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 PROFILE   GAME ANALYSIS   PLAYER NEWS   EXTERNAL Jerry NEWS   PLAYER STATISTICS
Name: Peria Jerry 
Compares to: Travis Johnson (Florida State/2005/Rd 1/Hou)
College: Mississippi     Number: 98
Height: 6-2   Weight: 299
Position: DT  Pos2:   Class/Draft Year: Sr/2009
40 Low: 4.89
  40 Time: 4.98
   40 High: 5.12

Projected Round: 1   High: 10-20  Low: Late 1  Stock: 
Rated number 2 out of 156 DT's     21 / 2491 TOTAL
Combine Invite: Yes
Height: 6016
Weight: 299
40 Yrd Dash: 
20 Yrd Dash: 
10 Yrd Dash: 
225 Lb. Bench Reps: 
Vertical Jump: 
Broad Jump: 
20 Yrd Shuttle: 
3-Cone Drill: 
No Combine workout, hamstring

Dates: 03/26/09
Height: 6016
Weight: 299
40 Yrd Dash: 4.98
20 Yrd Dash: 2.86
10 Yrd Dash: 1.68
225 Lb. Bench Reps: 28
Vertical Jump: 31
Broad Jump: 09'06"
20 Yrd Shuttle: 4.64
3-Cone Drill: 7.30

   
 Data Scout Notes: 1stC/1stM

Post-Draft Outlook:
A closer look at the Falcons' picks: Round 1/24 -- Peria Jerry, DT, 6-1, 299, Mississippi...Jerry was a first-team all-American and All-Southeastern Conference pick. He can shoot gaps and had 18 tackles for losses, seven quarterback sacks and two forced fumbles last season, but he can stop the run, too. "Peria's a big ol' strong, country guy," Falcons general manager Thomas Dimitroff said. "He's going to hold the point (of attack). He has the ability to be a one-gap guy and disrupt behind the line of scrimmage. He's a high-motor defensive lineman who was very productive." - by The Sports Xchange
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 Overview

  
The Rebels' remarkable turnaround on defense in 2008 was thanks largely to the stellar performance of Jerry, who made a quick recovery from August arthroscopic knee surgery to have the most dominating season for an Ole Miss defender since the departure of All-American linebacke, Patrick Willis.

Mississippi finished 101st in the nation in rushing defense (199.08 ypg) and 88th in total defense (423.42 ypg) in 2007. With Jerry wreaking havoc in the opposing backfield, the team ranked fourth nationally in rushing defense (85.54 ypg) and 19th in total defense (307.23 ypg) in 2008.

Jerry led the Southeastern Conference and ranked second among the nation's defensive tackles (11th overall) with 18 tackles behind the line of scrimmage, an average of 1.5 stops for loss per game, in 2008. During last two seasons, he registered 32 tackles for loss and 10.5 sacks, establishing his dominance in the middle of the field.

"Peria rises to every occasion that we've challenged him to this season," Mississippi defensive coordinator Tyrone Nix said. "There are so many people across the country who haven't seen him and what he can do. He's a kid that's been a force for us in the run game, in the pass game and in every aspect. I'm just proud to be able to say that I coached him his senior year."

Jerry's family roots are deep in football tradition. His cousin, Dwayne Rudd, was an All-American linebacker at Alabama (1994-96) and was selected in the first round of the 1997 NFL Draft by Minnesota, playing for the Vikings (1997-2000), Cleveland (2001-02) and Tampa Bay (2003). Their cousin, Derek Pegues, was an All-Southeastern Conference defensive back at Mississippi State (2005-08).

Jerry's brother, John, is an offensive lineman and teammate at Ole Miss (2006-present). Their cousins, linebacker Eddie Strong (1998-2002) and running back Toward Sanford (1999-2002), played at Ole Miss. Toward's brother, defensive back Jamarca Sanford (2005-08), played on the Rebel defense alongside Jerry during their careers.

