Player Profile – DE/OLB Ryan Kerrigan

While playing at Purdue, DE/OLB Ryan Kerrigan was a big-play performer. For evidence consider his Big 10 Conference record and his share of a major college record for forced fumbles in a career.

In his time with the Boilermakers, Kerrigan has forced 14 fumbles. It matches the record held by three others – Arizona State’s Terrell Suggs (2000-02), Cincinnati’s Antwan Peek (2000-02) and Kenechi Udeze of Southern California (2001-03). The previous record holders in the Big 10 with 13 forced fumbles were Simeon Rice of Illinois (1992-95) and Iowa’s Bob Sanders (2000-03).

“Our motto at Purdue was its not enough just to get the sack or get the tackle, but you wanted to force a fumble and get the ball back for your offense,” Kerrigan said. “We really tried to do that every game.”

It’s a skill that NFL defensive coordinators can’t wait to get their hands on.  Here’s his story.

FAMILY STUFF

Ryan Patrick Kerrigan

Born – August 16, 1988 in Muncie, Indiana.

Family – Parents are Anita and Brendan Kerrigan. Dad played football at Ball State. Brother Kyle swims at DePauw University.

BODY OF WORK

  • Height – 6-feet, 3¾ inches.
  • Weight – 267 pounds.
  • Arm – 33½ inches.
  • Hand – 9½ inches.
  • 40-yard dash – 4.67 seconds.
  • 20-yard dash – 2.72 seconds.
  • 10-yard dash – 1.61 seconds.
  • Bench press – 31 repetitions at 225 pounds.
  • Vertical jump – 33½ inches.
  • Broad jump – 10-feet, 2 inches.

HIGH SCHOOL

Kerrigan was part of the graduating class of 2007 at Muncie Central High School which is part of the Muncie Community School Corporation in Muncie, Indiana.

He was a three-year starter for the Bearcats, playing DE and TE for head coach John Hochstetler.

He also played basketball and baseball at MCHS. Kerrigan played in the 2006 Indiana 4A championship game against a Lawrence North High School team that included Greg Oden and Mike Conley, who would go on to star at Ohio State and then the NBA.

FOOTBALL

2006 – The Bearcats finished 7-6 and Kerrigan was a first-team All-State selection on a season where he had 90 tackles and 19 sacks. On offense, he caught 40 passes for 789 yards and 6 TDs. He was the state’s defensive lineman of the year.

2005 – A first-team All-State selection, with 67 tackles, including 14 sacks and one interception that he returned 83 yards for a TD. He caught 27 passes for 443 yards and 2 TDs. Muncie Central went 10-2 on the season.

2004 – In his sophomore season and first in the starting lineup, the Bearcats and Kerrigan finished 12-1.

RECRUITING

He was considered a three-star prospect by the scouting services. Kerrigan received scholarship offers from Purdue, Ball State, Cincinnati, Indiana, Michigan, Northern Illinois and Ohio State. He committed to the Boilermakers in August 2006.

COLLEGE

Kerrigan majored in Physical Education at Purdue University.

He did not miss a game during his four years playing for the Boilermakers, earning consensus All-America status in 2010, the seventh Purdue player to earn that distinction.

2010 – (Captain) He was a unanimous All-America selection, the first at Purdue in 20 years. He started all 12 games and had a career-high 70 tackles and 12.5 sacks. His best performance came against Michigan when he had 10 tackles, 4 sacks and 2 forced fumbles. He was named the Big 10 Defensive Player of the Year and Defensive Lineman of the Year. He was the team’s MVP on defense.

2009 – Kerrigan started all 12 games and had 66 tackles and 12 sacks. His best game was against Ohio State, where he had 9 tackles, 3 sacks and 2 forced fumble when he won defensive player of the week honors. He earned first-team All-Big 10.

