More info on Kerrigan from NFL Draftcountdown:
When talking about the NFL Draft, we often get enamored with the phenomenal athletes. Running the fastest 40 time or lifting the most weights at the combine will get you national press and plenty of notice. It is often the highly productive college players who give 110% effort and have a positive impact on their teams who are left behind because they don’t quite fit the athletic freak profile we have come to try and notice. One of the players who seems to be flying under the radar despite stringing together two excellent seasons and being the shining star on a struggling Big Ten team is Purdue’s Ryan Kerrigan. This defensive end dominated opposing offensive linemen in the Big Ten for almost two seasons now.
Kerrigan’s best trait is his undying motor. There may not be a player in the country who puts in as much effort on every play than Kerrigan. As the laziness of NFL defensive linemen such as Albert Haynesworth becomes a major issue, Kerrigan will be the complete opposite. He never gives up on a play or the possibility that he can make a big time impact on any play. His pass rushing repertoire is varied as well. Depending on his opponent in the trench, Kerrigan has used everything from pure power and strength to the refined technique of a swim move to get to a quarterback. He is one of the best at his position to identify potential weaknesses and capitalize on them, an invaluable tool for the NFL. In the games Kerrigan has been stopped, it has been due to double and even triple teams against him at times. With the rest of the Boilermaker defense considered mediocre, Kerrigan has had to overcome adversity to make the type of impact he has. Combine these elements with rock solid intangibles, and you have the makings of a potential impact player at the next level.
Kerrigan has been showing these pure skills over the course of his career at Purdue. Last season, the game where he came onto the scene was a huge 3 sack performance against Ohio State when Purdue took down the Buckeyes 26-18 on Kerrigan’s performance. For the season, Kerrigan ended up with 11.0 sacks, 17.0 TFL, and 65 total tackles, establishing himself as a top Big Ten defensive lineman. This year Kerrigan has not quite received the same press clippings, but he has actually been more productive. With two games left this season, he has hit 11.5 sacks, including a 4 sack performance against the very potent offense of Michigan. Even if Kerrigan doesn’t have the eye-popping workout numbers of others this offseason, he has stepped up on the field and that type of production simply can’t and probably won’t be ignored on Draft Day.
With his production, intangibles, and motor, Kerrigan should be in strong consideration to go in the first round. There is an exceptionally strong defensive line class this year with pass rushers and run stuffers galore which could hurt his stock, but Kerrigan could end up an absolute steal if he goes in the late first or early second round. With midround players such as Austin Collie, Elvis Dumervil, Alterraun Verner, etc, succeeding the NFL based on their motor and effort, Kerrigan has a great chance at success. He even may convert to outside linebacker in a 3-4 to utilize his pass rushing ability to its full potential. Without the height or measureables, some teams will pass not viewing Kerrigan as a home run pass rusher, but they could regret possibly passing on a true leader and an upstanding individual who can become the face
Sometimes running the Mularkey offense makes me feel like I'm in a prison.