Like most of his cousins and Pittsburgh Steelers cornerback DeShea Townsend, Jerry was a product from South Panola High School. During his prep days, he earned first-team All-State and Class 5A Defensive Player of the Year honors from the Mississippi Association of Coaches. He was also named first-team All-State by The Clarion-Ledger and was a member of the RebelGrove.com Mississippi 15 Finest list.

Jerry made the Rivals.com Mississippi Top 20 and Mobile Register's Super Southeast 120 lists, in addition to being a member of Max Emfinger's Super South Top 200, which rated Jerry as the sixth-best inside linebacker in the region. He added the Clarion-Ledger's Top 40 recruits in Mississippi and The Sun-Herald's Top 30 accolades, while also being selected to Prep Star' All-Region and Super Prep's All-Dixie. After his senior year, he was chosen to play in the 2004 Mississippi-Alabama All-Star Classic in Mobile, Alabama.

A three-year starter, Jerry capped off his senior season by leading South Panola with 104 tackles, which included seven tackles for loss and three sacks, helping the team finish with a perfect 15-0 record in 2003, which was good enough to win the Class 5A state championship and earn a final ninth place national ranking by USA Today. He sat out his junior season due to injury, but recorded 255 tackles and 16 sacks for his career.

Jerry signed with Mississippi in 2004, but later enrolled at Hargrave Military Academy to improve his academics. He appeared in eight games that year, posting 30 tackles and five sacks, but was hampered by ankle problems. He enrolled at Ole Miss in 2005, playing in six of the Rebels' final seven games, as he missed the first four games overcoming his prep school injury. He finished with just three tackles.

Jerry saw action at every defensive line position in 2006, starting a total of six of the eight games he played in -- two each at left end, left tackle and nose guard. Foot and hand injuries forced him to miss four contests, but he still managed to record 22 tackles (17 solos) with two sacks and five stops for losses.

Jerry had his first injury-free season in 2006, starting all 12 games at left tackle. The All-Southeastern Conference second-team choice finished second on the team and seventh in the conference with 14 tackles behind the line of scrimmage, adding 3.5 sacks and a career-high 58 hits (40 solos). He also had his only career interception.

A right knee lateral meniscus tear required surgery in August, but after missing just the 2008 season opener, Jerry returned to the field, starting 11 of his final 12 games. The All-American and All-SEC first-team selection posted 49 tackles (25 solos), as he ranked second on the squad with seven sacks. He led the league with 18.0 stops behind the line of scrimmage, racing 13 yards for a touchdown on a fumble recovery.



 Analysis

  Positives: Quick, active three-technique tackle. ... Good height and adequate girth inside. ... Very quick off the snap, able to beat the down block by tackles or penetrate to force the quarterback to rush his decision. ... Gets his hands inside guards' jerseys to push the pocket. ... Chases downfield on plays away from him, and works hard to make a tackle when the ball is in his area. ... Uses his hands well to defeat cut blocks inside. ... Handles double-teams pretty well when playing the nose considering his height, and is able to get off the double to get to the ball. ... Emerged as the unquestioned leader of the Ole Miss defensive line. ... Dominant week at the Senior Bowl. ... Good bloodlines. ... Cousins Eddie Strong and Dwayne Rudd both played linebacker in the NFL.

Negatives: Makes a lot of plays when slanting toward the action. ... Needs to play stronger at the point against the run. ... Can play a bit high in rushing situations, causing him to lose the leverage battle. ... Lacks great awareness, as he does not keep his eyes in the backfield. ... Takes himself out of plays too often. ... Needs to stay on his feet against stronger linemen. ... Low test score. ... May struggle with a complicated playbook.

Compares To: ANTHONY McFARLAND, ex-Indianapolis -- Like McFarland, Jerry is an undersized defensive tackle with a high motor. His versatility (can play zero, two- or three-tech), initial burst and active hands made him the most disruptive force in the SEC in 2008. While he did not do it in the past, Jerry showed marked improvement reading blocks, feeling pressure and redirecting to the play. He has become a force from the off-side and became a challenge for offensive linemen as he showed a more physical nature in his play. He won't maul a lineman, but has developed capable hands (wax on, wax off moves) with a quick swim to gain penetration. Still, like McFarland, injuries and durability issues are a concern.


