NFL Draft 2010 Player Profile: Eric Berry, Tennessee Safety

Will Eric Berry crack the top-five of the NFL Draft? SB Nation's Rocky Top Talk scouts the former Vol.

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Eric Berry Visiting The Bucs, Chiefs, Browns And Eagles

Eric Berry is starting to schedule pre-draft visits, according to the National Football Post.

University of Tennessee top-ranked safety Eric Berry is scheduled to visit the Cleveland Browns, Kansas City Chiefs, Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Philadelphia Eagles, according to an NFL source with knowledge of the situation.  

The Bucs (3), Chiefs (5) and Browns (7) could all be in position to select Berry. All three of those teams also need safety help.

The Eagles are the wildcard here. They're not picking until the bottom half of the first round and the only way they would get Berry is by trading up.

Read more draft talk at Mocking The Draft.

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Chiefs GM Not High On Eric Berry With The Fifth Pick?

SI's Peter King has an interesting nugget in his Monday Morning Quarterback column today. He breaks down the risks involved with taking a safety high in the draft.

Eric Berry out of Tennessee is commonly associated with the Chiefs at the fifth pick in the draft. That's higher than a safety is generally drafted and King passes along a story from Chiefs GM Scott Pioli's good friend and former colleague, Falcons GM Thomas Dimitroff.

Atlanta GM Thomas Dimitroff calls the safety-at-the-top-of-the-draft debate a conundrum. "It's been on my mind a lot lately," he said, "and I realize I'm speaking out of both sides of my mouth here, but Berry's a really good player. It's been on my mind quite a bit recently. You want the good hitter with hip movement, able to turn and run, but then reality sets in.

I was talking to [Kansas City GM] Scott Pioli about Berry, and I said, 'Scott, this guy's your pick.' And he said, 'You know how I feel about safeties that early.' And I understand.''

The NFL draft is a time for smoke screens but if Pioli was telling the truth to Dimitroff, then Berry doesn't appear to be the Chiefs guy with the fifth pick.

Read more at SB Nation's Chiefs community, Arrowhead Pride.

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Eric Berry Suffers 'Left Big Toe Sprain' At Tennessee Pro Day

Eric Berry reportedly suffered a “left big toe sprain” on Wednesday at the Tennessee pro day.

Romeo Crennel was running the workout when Berry was injured. Jim Trotter of SI.com was there:

Eric says he stepped in what felt like a hole in the field. Felt a tingle in his toe. KC D-coord told him to shut it down and get it checked

SB Nation’s Cincy Jungle takes a look at the Berry injury and wonders whether he could be wearing stripes one day.

For all other draft needs, look no further than Mocking The Draft.

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NFL Draft 2010 Player Profile: Eric Berry, Tennessee Safety

Measurements

Eric Berry is the total package, excelling at everything expected of star defensive backs. He's an incredibly fierce hitter, anticipating plays to get to just the right spot at just the right time so that he can launch himself at the ball carrier with a bone-crunching, perfect form tackle. He also uses his high intelligence, game savvy, and closing speed to read passing plays and bait quarterbacks into throwing interceptions. After interceptions and fumble recoveries, he uses field vision, sneaky quick moves and angles, and pure speed to rack up yards.

Berry's not just a star athlete, though. He is a genuine, quality character guy who will not only keep himself out of trouble, but go out of his way to keep others out of trouble as well. South Carolina offensive tackle Rokevious Watkins credits Berry with keeping him from a life of using and dealing drugs, and when star freshman safety Janzen Jackson was arrested (the charges were later dismissed) for armed robbery, Berry moved Jackson into his off-campus house to help get him back on the right path.

In his first two seasons, Berry compiled 12 interceptions and a staggering 487 yards on interception returns. After only a half of a typical college career, Berry was a mere 15 yards from having the NCAA career record for interception return yards. It seemed like the guy could steal the ball at will, and when he got it, he was gone:

 

Despite playing one more season, Berry never did get the record. No, for Berry's junior season, Monte Kiffin utilized him in various atypical roles for a safety, primarily keeping him close to the line of scrimmage to shut down opponents' run games. This is probably the biggest reason that Berry's Heisman campaign fizzled, but that does not mean that he didn't have a fantastic, highlight-filled final season for the Volunteers:


Weaknesses

  • Can't fly.
  • Can't play more than two positions at once.
  • Can't clone himself, although he does have two younger brothers following in his footsteps. Seriously, the only question the pro scouts bring up about Berry is the shoulder surgery he had eons ago. He played the bulk of a season with that thing (so add toughness to his list of strengths), and no one who saw him hit poor offensive players after the surgery would dare question the shoulder. Not to his face anyway.

Non-football endearing/charming/interesting thing

Berry is frightened of horses and bees. Seriously. Equines scare him, and I once saw video of him ducking under a table at an autograph session when a bee buzzed by, although I can no longer find the video of that.

Over/underrated?

Most mock drafts have Berry being drafted as either the second or third pick overall, although I've seen one site have him as low as 6th. Despite the hype and the overwhelming expectations, you really can't say that he's overrated and you can make an argument for underrated. After all, Berry came to Tennessee with those same expectations (he was RTT#1 in the Class of 2007 (lots of good stuff at that link)), and he not only lived up to them, he exceeded them.

Additional articles on Eric Berry from RTT

Final career stats

Games
Played
Rushing Total
Offense
Receiving
  Rushes Gain Loss Net TDs Plays Yds No Yds TD
39 7 44 7 37 0 7 37 1 3 0
Int. Ret. Fum. Ret. Kickoff
Ret.

Pts
No Yds TD No Yds TD No Yds TD TTL
TDs

14 494 3 4 103 0 6 132 0 3 18
Tackles Passes
Defended
Forced
Fumbles
QB Hurries
Ast Solo Asst
Loss
Solo
Loss
Loss
Yds



88 157 3 16 45 17 2 3
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