The Boiling Point: CBSSports.com’s Pete Prisco has an article out questioning if race has anything to do with Ryan Kerrigan and Cam Newton’s NFL comparisons.
Do you see any similarities between the guy pictured above, Purdue’s Ryan Kerrigan, and this guy:
Well, CBSSports.com’s Pete Prisco really doesn’t. In fact, he says the only reason Kerrigan is considered to Kyle Vanden Bosch is because both are white. Prisco pointed to a play from 2009, when Purdue beat Ohio State and Kerrigan chased down Terrelle Pryor, something that doesn’t happen too often for D-linemen.
"That’s big-time speed for a 6-foot-3, 267-pound defensive end. And it’s also why any comparison of Kerrigan to Aaron Kampman and Kyle Vanden Bosch, two NFL defensive ends, does him a disservice. I think Kerrigan is compared to those defensive ends for one reason: Like them, he’s white. The NFL Draft stereotypes are almost never fair. Yet we hear them every year heading into the draft. This year, Cam Newton is almost always compared to Vince Young, in part because both are black quarterbacks who move around. Unfair. They aren’t as alike as you might think."
Prisco also points out that Cam Newton is compared to Vince Young, mostly because both are black and can move around the pocket. That’s about where the similarities end, however. This wouldn’t really be a big deal – who cares what people label you, you’re still going to the NFL – except that it’s probably going to cost Kerrigan millions of dollars, according to Prisco.
"For Kerrigan, the comparisons usually come with phrases such as try-hard, effort-player, never quits. They also might be costing him money. Speed rushers go in the top-10 of the draft; effort rushers go mid-first round to late-first round. In his mock draft for NFL.com, Pat Kirwan writes that Kerrigan plays with a high motor. Our top-notch guys from NFL DraftScout.com wrote this in their analysis of him: “Hustle pass-rusher; does not have exceptional closing burst.”"
I can see what Prisco is arguing, but I don’t know how much I buy into the argument that it’s causing Kerrigan to slip down the draft. NFL scouts see a lot of games, workouts and stats. I don’t think they’d go against their judgement just because of the way others describe a guy. Maybe I’m naive though.
What do you think?