 Scouting Report

  
GENERAL REPORT: GRADE: 6.28
Body Structure: Jerry lacks a muscular frame or good height, as he has a fleshy frame with little room for additional bulk. He has wide hips, a big midsection, thick thighs and calves, long arms and strong hands, but is a bit top heavy, lacking good lower body strength to anchor.

Athletic Ability: Jerry is surprisingly quick for a player that carries his girth, as he also shows good lateral agility, doing a better job of slanting or making plays on the move rather than when anchored at the line of scrimmage. He has durability concerns, as the 2007 season was the only year he played relatively injury free since his high school sophomore campaign. Still, he is light on his feet and shows explosion and suddenness coming off the snap. He is a quick twitch type who showed in 2008 that he could play with a high motor. He has very active hands and puts enough power behind them to shock and stun getting into a blocker's chest. He is best when working down the line, as he has the loose hips to quickly change direction. He pursues hard and has a good feel for leverage and balance, but has a much stronger upper body frame than in his legs. GRADE: 6.0

Football Sense: Jerry did struggle academically and had to attend prep school earlier in his career, but made a good turnaround, earning Ole Miss academic honors in 2006. He has just adequate field awareness when scanning the backfield, despite 32 stops behind the line of scrimmage the last two years (gets a lot of garbage sacks or TFLs when slanting). He is a load to contain one-on-one, but he acts like a bull in a china shop too much, resulting in him being taken out of plays. Even with his academic success, he still scored lower on the Wonderlic test than most down linemen. He is still the type that needs a few reps to retain, but he made good adjustments on the move and shows good desire to locate, stalk and make the play. GRADE: 5.5

Character: Jerry has an outgoing personality. He is the unquestioned team leader and promoted a family atmosphere on the squad. He has no known off-field issues and has several cousins that excelled in football at Ole Miss and throughout the SEC. GRADE: 6.4

Competitiveness: Jerry shows outstanding competitiveness. He plays with true aggression, urgency and determination in his play. He will hustle and pursue until the whistle, especially when working downfield. He showed in 2008 that he had the ability to produce in the clutch. Even though durability issues are sure to arise, he makes remarkably quick recoveries from his bumps and bruises, playing with injuries that would sideline most for much longer. He plays with a very high motor, which sometimes sees himself just out-run the play, but offensive linemen need to account for his effort and intensity. If he can maintain that strong desire to win, he will be a big producer at the next level. GRADE: 7.5

Work Habits: Jerry is one of the hardest workers on the team. He is not the type that will beat his own chest or draw attention to himself, but he quickly filled the leadership void on the team after the departure of All-American linebacker Patrick Willis two years ago. The staff had come to rely on him to mentor the younger players and he really took to that role. He has a lot of pride in his play. Still, it leads you to wonder why his body lacks muscle tone and is quite fleshy in the midsection. He will need to improve his lower body strength, as that is one area of his game that is his weakest. GRADE: 6.0

ATHLETIC REPORT: GRADE: 6.63
Explosion/Pursuit: Despite an unimpressive physique, Jerry has a very quick initial step and low pad level to simply explode into the unsuspecting offensive linemen. He is fast and disruptive slanting into the backfield and is a move oriented type of player who is much more effective in space than when anchoring at the line. He lacks great lower body strength and when he gets too tall, he can get washed out of the play and lose leverage. He shows outstanding explosion off the snap and is a very effective quick twitch type. His initial quickness allows him to gain advantage and he shows good arm-over action to slip off the blocker. GRADE: 7.0

Strength at Point: Jerry gets most of his success based on his explosiveness off the line rather than try to out-battle the offensive linemen. He is a bit top heavy and will lose leverage at times when he gets too tall in his stance. When he keeps his pad level down, he can do a better job of splitting double teams. He needs to widen his base better for in-line trench battles, but is active with his hands and gets a good anchor vs. double teams when he hunkers down. He needs to be more consistent with his low pad level, but made very good strides in this area last season. When he plays high, he looks tentative coming off the ball. He uses his hand punch effectively to fend off and shed blocks quickly, but must become more alert at protecting his legs. His improved rip and club moves, along with his hand usage, generally saw him escape the initial block to penetrate. He still needs to improve his overall strength. GRADE: 5.8

