NE grabs EDGE defender Ronnie Perkins from Oklahoma, PFF's 43rd overall player:
Per SI:Ronnie Perkins looks like he weighs a lot more than what he's listed at, but he carries it extremely well. He has experience from both the stand-up position and with his hand in the dirt. He has the speed to threaten the near hip of offensive tackles, but flattening and turning the corner can be hit or miss. Possessing very powerful hands, it’s easy to see the effect that they have on matchups as he’s consistently able to jolt them back suddenly after coming into contact with him. His unique power and strength help him to remain clean as a run defender. Snatch-pull and club-rip are two moves that he often likes to use and both have been highly effective for him throughout his career. Continuing to add more to his repertoire will only help him continue his development going forward. Right now, Perkins doesn’t have an apparent counter move that he likes to execute when blockers have an immediate answer to his first plan of attack. When unable to utilize initial moves, he can struggle to find that next move to still have an effect on plays. As a run defender, he can be wildly undisciplined with chasing pulling blockers or with chasing running backs on zone-read plays. When seeing that pullers who originally started on his side are traveling to the other, he immediately chased them, which often left the backside void of contain responsibilities. Playing more disciplined and demonstrating more patience on running plays is needed.
Per B/R:Overall, Perkins may be at his best in a situational pass-rushing role. He can use his pass-rushing upside to generate pressure; this will allow him not to rely on his questionable run instinct and defending ability. He’s not inept as a run defender, but he could use a year to process the nuances of whatever defense drafts him. Developing more of a consistent pass rush plan would benefit Perkins as well.
- Good combination of athleticism and bend, despite his lighter frame.
- Play recognition is a premium trait, allowing him to beat blocks that he physically should lose more often.
- In third down situations as a true pass-rusher, he has a quality get-off.
- Consistent enough as a tackler to play as a 3-4 outside linebacker in the NFL.
- Has a knack for making plays on stunts and blitzes rather than pure four-man rushes.
- Very similar to the profile of linebacker-edge defender hybrid Uchenna Nwosu (2018 second-rounder) coming out of USC.
- Size will be an issue in certain situations, such as getting washed down on down blocks.
- Needs to develop a quality inside counter to his pass-rushing game, as he typically overplays as an outside rusher.
- Does not transition speed into power as a pass-rusher.
- Foot speed is good, but not elite, for a player of his size.