For many on Draft Twitter, Ronnie Perkins is a player they will go to bat for every time. In an edge class that lacks a true superstar, Perkins has found himself in a lot of top-five rankings across the platform. His blend of size, power, and speed has some believing he is a diamond in the second or even third round of the draft. To make matters even better, he will only be 20 at the time he is drafted.
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Name: Ronnie Perkins
Position: Edge Rusher
Weight: 251 lbs
Perkins is inconsistent with his explosiveness and first step off of the line of scrimmage. On some plays, he will gain an edge right from the snap, while on others, Perkins seems to be trying to read into the backfield and gets pushed back by the tackle.
Perkins has some clunkiness here. He doesn’t typically use bend and instead likes to lean through the inside shoulder of the tackle to get through the block. Sometimes it works, and other times it doesn’t. There is a lot to work with here, and it isn’t too much of a worry.
Perkins has great length to succeed at the next level. His arms are above average in length, and he uses that to his advantage against tackles by getting his hands on them first to gain some separation to get through.
Run Defense (9.25/10)
There were multiple occasions in each game where Perkins blew through one or even two offensive linemen to get to the ball-carrier in the backfield for a loss. He was so good at run defending that teams started using him as their read key on zone runs. Some tight ends were tasked with trying to block Perkins on these occasions, and it didn’t end well for them. When teams used him as the read key, it made him make a split-second decision.
Football IQ (8.25/10)
On those keys, Perkins made great decisions time and time again. There were a few times where he made the wrong read, and it ended in a chunk of yardage gained. When he was engaged with a lineman trying to penetrate the middle of the offense on some plays, Perkins would have his head down and be susceptible to what was going on around him. He is a refined technician in run defending besides this issue and has a decent amount of pass-rush moves at his disposal.
Lateral Mobility (9.25/10)
This section has already been pointed out throughout the report. Perkins can chase down the ball carrier from across the field and bring them down. There were plenty of times where he made a touchdown-saving tackle where he chased from the opposite side of the field. His quickness can even be a bit of a hindrance as that is why teams used him as the read key where he would crash down on the running back instead of reading and reacting.
Perkins is a very athletic player. He will chase down plays on the opposite side of the field to make the tackle. He can rip through offensive linemen and wrap up the ball-carrier and drag him to the ground. Unfortunately, there were a few times where Perkins would dive at the ball carrier’s feet in an attempt to make the tackle.
Right from the snap off the ball, Perkins explodes his hands through the tackle to get them off balance on an attack to get to the quarterback. When Perkins was lined up against tight ends or running backs, he blew past them and pushed them into the backfield, which resulted in a loss of yardage. His power not only helps himself out but the rest of his teammates. When Perkins would drive through one lineman, it hindered the others, which let the other defenders close in on the ball carrier.
Perkins will strictly be limited to a 4-3 scheme at the next level. Whether that be with his hand in the dirt as a 5-tech or a stand-up end remains to be seen. Most of his reps came with his hand in the dirt, so that is likely where teams will start him out during his rookie season.
Perkins never gave up on a play. He made tackles down the field from the opposite side of the play. He has a motor that is constantly running and looks to make a play every time he touches the field.
The Oklahoma pass-rusher has a clean injury report.
There is plenty to like about Perkins. He is a bit raw in some traits but has all the tools at his disposal to make his weaknesses strengths. He might fall down draft boards due to being a bit of a scheme-dependent player where he only plays in a 4-3 scheme but those teams in need of a pass-rusher should keep an eye on Perkins on day two of the draft. Perkins could wind up being one of the steals of the draft. He could be in contention for Defensive Rookie of the Year if he goes to the right team.
Final Grade (85/100): Early Second Round