Use of Hands: This is one of his better assets, along with his explosiveness. Jerry has learned how to use his burst and active hands to quickly shed. He comes off the ball with good explosion and gets his hands up quickly to generate a strong push. He has the rip, swim, club and arm-under moves to penetrate and disrupt in the backfield. He is very good at grabbing, controlling and pushing in attempts to separate. GRADE: 7.1

Lateral Pursuit/Effort: For a player with his marginal physique and noticeable girth, the big man can surely move down the line. He plays with a fast motor and with his intense effort, he is very disruptive coming off the block and flying to the ball. He has a solid straight-line burst and a good feel for slanting, thanks to loose hips to change direction easily. He is best when taking on plays in space, as he lacks the wide base and lower body drive to prevent from getting caught from behind when working through trash. He is active in pursuit and will hustle when he gets a free lane into the backfield. His speed is evident in his straight-ahead burst, but he needs to do a better job of clearing when operating in traffic. GRADE: 6.4

Tackling Ability: Jerry is a sure tackler when pursuing, as he drags down ballcarriers hard. His burst is more relentless than sudden, but with his improved hand usage he generates good body lean and upper body power to deliver a blow on contact. Rather than grab or make arm tackles like he did in the past, he has learned proper positioning. When he stays low in his pads, he can generate more power on contact. When he plays too high, he does not have the hip snap to compensate. GRADE: 6.3

Run Defense: Jerry is a model for those looking for a disruptive force. He has that first step that consistently gets him into the backfield and does a good job of keeping the blocker off his body so he can shed and make plays down the line. He uses his hands effectively to disengage and has a variety of moves to surprise a lethargic blocker. He has developed a good feel for the ball and showed in 2008 that he was quick to locate it. In the past, he would get his pad level too high, resulting in him losing some strength in his anchor, as he failed to sink his hips. However, he now stays at a good pad level, so he can use his functional strength to stack and control. GRADE: 7.1

Pass Rush: Jerry is not really a pass rusher, as most of his sacks happen by slanting or in garbage action, but he is a playmaker in the backfield and is constantly disrupting the pocket. He lacks the lower body power to consistently defeat combo blocks and while he shows very good aggression shooting the gaps as a bull rusher, he needs to show better consistency to finish. His bull rush can easily destroy guards and centers, but he won't have the same impact coming off the outside shoulder of an offensive tackle. In the past, he failed to get off blocks quickly, but he has now learned to generate explosion off the snap, which has improved his pass rush. His change of direction agility and high motor allows him to be a disruptive force in the backfield. The thing you notice on 2008 film is that he developed a counter move to help him separate after making initial contact. GRADE: 6.7

Closing on the QB: Jerry shows good effort to get to the quarterback and a quick burst to close, but does not always finish (gets reckless and over-pursues). His short burst gives him the ability to collapse the pocket, but he is more relentless than sudden. GRADE: 6.0

Instincts/Recognition: Jerry shows adequate ability to read working through trash and is best doing so when on the move. He has a good feel for schemes and double teams and is active with his hands to split. He is not the type that is fooled by play-action and misdirection and works hard escaping blocks to attack tight ends and short area receivers on screens. He just seems slower making plays working in-line than when in space. GRADE: 6.3

Compares To: ANTHONY McFARLAND, ex-Indianapolis -- Like McFarland, Jerry is an undersized defensive tackle with a high motor. His versatility (can play zero, two- or three-tech), initial burst and active hands made him the most disruptive force in the SEC in 2008. While he did not do it in the past, Jerry showed marked improvement reading blocks, feeling pressure and redirecting to the play. He has become a force from the off-side and became a challenge for offensive linemen as he showed a more physical nature in his play. He won't maul a lineman, but has developed capable hands (wax on, wax off moves) with a quick swim to gain penetration. Still, like McFarland, injuries and durability issues are a concern.

