award. He's hardly a blip on the national radar.
During the 2011 NFL Draft, that low-profile could change. Kerrigan's blend of work-ethic and Hulk-like strength make him a desirable prospect, and he'll look to follow Anthony Spencer, Shaun Phillips and Rosevelt Colvin as Purdue linemen who made a splash in the pros.
Hope certainly believes Kerrigan will be a star. "He's the total package in a lot of ways," the coach said. "He has good speed. He has exceptional strength. All the intangibles are there.
"You can't go wrong with Ryan Kerrigan.""
Ryan Kerrigan is one of my very favorite players in this Draft Class.
However, he doesn't have much Burst, Lateral Agility, or a very good Anchor.
If I was judging on Raw Talent, alone, I wouldn't hesitate to call the kind a flat out BUST.
But Ryan Kerrigan has the heart of a LION. He is an utterly voracious worker, an highly intelligent Student of the Game, a dedicated Gym Rat, strong as an Ox, and a Savvy and Instinctive player. I believe that, despite his many physical limitations, he'll forge a long and successfull career and quickly become an admired and beloved teammate.
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