Know Your Draft Prospect: Ryan Kerrigan

College: Purdue

Combine Height: 6'4

Combine Weight: 267

Combine .40:  4.71

 3 Cone Drill: 7.18

Vertical: 33.5" (Measures Explosion)

Combine Bench: 31 Reps (225lbs)

Combine Broad Jump: 10'2" (Measures Explosion)

Wonderlic Score: Unknown

 

The only Purdue Boilermakers game I watched all season was the November 13 match against Michigan. Which is probably one more than the average person evaluating draft prospects. At that time I noted on the BucsNation twitter account that Kerrigan would look good in a Bucs uni. I'm not one for previewing the draft in November when plenty of good football is still being played, but to ignore the skill that Kerrigan was playing with, would have been nearly impossible. It's also little secret that the Bucs desire a DE. Whether they go after one in the first round in a draft very deep with DE's, remains to be seen. Kerrigan has actually seen his stock drop slightly. Kerrigan stands at 42nd on Dan Kadar's (MockingTheDraft) top prospect board and 24th (grade of 90) on Scout.Com's Top 32 prospects.

Cons: The biggest reason for hesitation with Kerrigan is his athleticism. His speed is below-average for an NFL end and he doesn't change directions well. A good S&C coach that can increase his flexibility in his hips may improve this.  He may not be athletic enough to take over Stylez position at RDE and doesn't use enough leverage to separate himself from our plethora of under-achieving LDE's. As with a lot of DE's he gets too far in the backfield taking himself out of some plays. He struggles when making moves to the inside and lacks speed to chase down quicker RB's and QB's. He is also pretty light coming out of college. 255 is a feather-weight to most NFL OT's. He needed to impress at the combine and he did. I've said that unless you get injured or you are Andre Smith and you first opt to take off your shirt and then opt to leave the combine early unannounced that you can't hurt your draft stock. Even then, Smith only cost himself at most 2 spots and was drafted 6th over all. Scouts care way more about your body of work than the combine. Regardless, I do think you can HELP your stock. Which is exactly what Kerrigan did.

Pros: I saw very few guys play with the motor that Kerrigan displayed in that Michigan game. He is an absolutely tenacious end that uses more moves than 99% of college ends. In some videos I watched of him I saw him use swim moves, spins, bull rushes, stiff arms and side steps effectively. He does a great job of extending his long arms to makes tackles and makes hits low. Kerrigan has phenomenal hand-work, often controlling the tackle. This enables him to get off blocks and play laterally against the run. Because of this, he has been called by some as the best run-stopping DE in this years draft. While his knowledge lacks slightly against the pass rush and he will occasionally take his eyes off the QB, his knowledge of the run game and technique combined with his ability to see the back makes him a very good option against the run. I don't worry about his ability to transition his tackling to the NFL because of his strength and technique, but his ability to get off blocks may diminish against stronger more skilled tackles. He does play a little high, but nothing that can't be corrected. He is a phenomenal tackler once he gets his hands on a player. Again, the are few players that play with such high energy as Kerrigan does. Ryan is also a vocal and passionate leader at Purdue, something the Bucs will need when Barber retires.

Final Analysis: I really like Kerrigan. I think he has potential to be a very good end in the NFL. The risk is a little higher than some, and to be quite honest, I'm not sure that Kerrigan brings much more than what was expected of Kyle Moore. If the Bucs do decide to go with Kerrigan, it's certainly not a bad pick, and can be groomed to play more of LDE. If they want him to replace White, I think his playing weight needs to only increase slightly (260-265). However, if they are looking at him to be a LDE, he will have to put on substantially more than that (265-275). Though, any weight gain should be monitored because of his already struggling speed and change of direction ability.

Sander on Combine results:

 Kerrigan definitely surprised me with his combine performance, as I thought he would start to slip due to his limited athleticism. But it looks like I was wrong to some extent. he posted good numbers in the 40-yard dash and vertical jump, and his Broad Jump was second only to Sam Acho - signifying some impressive explosive burst. He also had one of the best bench presses among defensive ends, who mostly didn't make it to the top 15 performers among defensive linemen at that drill. Still, he didn't do well in the 3-cone drill and 20-yard shuttle, which shows me he lacks some short-area quickness. Before the combine I thought of Kerrigan as a second-round guy who would be a solid defensive end but never excel at anything. Now I think he has a shot at being an impact pass rusher, though I still think that the Bucs can do better than Kerrigan at the #20 pick. But despite my misgivings, Kerrigan has been a very consistent producer over the past years for Purdue and the Bucs could fall in love with his production and work ethic.

NFL.Com Analysis:

Strengths
Kerrigan has good size and speed. Explodes off the line and plays with sound leverage to get under offensive tackles. Persistent pass rusher with great closing burst that has a knack for making strip sacks. Reads quickly and has a strong lower half which makes him stout against the run. Very productive.

Weakness
Lacks the elite burst and speed to consistently get around the edge. Does not show an adequate repertoire of pass rushing counter moves. Struggles at times to make plays in space. Lacks experience on his feet as an outside linebacker.

 

Videos: 2009 Vs Michigan

               2010 Vs Northwestern

               Career highlights

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