6’4, 267 pounds | Outside linebacker/Defensive End | Purdue
Coverage: Playing defensive end in the Boilermakers 4-3 scheme, Kerrigan was not asked to drop back in to coverage. He did show the ability during Senior Bowl and NFL Scouting Combine practices and workouts. Kerrigan enters the NFL as a defensive end who will learn to play outside linebacker. As a rookie he should be asked to do nothing more than pin his ears back and rush the quarterback.
Instincts/recognition: Is a see-and-react player. Does a nice job anticipating what the offense will do. Routinely beats the snap.
Pass rush: Is a great athlete. Too many consider him a “high-motor” player- which downplays his athletic ability. Can be a bit stiff in the hips when turning the corner. Is too fast for offensive tackles and too strong for tight ends. Kerrigan has the tools to be a force on the edge in a stand-up position. Does a nice job using his hands to create separation. Has one “good” pass rush move and must develop counter moves to succeed in the NFL.
Pursuit/Lateral movement and agility: Has the agility to slide and work down the offensive line to get to the edge. Is not a quick-twitch guy and can be washed down if the blocker beats him to the corner. Is quick to recover when he takes a poor angle or is knocked off the ball.
Quickness: Kerrigan shocked the NFL community with his 4.67 in the 40-yard dash at the NFL Scouting Combine. He has the rare quickness and speed to dominate offensive tackles off the snap. Has the burst to pressure offensive tackles in to mistakes off the ball.
Run defense: Kerrigan is by all accounts a smart, assignment-style football player. Is a sure-tackler and is able to step up to set the edge against the run. Will take on blockers due to his experience at defensive end. Will fight through double teams.
Strength/Ability to shed blocks: Has good overall build and strength. Is not timid. Will mix it up with blockers. Keeps outside arm free when working to the edge.
Final word: Nicknamed “Superman” by coaches and teammates for his rare abilities, Kerrigan is an exciting player.
Kerrigan’s stock is rising as the draft approaches. With so many NFL teams now running 3-4 defenses a player of his talents is in demand.
While some compare Kerrigan to Vernon Gholston or Aaron Maybin, others see Tamba Hali and Clay Matthews.
Either way, Kerrigan will see himself drafted in the first round.