By now we should all know to never, ever overlook the defensive end position when it comes to the New York Giants and the NFL Draft. So, let's not do that. Let's use today's 2011 NFL Draft prospect profile to look at one of the best defensive ends in the draft.
Ryan Kerrigan of Purdue is a player who might not be the dominant speed pass rusher Osi Umenyiora is or the physical freak Jason Pierre-Paul is, but he has been a dominant defensive end for the Boilermakers. He will likely come off the board in the first round this April, and if he is still sitting on the board when the Giants select at No. 19 you have to believe he will be part of the discussion. I wouldn't think the Giants would do this, but given their philosophy I wouldn't be shocked by it, either.
Kerrigan made 209 tackles, including 55.5 for losses, and had 37.5 sacks om his four years with the Boilermakers.
DE, Purdue (Sr.)
6-foot-4, 263 pounds
Projection: Round 1
From Draft Countdown:
- Good size with a nice frame and growth potential
- More quick than fast but has a burst to close
- Able to get around the edge and run the arch
- Strong, powerful and an outstanding bull rusher
- Has a wide array of moves in pass rush repertoire
- Competitive and relentless with a non-stop motor
- Good range and does a great job in pursuit
- Reliable tackler who can deliver the big hit
- More than holds his own versus the run
- Displays violent hands and uses them well
- Shows the ability to disengage from blockers
- Smart with terrific instincts and awareness
- Utilizes proper technique and understands leverage
- Super tough and will play through pain / injuries
- Productive with a knack for making impact plays
- Superb leadership qualities and amazing work ethic
- Offers some positional and schematic versatility
- Lots of quality experience and a great pedigree
- Not a smooth athlete or overly explosive
- Average speed, agility and change of direction
- Ability to play on feet in space is a question mark
- May lack fluid hips and is unproven in coverage
- Some minor durability and health concerns
- Overall upside might be relatively limited
- May be a bit of a positional 'tweener
Fantastic football player who compensates for a lack of eye-popping physical tools with top-notch intangibles --- Draft stock soared after a standout senior campaign and it seemed as though everyone who saw him play came away singing his praises --- Might never be an "elite" sack artist along the lines of Julius Peppers but will be a very good player for a long time -- Profiles as a Chris Long-type of presence at the next level.
From Sideline Scouting:
Positives: Very solid pass rusher... Reasonably good strength at POA... Nice bull rush... Long arms... Strong hands... Uses his hands well... Good hand punch... Good speed... Solid short area quickness... Can push the pocket... Can jolt offensive linemen off their feet... Sheds blocks well... Plays with good leverage... Good upper body strength... Very solid versus the run... Good containment... Holds the edge well... Pursues the ball... Makes plays in the backfield... Does a good job stripping the ball... Can play through double teams... Physical... Relentless... Hard worker... Gives good effort... Very good motor... Good awareness... Steady, consistent... Good instincts... Keeps his head up and locates the ball... Tied for the all-time Football Bowl Subdivision record with 14 fumbles forced (Big Ten record, previously 13 held by Simeon Rice and Bob Sanders).
Negatives: Would need to add considerable weight to play LDE... Does not possess explosive burst off the ball... Lacks pass rushing counter moves inside... Plays a little high... Does not play in space much... Looks awkward in space... Can be washed out of a play when he gets too upright... Does not possess very good lateral mobility.
From CBS Sports:
Kerrigan's teammates - and even his coaches - have nicknamed him "Superman" because of his strength and all-out effort. Offensive tackles probably wished for kryptonite to prevent Kerrigan from somehow improving upon a 2009 All-American season by racking up 70 tackles and finishing among the FBS leaders with 26 tackles for loss, 12.5 sacks and five forced fumbles.
Kerrigan will undoubtedly remind scouts of former Big Ten star Aaron Kampman (Iowa), who has had a sometimes Pro Bowl-caliber career in the NFL as a strong-side end. Unlike Kampman, however, it is not expected Kerrigan will last until the fifth round of the 2011 draft. Teams utilizing 4-3 base schemes are always looking for three-down defensive ends capable of pressuring the quarterback and holding their ground against the run. Even if he doesn't light up the Combine with an electric time in the 40-yard dash, Kerrigan's all-around game should land him a spot in the top 40.