NFL Draft 2011: Philadelphia Eagles Prospect, Purdue Defensive End Ryan Kerrigan

Mike BurkeCorrespondent IApril 27, 2011

WEST LAFAYETTE, IN - SEPTEMBER 20:  Quarterback Dan LeFevour #13 of the Central Michigan Chippewas is tackled by Ryan Kerrigan #94 of the Purdue Boilermakers at Ross-Ade Stadium on September 20, 2008 in West Lafayette, Indiana.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

As the draft gets closer, more people in Philly seem to think that the Eagles will look for a defensive lineman in the first round or trade back.  There are a lot of solid prospects along the defensive line, and it seems the Eagles are interested in getting their hands on one.

At 6'4" and 267 pounds, Ryan Kerrigan could be a bull of a pass-rusher to take some snaps opposite of Trent Cole.

Kerrigan started to blossom at Purdue as a sophomore, but he really bloomed in his junior and senior years.  As a junior, Kerrigan recorded 66 tackles and 12 sacks.  He followed that up with a strong senior season, recording 70 tackles and 13 sacks.

Kerrigan uses a very good combination of speed and power when rushing the quarterback.  This combination keeps offensive linemen guessing.  If they step back in pass protection, and Kerrigan has a head of steam, they don't know whether he's going to try to bull through them or make more of a speed maneuver.

Although he's highly regarded as an elite pass-rusher, I think he's underrated in terms of how he plays against the run.  Kerrigan typically plays pass first, but he keeps his eyes on the backfield and recognizes the run early.  He takes good angles when plays go away from him, and has decent open field speed to chase down running backs.

Kerrigan was a captain at Purdue and plays with that non-stop attitude that the Eagles love.  However, Kerrigan may not be around if the Eagles wait until the 23rd overall selection.  Odds are he might end up going somewhere in the 15-20 range.

I think he's definitely a player who will make an immediate impact no matter where he ends up.  The question will be how much the Eagles value him.  If he starts falling into the late teens, I think the Eagles could consider moving up to get him.

View a compilation of Kerrigan's career highlights at Purdue by clicking here.