6'3, 267 pounds | Defensive end | Purdue
Pass rush: The ability to create pressure and get into the backfield is the best part of Kerrigan's game. Kerrigan's great snap awareness is coupled with an excellent first step. Those two traits allow him to get a jump off the line as he works to the edge. He possesses the quickness to consistently threaten the edge and flatten out. Kerrigan has several different pass rush moves which includes a strong bull rush. He uses leverage and good hand placement to get under the offensive linemen and push them into the backfield. Another major factor to Kerrigan's ability to create pressure is his non-stop motor and hustle. However, from time to time Kerrigan gets to far up-field and is pushed past the pocket but this does not happen very often.
Pursuit: Kerrigan has the quickness to identify the football and close. His awareness allows him to find the ball carrier and work his way towards the play. While he has good overall quickness, he possesses an average closing burst allowing some faster players to outrun his pursuit. Kerrigan is a relentless player which really boosts his ability to chase players from behind.
Run defense: If you draft Ryan Kerrigan your not selecting him because of his ability to stuff the run. However, he plays the run with integrity and effort. His leverage and hand usage allows him to hold at the point and avoid getting pushed off the ball. His technique is important to his ability to stop the run because he possesses less than ideal size. Kerrigan is able to anchor and hold at the point but struggles to disengage. His limited ability to quickly disengage hinders his run stopping skills. Kerrigan also can be caught pinning his ears back and getting up-field which tends to put him out of position.
Strength: Kerrigan's strength comes from his ability to remain low and gain leverage. His low pad level allows him to get under the linemen and either anchor or push. Kerrigan's strong lower half also impacts his ability to effectively create pressure and stuff the run. He has average hand strength which impacts his ability to disengage.
Tackling: Remaining balanced and under control are major keys to Kerrigan's ability to make a sound tackle. He does a nice job of breaking down while keeping his head on a swivel. Kerrigan rolls his hips into the ball carrier delivering a nice pop. He is always aware of ball location and routinely attempts to jar the ball loose.
Technique: Kerrigan's good snap awareness and first step allow him to quickly fire off the football. He keeps his pad level low throughout the play helping him maintain leverage. Kerrigan quickly gets his hands into the linemen helping him both anchor and push. His quick hands help him employ many different pass rush moves and keep linemen off his body. From time to time, Kerrigan will get to far up-field which results in him being pushed past the pocket.
Final word: Kerrigan is a prospect that a lot of NFL teams are taking a close look at. His ability to create pressure and get into the backfield is something every team covets. Kerrigan has a great work ethic and is always looking to make a game changing play. He is being considered as a either a defensive end or an outside linebacker. His lack of a concrete position could hurt his overall draft position. Teams need to determine if he could drop into coverage as a linebacker or hold up against the run as a defensive lineman. Kerrigan will be a first round pick and will be counted on to get after the quarterback.