Potential Patriots draftees: Ryan Kerrigan

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Potential Patriots draftees: Ryan Kerrigan

By Tom E. Curran
CSNNE.com

Heading into the NFL draft, Tom E. Curran plans a series of looks at potential Patriots draftees. Today's player: Ryan Kerrigan
Ryan Kerrigan, 6-4, 267DEOLB,Purdue

Havoc-causing defensive end in Purdue's 4-3. Had 32.5 sacks in past three seasons for Boilermakers and tied the NCAA DivisionIrecord for forcedfumbles in a career (14). Kerrigan is probably the player most often ticketed to go to the Patriots in mock drafts this spring. There's a lot of reason for that. He's a football junkie and carries himself with the kind of professional air that says nothing matters more than football. Additionally, he's terrifically productive in a high-profile program and has played well against top Big Ten competition. It's not clear yet how well he'll operate in a 3-4 alignment. Whether or not he can drop into coverage on first and second down is the main question. But when the Patriots go 4-3 in passing situations, he's a beast on the edge going forward. Meanwhile, I keep reading about his lack of explosivenessand athleticism in scouting reports. I'm not getting it. Seems more than athletic and explosive than people give him credit for.

Gotta Have Him:
Tully Banta-Cain had a big investment sunk into him last offseason as a free agent by the Pats but he had a shaky 2010. His pass-rush production is under investigation. Jermaine Cunningham, who's operating over the right tackle most of the time, would seem to be the future over there. Rob Ninkovich - like Kerrigan, a Purdue product - is the first and second-down linebacker on the other side. There's a need and Kerrigan can fill it.

Don't Need Him:
Our buddy Wes Bunting at National Football Post thinks Kerrigan is really overvalued. "He gets the stereotypical 'he's white so he's a hard-nosed pass-rusher, blue-collar player and tough against the run," says Bunting. "I just don't think he's that tough against the run and that he'll get blown away in a 4-3 by tackles. In the 3-4, he's going to have to drop (in coverage) and he's too stiff-hipped to get in and out of breaks." Bunting says that spending a first-round pick on a guy who maybe a run-stoppingliability and could struggle with 3-4 OLB responsibilities is a gamble.

Forecast:
The need is there when it comes to adding a guy who can bring consistent pressure on opposing quarterbacks. And the players are there in this draft to fill that need. Kerrigan is one of several excellent players the Patriots can go with and we'll get into the rest. But if Kerrigan is as overvalued as Bunting says, there's no way New England spends its 17th pick on him and he will not be there at 28. If, however, the team has determined that he can do the unique things they demand - and he can mentally master them quickly - he could be their man.

Patriots Draftability: 8

Tom E. Curran can be reached at tcurran@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Tom on Twitter at http:twitter.comtomecurran.

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Darrelle Revis has court date Thursday on fight claims

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New York Jets cornerback Darrelle Revis has a court date next week on criminal charges stemming from a fight after he turned himself in to police and was later released on a non-monetary bond.

Revis faces aggravated assault and other charges alleging he was in a fight with two men last weekend in Pittsburgh. He answered no questions from the media as he turned himself in Friday. He later made an initial court appearance, and his next court date was scheduled for Thursday.

Revis' attorney has said Revis was physically assaulted by a group of at least five people. He said Revis "feared for his safety" and sought medical attention, but he didn't offer details about the severity of Revis' injuries.

Police say the fight started when a man began recording a video of Revis and Revis grabbed his phone and tried to delete it. Two men say they were punched and knocked out.

The New York Jets said through a spokesman they would have no further comment on Revis' situation other than their initial statement that they were aware of the matter and had spoken with Revis. NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy said in an email to The Associated Press that the league was looking into the matter.

Attorney Blaine Jones said Saturday in a text message that while he was hired for the pre-indictment phase of the case, he would not be representing the Jets cornerback going forward.

Revis is due $15 million next season, including a $2 million roster bonus due on the second day of the new league year, March 10.

The $13 million in base salary includes $6 million in guaranteed money, which the Jets would owe him even if they decided to cut him before the deadline.

Revis had a bitter breakup with his agents last year and has no formal representation going forward.

Revis, who is from Aliquippa, was a star at the University of Pittsburgh and was drafted No. 14 overall by the Jets in 2007. He quickly established himself as one of the top players at his position - and in franchise history - while also earning the nickname, "Revis Island" for his penchant for routinely shutting down opposing teams' top receivers. He is in his second stint with the Jets.

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