A name that has been mentioned in relation to the Jaguars several times this offseason is that of Defensive End Ryan Kerrigan. He's a 4-year player in college with good stats and has been rated pretty highly on some people's boards. I've seen him ranging from the mid-teens to mid-20's which would put the Jaguars in prime position to snatch him up. Of course, that's if they want him.Kerrigan has incredible numbers in college. He has racked up 210 tackles and 33 sacks in his four years at Purdue and was credited this past season with 70 tackles and 13 sacks. At the college level he was a pretty consistent performer. Last year, he had at least one sack in 9 of his 12 games, had 10+ tackles three times and had a four sack game against Michigan near the end of the season.
Now that we've got the stats out of the way, let's get to the most important part: the eyeball test. I watched some game tape on Kerrigan. He's pretty strong, he's quick enough, and he's a real hard working guy. He'll fight to the ball a lot of the time, but physically there are still some questions. ESPN has him measured at 6'4" 263 lbs. He probably has room for another 10-15 pounds on his frame, but adding it might slow him down. At just over 260, he'll be down about 30 pounds from most offensive tackles, and that's never a good thing. You can make it in the NFL undersized, but in order to make that work, you need to have really good leverage and quickness at the point of attack.
That's where I find Kerrigan lacking. Yes he can turn the corner, but not like a Julius Peppers or an Aaron Kampman. More like a Jeremy Mincey, and we got Mincey off the street. He can give a slow Tackle hell, and he tortured the RT in the second half of the senior bowl on two straight plays with a speed rush, but that won't happen against most NFL tackles. In short, he'll make bad Tackles look bad and good ones look good.
Overall, to go with the baseball analogy, I wouldn't feel right calling Kerrigan a "single" or a "home run" pick. I'd call him a walk. You'd still get on base, meaning you'd get a starter, but I don't feel like he's gonna be a stud Defensive End. Of course, this may change with some really incredible Combine numbers, but I kind of see Kerrigan running a 4.7-4.8 for his 40 and losing a little time in the shuttle runs. Given that we already have a decent 3-1/2 man rotation at DE (AK coming off of an ACL counts as half) I'd rather hear somebody else's name when the Jags are on the podium. Physically, I'd put him in with JJ Watt, two guys who I think don't have the physical tools to make a huge impact, but could be solid starters.