According to many mock drafts, specifically Pat Kirwan's mock draft, the Jaguars will be drafting Ryan Kerrigan with the 16th pick of the 2011 draft. For those of you that aren't familiar with him, he's a 6'4", 263 lbs. DE from Purdue. Kirwan says that he has a "high motor" that Jack Del Rio loves. I have no problem with Ryan Kerrigan, but the constant explanation for the Jaguars' picks is now "that guy has a good motor." Come on guys, that's not why the Jaguars would draft Kerrigan.
The Jaguars draft their guys based on who's at the top of the Jaguars' board when it's their turn to pick. Everyone around the Jaguars knows that. Ryan Kerrigan would add a lot to the Jaguars pass rush. He's got moves on top of moves, and yes, he does have a strong motor. Kerrigan is an effort guy, and that's what any team would want.
Kerrigan does need to get better in run support to have a real impact in the NFL. Kerrigan held the point of attack well in college, and he benefitted with many tackles, but in the NFL the tackles are bigger, stronger, and faster. As with most defensive players, there will be a learning curve for him in the NFL, but he has all the tools to get by those hurdles very quickly.
Ryan Kerrigan is also the right size to play DE in a 4-3 system. Yes, he could gain a little weight, but at 263 pounds, he just needs to maintain that build.
To really identify whether Kerrigan will be drafted by the Jaguars, we need to examine the players picked before and after him. Going back to Kirwan's mock, we find that Julio Jones is listed being picked 14th. He's the one name that jumps out as a guy that may be higher on the Jaguars' board, and he also plays a position of need, WR. If Jones fell a couple of picks to the Jaguars, Gene Smith may pick him. Outside of Jones, I don't see anyone around the Jaguars' pick that may be rated higher than Kerrigan.
Ryan Kerrigan has a lot of upside, but he's got a lot of work to do. He would likely be a popular pick in Jacksonville and around the nation, although that doesn't mean anything (remember Alualu?). I think Kerrigan would pay off far more in the long run than as a guy that reaches his potential quickly. He has all the tools and talent, but it's going to take some time for him to put those together. If he is drafted by the Jaguars, he may get the chance to chase quarterbacks in teal for a long time.