Some will tell you Peria Jerry, at the tender age of 25, is pretty old for a rookie. Some will tell you he lacks ideal bulk at the defensive tackle. Very few will tell you that he's not going to succeed at the NFL level, and with good reason. You see, Peria Jerry is just plain good at playing football.
The other day Jesse28 brought up the fact that my brainy cohort and I have written more articles about third-string quarterback D.J. Shockley than a host of guys, among them Jerry. It got me thinking about why Jerry, who after all was our first round draft pick this year, has fallen somewhat into the posting background here. I could answer that any number of ways, but only one really rings true. Not to sound like a broken record, but Peria Jerry is just plain good at playing football.
There's no need to worry about the guy, in my estimation. Has he been spectacular on the practice field or in pre-season games? No, you probably would've heard about it by now. Has he been terrible or injured, besides a blip early in camp? Nope, he hasn't been either of those, well, either. What he's been is simply solid, which is about what you'd expect from a rookie defensive tackle. Yet I haven't heard the slightest suggestion that he might not get a starting job on opening day, and that has a lot to do with the kind of player Jerry is likely to be once he gets his feet under him.
The best comparison to draw in recent times is probably Rod Coleman, a feared pass rushing defensive tackle who also managed to play reasonably well against the run. Hopefully Jerry is a hell of a lot healthier than Coleman, but if he maxes out at that talent level he'd be superb value for a first round pick, especially in this draft class. With his development progressing steadily, I see no reason that can't happen, and with John Abraham attracting so much attention outside, Jerry could surpass 5 sacks in his freshman campaign with little trouble.
So for those of you wondering, that's where I stand on Peria Jerry. He's going to be a solid rookie and he'll eventually be a very good defensive tackle in this league. What are your thoughts?