Name: OLB Ryan Kerrigan
Size: 6'4, 267 lbs
Expected Round: 1st
3 Cone: 7.18s
Career Stats: Click Here
Strengths: Explosive player with proven ability to rush the quarterback. Drew constant double teams. Ability to stunt. High motor player who doesn't give up on a play. Forces the quarterback to be aware of his presence. Strong body tackler. Solid job of shedding blockers on the outside. Goes to strip the ball. Ideal size and speed.
Weaknesses: Doesn't seem to have an elite final burst in the backfield. Seems to run himself around the pocket, as opposed to into the pocket, or pushing the pocket. Doesn't have the hips or fluidity to drop into coverage as an OLB. Can get sealed off if he doesn't have momentum. Poor athleticism. Lacks an elite pass rush repertoire of moves.
Why and Why Not the Patriots after the jump, and my final verdict!
Why the Patriots?: Kerrigan is possibly the most prolific pass rusher in the draft. He's a blue collar guy who will work hard every day. He has the J.J. Watt mentality at outside linebacker, but in a much less athletic body. He seems like a Belichick kind of player with a nose for the turnover and the safe play. He's shown improvement every year at Purdue, which puts him on a solid trajectory in the NFL.
Why Not the Patriots?: Kerrigan may lack the athleticism needed to be a 3-4 OLB and is most likely better off on a 4-3 team where he can shine at defensive end. A mid first round pick is a high price for an unathletic transition player and he's far from a sure thing at OLB.
Verdict: Kerrigan doesn't seem like a good fit with the Patriots. He'll be drafted early based on his college production, but I'm not sure he'll thrive in the NFL. He'll be a solid player, but he won't be dominant. I don't see him fitting with a 3-4 team, so he'll most likely go to a 4-3 team where he can stay in his pass rusher role.