As a related story to Dave's CSC Mock Draft selection of Purdue DE Ryan Kerrigan this morning, I'm rolling with news that our arch-nemesis the Falcons are bringing Kerrigan in for a visit today and tomorrow. Maybe this shouldn't be a surprise. They need help on defense too (facing the Saints two times a year is a large reason why) and lots of teams have brought him in for a look-see.
If Kerrigan is gonna find a home in the NFC South, I'd rather it be with the Saints and not for a team where he gets assigned to go after Drew Brees twice a year. The Falcons are slated to pick after we do (unless they trade up), so at least Payton and Loomis will get first dibs on Kerrigan if he's still there when they select.
That's turning out to be a big "IF." Recent speculation suggests he may be drafted in the late teens rather than the 20's, so he may not be there for either team.
Pat Yasinskas thinks the only way he'll wind up in the NFC South is if the Saints, Falcons, or Bucs trade up in the first round.
Even if you go on the assumption that Kerrigan ranks slightly behind North Carolina’s Robert Quinn, Missouri’s Aldon Smith and Clemson’s Da’Quan Bowers, who seems to be falling in most mock drafts due to concerns about a knee injury, it’s difficult to imagine Kerrigan still being available when the NFC South really gets on the clock in this draft.
Jacksonville, New England and San Diego pick at Nos. 16, 17 and 18 respectively and all have strong needs for a pass rusher. The other three defensive ends are likely to be gone by then and I see it almost as an impossibility for Kerrigan to last past the Jaguars, Patriots and Chargers.
Has Kerrigan's draft stock risen that high? It'll be very interesting to see how the first round actually plays out. Can't wait til draft day!