Ranking the Big Ten: Ryan Kerrigan, No. 24

Posted by ESPN.com's Adam Rittenberg

Ranking the Big Ten's top 30 players ...

No. 24

Ryan Kerrigan, DE, Purdue, Jr., 6-4, 263

Why he's here: One of few bright spots for Purdue last season, Kerrigan finished seventh in the Big Ten in sacks (7) and 10th in tackles for loss (11.5). He earned honorable mention All-Big Ten honors and will anchor a talented Purdue defensive line this season alongside tackle Mike Neal, who nearly made these rankings.

Kerrigan is on the cusp of joining the Big Ten's elite pass-rushers (Brandon Graham, Corey Wootton, Jammie Kirlew). Starting 11 of 12 games last fall, he seemed to get stronger as the season progressed, recording two sacks and three tackles for loss against Ohio State and a career-high 10 tackles, including three sacks, to go along with a forced fumble and a pass breakup against Michigan.

If Purdue surprises people this fall, the defensive line will need to lead the way. The 6-foot-4, 263-pound Kerrigan has developed several new pass-rush moves during the offseason and could wreak havoc on opposing quarterbacks this fall.

The Rundown

  • No. 24 -- Ryan Kerrigan, DE, Purdue

  • No. 25 -- Traye Simmons, CB, Minnesota

  • No. 26 -- Thaddeus Gibson, DE, Ohio State

  • No. 27 -- Stefen Wisniewski, C, Penn State

  • No. 28 -- Matt Mayberry, LB, Indiana

  • No. 29 -- Martez Wilson, LB, Illinois

  • No. 30 -- Trevor Anderson, DE, Michigan State