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Peria Jerry DT 6'2 290 Ole Miss

By: Robert Davis

Jerry battles injuries his first two seasons for the Rebels, combining for just 25 tackles in that span. As a junior, he was finally healthy and had a breakout season. He earned All SEC 2nd team honors after finishing the season with 58 tackles, 14 for loss, and 3.5 sacks. Jerry was even better as a senior, totaling 47 tackles, 17 for loss, and six sacks on the year.

Strengths

Jerry has done a good job being a dual threat interior lineman. He has shown the ability to clog running lanes, but also the ability to consistently get into the backfield and disrupt the action. He has quick first step, and is tough to stop once he gets moving forward. Jerry is built low to the ground, and his momentum and strength allow him to slip through the line and make a lot of plays in the backfield. He brings some versatility to the field, as he has lined up both inside and outside for the Rebels.

Weaknesses

Durability is the big issue with Jerry. He was slowed his first two seasons in the program and he had knee surgery prior to the 2008 season. There do not seem to be any lingering effects, but you need to be healthy enough to get on to the field to make an impact. Jerry could also stand to bulk up to be more effective against the run. He has shown the ability to hold his ground at times in college, but his average size against NFL interior lineman could cause problems.

Future

Jerry had a big junior season that put him on the map as a prospect, and was even better as a senior. He has the talent to consistently penetrate the line and get into the backfield, which could put him in high demand come April. Teams always need interior lineman, and nobody at this point has distanced themselves from the pack at that spot. Jerry has as good a shot as any to be the first defensive tackle selected in the 2009 NFL Draft.


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