OVERALL GRADE: 6.57

--Report by Dave-Te' Thomas



 Career Notes

  
Jerry started 29 of 38 games at Mississippi, including 25 at left defensive tackle, two at left end and two at nose guard...Recorded 132 tackles (83 solos) with 12.5 sacks for minus 78 yards, 37.0 stops for losses of 135 yards and nine quarterback pressures...Caused two fumbles and recovered two others, returning one 13 yards for a touchdown...Deflected a pair of passes and intercepted another for a 6-yard return.



 2008 Season

  
All-American first-team selection by The NFL Draft Report, ESPN and the Associated Press, adding second-team honors from College Football News and Rivals.com...First-team All-Southeastern Conference choice...Rated the best senior defensive tackle in the nation by Pro Football Weekly...Made the Nagurski Trophy and Outland Trophy Watch Lists...Received the Jeff Hamm Memorial Award, given to the team's Most Improved Defensive Player...Started the team's last eleven games at left defensive tackle, missing the season opener vs. Memphis after undergoing August surgery to repair a torn lateral meniscus in his right knee...Recorded 49 tackles (25 solos) and ranked second on the team with a career-high seven sacks for minus 54 yards, adding three quarterback pressures...Led the league and ranked second among the nation's defensive tackles (11th overall) with 18.0 stops for losses of 80 yards...His dominance in the trenches saw Ole Miss finish fourth in the nation in rush defense, allowing only 85.54 yards per game, compared to 199.08 yards the previous season...Caused two fumbles and recovered another that he advanced 13 yards for a touchdown...Also deflected a pass...Registered at least two tackles behind the line of scrimmage in seven contests.



 2007 Season

  
Jerry started all twelve games at left defensive tackle, earning second-team All-SEC honors from Rivals.com and the Associated Press...Ranked second on the team and seventh in the conference with 14.0 stops for losses of 41 yards, including 3.5 sacks for minus 16 yards while also registering four pressures...Recorded a career-high 58 tackles (40 solos), as he also recovered a fumble, deflected one pass and intercepted another for a 6-yard return.



 2006 Season

  
Received the Jeff Hamm Memorial Award, given to the team's Most Improved Defensive Player...Battled through foot and hand injuries, starting six of the eight games he played in...Was in the starting lineup at three different positions - at left end vs. Memphis and Alabama, at left tackle vs. Louisiana State and Mississippi State and at nose guard in the Missouri and Kentucky contests...Finished with 22 tackles (17 solos) that included two sacks for minus 8 yards and five stops for losses of 14 yards...Had two QB pressures.



 2005 Season

  
Saw action in six of the team's final seven games as a reserve defensive tackle, missing the first four contests due to an ankle injury...Recorded three tackles (1 solo)...Moved to defensive end in spring drills after the season.



 2004 Season

  
Attended Hargrave Military Academy, playing football for renowned head coach Robert Prunty...Rated the 15th-best prep school prospect in the country by Rivals.com, Jerry appeared in eight games, missing the final four contests with an ankle injury...Recorded 30 tackles with five sacks.



 Injury Report

  
2004: Sat out the final four games with an ankle sprain.

2005: Missed the first four games with an ankle injury.

2006: Bothered most of the season by foot and hand problems that eventually saw him sit out the Wake Forest (9/23), Georgia (9/30), Arkansas (10/21) and Auburn (10/28) contests.

2008: Missed the season opener vs. Memphis (8/30) after undergoing arthroscopic right knee surgery (8/18) to repair a meniscus tear.

2009: Could not complete agility tests at the NFL Combine and limited on Pro Day due to a hamstring strain.



 Agility Tests

  
Combine: Did not participate in agility tests due to a strained hamstring...32 /2-inch arms...9 1/2-inch hands.



