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Ronnie Perkins

Scouting Notes: Ronnie Perkins, EDGE, Oklahoma

Junior | 6’3” 247 lbs | St. Louis, MO

 

An athletic defensive end who wins with quickness and change of direction as a pass rusher but lacks the pad level and base to hold up against down blocks and double teams against the run

 

Overview:

Ronnie Perkins came to Oklahoma as a 4-star recruit, earning a starting spot about halfway into his true freshman season. In two years at Norman, he’s managed to rack up 75 total tackles – 45 solo – 21.5 for loss, and 11 sacks, while playing as a weak-side defensive end in the Sooner’s 3-4 scheme that used a lot of even fronts. The St. Louis native has good quickness and change of direction skills to win with stick moves as a pass rusher and has good hand placement to get extension against base blocks in the run game. However, he struggles with his chop timing to start his pass rush moves and plays with high pad level and a narrow base, leading to struggles against down blocks and double teams. Perkins is served a suspension for failing a drug test before the Peach Bowl last season, delaying the start of his 2020 campaign.

Strengths:

– Impressive quickness and COD to win as a pass rusher with inside/outside stick moves and as the looper in line games
– Ideal hand placement and solid strength when turning speed to power on up and under moves
– Takes an efficient path to the quarterback when unblocked or after a clean beat of the offensive lineman
– A decent pass rush motor to get coverage sacks that picks up in the critical moments
– Against reach blocks, he’s quick to recognize the blocking scheme and has very good agility and UOH to set the edge, even when slanting puts him out of position
– Against base blocks, he’s physical at the point of attack with perfect hand placement on the chest of offensive linemen to help get extension and hold his ground
– Recognizes when he’s unblocked against the option and breaks down in the backfield, which paired with his quickness, agility and COD allows him to play to both the QB and dive back
– Does not get blocked by Tight Ends against any type of block
– Sure tackler who uses good pad level and has enough play strength to consistently bring down running backs

Areas to Improve:

– Consistently late to react to the snap, hindering his get off against the run or pass
– When executing finesse pass rush moves, he struggles with the timing and accuracy of his initial chop and needs to finish with an aggressive thumb to trap rip to help bend and turn the corner, limiting his pass rush arsenal
– Lacks the strength to get pressure with his bull rush, especially when rushing inside
– Seems to lack a pass rush plan as he rarely throws counter moves if his initial doesn’t work
– Plays with a narrow base and high pad level, leading to issues holding his ground against down blocks from offensive linemen, especially when slanting
– Doesn’t exude very much effort on plays away from him

Injury Concerns:

N/A

Projection:

Perkins’ athleticism and instincts make him an interesting prospect who has plenty of potential to become an effective pass rusher at the next level. He’s probably best as a defensive end In a 4-3 system but given his size and athletic ability, there’s reason to believe he can play as an outside linebacker in a 3-4 system. As for the draft, the Sooner currently projects as a third- or fourth-round pick.

What to Watch in 2020:

Can he sure up his initial chop timing in pass rush and show the ability to cover? Perkins’ pass rush repertoire is slightly limited due to his inaccuracy with his hands on finesse moves, which will lead to struggles at the next level. Also, if the junior can show off some coverage skills more 3-4 teams will feel more comfortable about his fit in their system, but that could be difficult given his role on Oklahoma’s defense.