News & Analysis

PFF scouting report: Nathan Gerry, S, Nebraska

By PFF Analysis Team
Mar 12, 2017
Philadelphia Eagles Nathan Gerry

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LINCOLN, NE - OCTOBER 22: Safety Nathan Gerry #25 of the Nebraska Cornhuskers reacts against the Purdue Boilermakers at Memorial Stadium on October 22, 2016 in Lincoln, Nebraska. (Photo by Steven Branscombe/Getty Images)

Name: Nathan Gerry

School: Nebraska

Position fit: SS

Stats to know: Third-best run stop percentage of all draft-eligible safeties.

What he does best:

  • Excellent at working downhill in run defense out of a split safety look.
  • Improved tackler from his previous two years at Nebraska; went from 25 combined missed tackles in 2014 and 2015 to eight in 2016.
  • Has ability to read the QB allows him to attack coming forward and cut off routes to make big plays.
  • Four interceptions and six pass breakups in 2016.
  • Has the size, physicality and aggressive playing style to take on tight ends in man coverage.
  • Over the past three seasons opposing QBs completed just 51.5 percent of throws into his coverage and had a rating of 54.5 against him.

Biggest concern:

  • Struggles to backpedal and run smoothly when playing at the back end of the defense; will stop his feet and consistently give up space in man coverage.
  • Lacks recovery speed once beaten off the break.
  • Not athletically adept enough to fill any centerfield role even if it is limited to a few times a game.
  • Struggles to get enough depth filling an underneath coverage role seems most comfortable going forward.
  • Speed, agility limitations would also make him a liability against the slot.

Player comparison: Kurt Coleman, Carolina Panthers

Coleman does not meet the standard level of athleticism of a traditional safety, but his aggressiveness and ball skills have extended his career much longer than was anticipated when he came out of Ohio State in 2010 and was selected in the seventh round.

Bottom line: Gerry’s best and only fit seems to be in a split safety role where he is hardly ever asked to play single-high free safety and is limited in his deep coverages. He can play half the field and attack the flats and LOS as well as any safety in this class, but he is limited athletically and does not look like he can matchup with any wide receiver or tight ends with plus speed. Gerry can be an effective early-down player who is best hidden in underneath zone coverage or cover-2 looks in nickel and dime situations.

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