Question is, can Kerrigan play outside linebacker better than Kampman?
That's the question the Green Bay Packers must answer, and part of the reason scout Tim Terry was dispatched to West Lafayette, Ind., for Purdue's pro day on Friday.
The 6-foot-4, 267-pound Kerrigan is one of the "hybrid" types in this draft. Teams that run 4-3 defenses like him as an end and teams that run 3-4 defenses are considering him as an outside linebacker. Regardless of scheme, he's considered a first-round prospect.
A three-year starter and first-team all-Big Ten selection as a junior and senior, Kerrigan was named the Big Ten's defensive lineman of the year in 2010 after posting a league-high 12.5 sacks to go with his nation-high 26.0 tackles for losses. In four years, Mike Neal's collegiate teammate tallied a whopping 33.5 sacks and 57 TFLs. His 14 career forced fumbles tied a national record.
Oh, and he's was Academic All-Big Ten, a nominee for the Lowe's Senior Class Award and an undisputed team leader.
For late-round/undrafted prospects, Purdue offers 6-foot-2 receiver Keith Smith, who caught a Big Ten-high 91 passes as a junior and 18 in two games as a senior before tearing his ACL and MCL. Tight end Kyle Adams (6-4, 251) offers much the same skill-set as Tom Crabtree.
The Horned Frogs have become a national powerhouse, and one reason was quarterback Andy Dalton, who a source told Packer Report recently that the Packers love as the successor to Matt Flynn as Aaron Rodgers' backup.
With performances like Friday's, however, Dalton won't be in play for Green Bay. Dalton, with 27 touchdowns and six interceptions as a senior, reportedly was flawless during a 50-pass workout that vaults him right to the top of that second tier of quarterbacks behind Cam Newton, Blaine Gabbert, Ryan Mallett, Jake Locker and Christian Ponder.
A few other names to consider in the latter rounds: Jake Kirkpatrick (6-2, 301) won the Rimington Award as the nation's top center and has been effective in a zone scheme. Tejay Johnson (6-0, 212) was a first-team All-American safety with three interceptions and three forced fumbles. Jason Teague (6-foot-2) has the size the Packers want at cornerback. Teague, who was not invited to the Combine, was clocked as fast 4.48 by some scouts at the pro day.
Cameron Heyward, who we featured earlier in the day, is Ohio State's lone first-round prospect. But the Buckeyes, as you'd expect, have plenty of prospects, including cornerback Devon Torrence. Torrence (6-foot-1) spent time in the Houston Astros' organization as a centerfield prospect but gave up baseball and was a two-year starter for the Buckeyes. Torrence, who picked off two passes as a senior, ran his 40 in 4.5 seconds, an almost two-tenths improvement from the Combine.
There were two hard-hitting safeties of note. One was Jermale Hines (6-1, 216), a starter at safety who played cornerback in nickel. He had modest stats as a senior but the coaches voted him first-team All-Big Ten. The other was James Vercammen of Dayton, a Football Championship Subdivision school. The ultraproductive 5-foot-10, 210-pound all-American posted 100 tackles, 13.5 tackles for losses, 5.5 sacks and three forced fumbles as a senior.
DeAndre Brown looked like the next big thing. A towering 6-foot-6 receiver, he posted a dominant freshman campaign of 67 catches, 1,117 yards and 12 touchdowns. But he suffered a broken leg in the New Orleans Bowl that year and his production never returned. In 2009 and 2010 combined, he caught 63 passes for 1,049 yards and 12 touchdowns. Still, he declared for the draft following his junior season, despite missing seven games with a lower leg strain that limited him to just 16 catches.
A long strider, it takes him a while to get up to full speed but appears to run faster than his Combine time of 4.59.
Nose tackle Stephen Paea, who electrified the Scouting Combine with a record 49 reps on the 225-pound bench press, had six sacks during an All-American senior season. He told Packer Report that he had a formal interview with the Packers at the Combine, but with B.J. Raji manning the nose, he wouldn't make a lot of sense even if still on the board in the second round.
The Beavers' touted prospects are brothers Jacquizz Rodgers (running back) and James Rodgers (receiver). Both are 5-foot-7 so almost certainly have been crossed off the Packers' draft board. James Rodgers, however, has been a dangerous kick returner.
Maybe the one prospect for Packers fans to remember is center Alex Linnenkohl (6-2, 303), a three-time Academic All-Pac-10 choice and a real tough guy with above-average athleticism. He would be worth a pick in the sixth round.
The Packers were at Clemson on Thursday. DaQuan Bowers is a potential top-five pick but running back Jamie Harper and safeties DeAndre McDaniel (6-1, 210) and Marcus Gilchrist (5-11, 190) have drawn the Packers' interest.
Harper entered the draft following a junior season in which he rushed for 760 yards, caught 35 passes and scored 10 touchdowns. The Packers like backs with power and good hands, and at 5-foot-11 and 230 pounds, he certainly has those traits. He ran the 40 in 4.59 at the Combine and 4.48 on Thursday. Small hands, however, are a concern for ball-security. McDaniel picked off eight passes in 2009, four in 2010 and was an honor student. He's one of the top players in a weak safety class.
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Bill Huber is publisher of Packer Report magazine and PackerReport.com and has written for Packer Report since 1997. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org, or leave him a question in Packer Report's subscribers-only Packers Pro Club forum. Find Bill on Twitter at twitter.com/packerreport and Facebook under Bill Huber.