Many believe that NFL general managers earn their paychecks based on their level of success in the later rounds of the draft by uncovering those hidden gems that can push a team over the top. With the NFL’s scouting process now winding down, many names are being brought to the forefront that weren’t exactly on the tip of anyone’s tongues when the collegiate season started. This segment called Under the Radar will continue to explore just what scouts find attractive about certain prospects that may be available beyond the glamour rounds of the draft and why you’re team may be interested in landing one of these sleepers.
To say that the quarterback at the top of every school’s recruiting list five short years ago would not be invited to the NFL Scouting Combine following his senior season of college seems like a ludicrous thing to say, but that is precisely what happened to Ryan Perrilloux this year. Twenty NFL teams sent representatives to his pro day workout however which says a great deal about just how much talent that this young man actually does possess. The zip that Perrilloux put on his out routes wowed several of those in attendance and his 6’2” 226lbs. frame certainly looks the part of an NFL signal caller. Although the conditions were less than ideal for his workout festivities, Perrilloux ran a 4.80 second time in the 40 yard dash on wet field turf at his campus in rural Alabama. His remarkable 23 touchdowns to only 2 interceptions during his senior campaign in the Ohio Valley Conference cannot be overlooked as he played nearly flawless under center for the entire season.
Perrilloux played for the LSU Tigers until a number of off the field issues forced him to start from scratch at Jacksonville State where he thrived at the lower level of competition. His off the field incidents were virtually non-existent during his stint there as well which is a positive sign for his draft stock, but those lingering concerns still remain in the minds of NFL general managers. Character is such a primary concern in the league with the stringent personal conduct policies and that will weigh heavily on the minds of any considering taking a flyer on Perrilloux in a few short weeks. In addition to the obvious off-field issues, Perrilloux also comes from a shotgun offense and will need to adjust to taking snaps from under center in a pro style system. It’s a risk versus reward analysis that only time will tell what the final verdict is, but the upside is tremendous and it would be surprising if he didn’t come off of the board in either round 6 or 7.
A number of names will be called during April’s NFL Draft that seem to be from out of left field, but don’t let Ryan Perrilloux’s be one of them. Keep looking out for more Under the Radar players shooting up draft boards or quietly lurking in the depth of this class that could make a huge impact over the coming years on Sundays.
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