 High School

  
Attended South Panola (Batesville, Miss.) High School, playing football for head coach Ricky Woods...Earned first-team All-State and Class 5A Defensive Player of the Year honors from the Mississippi Association of Coaches...Named first-team All-State by The Clarion-Ledger and was a member of the RebelGrove.com Mississippi 15 Finest list...Made the Rivals.com Mississippi Top 20 and Mobile Register's Super Southeast 120 lists, in addition to being a member of Max Emfinger's Super South Top 200, which rated Jerry as the sixth-best inside linebacker in the region...Added the Clarion-Ledger's Top 40 recruits in Mississippi and The Sun-Herald's Top 30 accolades, while also being selected to Prep Star' All-Region and Super Prep's All-Dixie...After his senior year, he was chosen to play in the 2004 Mississippi-Alabama All-Star Classic in Mobile, Alabama...A three-year starter, Jerry capped off his senior season by leading South Panola with 104 tackles, which included seven tackles for loss and three sacks, helping the team finish with a perfect 15-0 record in 2003, which was good enough to win the Class 5A state championship and earn a final ninth place national ranking by USA Today...Sat out his junior season due to injury, but recorded 255 tackles and 16 sacks for his career.


 Personal

  
Criminal Justice major, earning university Honor Roll recognition in 2006...Son of Anita Jerry...His family roots are deep in football tradition. Cousin, Dwayne Rudd, was an All-American linebacker at Alabama (1994-96) and was selected in the first round of the 1997 NFL Draft by Minnesota, playing for the Vikings (1997-2000), Cleveland (2001-02) and Tampa Bay (2003)...Their cousin, Derek Pegues, was an All-Southeastern Conference defensive back at Mississippi State (2005-08)...Jerry's brother, John, is an offensive lineman and teammate at Ole Miss (2006-present)...Their cousins, linebacker Eddie Strong (1998-2002) and running back Toward Sanford (1999-2002), played at Ole Miss... Toward's brother, defensive back Jamarca Sanford (2005-08), played on the Rebel defense alongside Jerry during their careers...Born Peria Edward Jerry on 8/23/84...Resides in Batesville, Mississippi.


 Player Statistics

  

 
 Draft Scout Player News
08/06/14 - DT Peria Jerry was placed on erserve/left squad by the Falcons Wednesday (Aug. 6).
08/05/14 - DT Peria Jerry was declared exempt/left squad by the Falcons August 1, so he doesn't count against the 90-player roster limit.
07/31/14 - DT Peria Jerry is planning to retire from the NFL after five seasons. The unexpected move was made official in a brief release from the team Thursday afternoon. Jerry did not give a reason or explain the decision in the team-issued statement. He totaled 79 tackles (46 solo), 5.5 sacks, one forced fumble, two fumble recoveries, and three passes defensed during his career. The former first-round draft pick was selected 24th in 2009. He turns 30 on Aug. 23. Jerry re-signed with the Falcons in March after logging 678 snaps in 2013, starting a career-high 14 games. Jerry suffered a career-threatening knee injury in the second game of his rookie season in 2009, and did not have the game-changing impact the team envisioned as a "three technique" defensive tackle. Jerry was used at defensive end when the Falcons went to a 3-4 front and played the pass-rushing spot in a four-man front.
04/07/14 - DT Peria Jerry was re-signed as an unrestricted free agent by the Falcons March 19.
11/13/13 - --DT Peria Jerry (toe) was limited in practice last week, but played against Seattle. He did not practice on Wednesday.
 Draft Scout External News
Note: External news links will open in a new browser window. Draft Scout provides this information as extra research on the above player and cannot guarantee links will always work due to newspapers changing publishing links and stories at any time. We will not post any external links that make you to sign up for membership at posting, unless that outlet changes it's service over time, all should be clean, direct news links.

 09.04.23 - Rising stock has Ole Miss DT Jerry smiling
 09.04.17 - Preparation, flexibility key to draft success
 09.01.22 - Jerry gives NFL scouts defensive talent show
 09.01.18 - Senior Bowl has state flavor
 08.11.27 - DT Jerry leads Rebels' defensive resurgence

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by Scout Dave Te' Thomas, NFLScouting, NFLDraftScout.com
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