2008 – He played in all 12 games with 11 starts and recorded 56 tackles, 7 sacks and an interception. Against Michigan he had 10 tackles and 3 sacks. He was named All-Big 10 honorable mention.

2007 – As a true freshman, Kerrigan played in 12 games and finished with 18 tackles and a sack.

MEDICAL

He had surgery on a broken foot after the 2009 season. He aggravated the same injury during spring practices in 2010.

 Year

 

G

 

S

Tot.

Tkl.

 

TFL

 

Sks.

 

QBH

 

INT

 

PBU

 

FF

 

RF

2010

12

12

70

26

12.5

0

0

1

5

1

2009

12

12

66

18.5

13

0

1

2

7

1

2008

12

11

56

11.5

7

2

0

4

2

0

2007

12

0

18

1

1

0

0

0

0

0

Totals

48

35

210

57

33.5

2

1

7

14

2

EVALUATION FOR PRO FOOTBALL

Strengths – Despite a tall frame, Kerrigan plays with good leverage on the edge and understands the need to get under the tackle’s pads and shows he can move them into the backfield or laterally. Holds his gap against the run and shows a good ability to get down the line and fight through the wash of bodies to get to the ball. He’s not exceptionally fast, but he can burst in pursuit to the passer. His power allows him to walk a tackle or tight end backwards collapsing the pocket. While he does not have a top level closing burst, his length can make it difficult to pass over him. Not a big hitter, but as evidenced by his record, he finds ways to get the football out and on the ground. One aspect of that is his hustle – his motor doesn’t seem to stop and he’ll chase all over the field. He’s intelligent, with good work habits and leadership skills.

Weaknesses – He needs to work at improving the use of his hands as he’s inconsistent in getting rid of blockers and he needs to take the next step in becoming a good pass rusher by developing some second and third pass rush moves. Kerrigan is very strong on the bull rush, but he needs more in his arsenal.

Analysis – As a pass rusher Kerrigan may have only scratched the surface of what he can bring to the NFL. He’s a strong, powerful package and at times he can overwhelm college tackles or tight ends. That’s not going to happen too often in the NFL. If he continues to work on his game – every indication he’s shown at Purdue says he will – Kerrigan will be a force in the NFL.

WHAT THE SCOUTS SAY

A scout for an AFC team said – “He’s got the skills to be a better player than Jared Allen. Rather than a poor man’s Jared Allen, he’s a rich man’s Jared Allen. He needs to have his game shaped with some NFL coaching, but the skills are there to be worked with.”

A scout for another AFC team said – “Kerrigan is not that great of an athlete. He’s not really quick and explosive. He gets to the ball and he makes things happen, but I don’t think he’ll ever be an elite pass rusher. That doesn’t mean he won’t be productive. I just don’t seem him leading the league in sacks.”

WHAT HE SAID

“I feel like I’m a good pass rusher; I can get after the passer. But I’m also athletic enough to drop into coverage and be able to cover tight ends and linebackers.”

WHAT OTHERS SAY

Former Purdue head coach Joe Tiller – “He’s a guy that can hold the point on the run and he can combine his explosiveness with his strength to defeat a bigger man. He’s a big man and to think he should be standing up and backing up to play football … this is a guy that is at his very best with his hand in the dirt going forward. He’s demonstrated at the collegiate level that he knows how to rush a passer and I don’t think that’s going to change at the next level.”

New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick – “They’ve had a really good history with those outside rushers with Ray Edwards and Rosevelt Colvin … it’s been a very good, productive position for Purdue and they’ve had them every year it seems like, and certainly Kerrigan looks like he’s another one that’s going to be part of that legacy. It’s an interesting position and one that school has had a lot of success with.”

DOES HE FIT THE CHIEFS?

It’s hard to see how there would be any negative to him playing for the Chiefs and Romeo Crennel’s defense. The intangibles are high with Kerrigan as is the upside. If Pioli/Haley get a chance to draft him, it’s hard to believe they’ll look past him.

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