Denzel Perryman   LB   Miami


Denzel reminds me a lot of Jets inside linebacker David Harris, calculating and purposeful in his play with not a lot of wasted movement. He takes excellent angles and doesn’t try to guess what a play is before the snap of the ball, causing him to make false steps from which it is difficult to recover. Denzel is a sure tackler and might be one of the better form tacklers in this draft. He will take on blocks, but when he does, he expects a teammate to make a tackle because he does not shed blocks -- he destroys them. He likes the play in front of him and has enough quickness and instincts to be used in zone coverage providing you don’t expect him to run the length of the field backwards to cover the middle of the field. Denzel shows leadership skills through his play on the field and can play inside in a 3-4 Defense and as a MLB in a 4-3 defense because of his football intelligence, instincts and his calculating style of play along with an excellent burst to the ball.

Denzel is vertically challenged for his position and he is not the fastest linebacker in this draft; those issues might scare a lot of teams from rating Denzel very high in this draft. Some teams will think he is just a systems linebacker who fits a 3-4 defense as an inside linebacker and this also could be a reason some teams might not think Denzel is worthy of being selected too early. Notice none of these issues are about Denzel’s ability to play his position at a high level -- just excuses not to draft him too early. Shame, isn’t it?

Denzel is “just a football player” and football players in the draft always get rated with caution because in the draft process, if a player doesn’t have outstanding athletic talent to go along with being “just a football player”, teams let them slide in the draft thinking the outstanding play that they see on film won’t happen at the next level because of a lack of outstanding athletic ability to go along with it. I look at the film and say, “Yes, Denzel has some limitations, but that’s not a reason to downgrade him because Denzel does the little things that make him the type of player who has impact for his team in spite of the fact he might not be making the obvious impact play.” Are you confused? Well, let me explain. Denzel is the type of player who, if used in a blitzing situation, will jump up in the air making the quarterback throw the ball too high or just off rhythm for an incompletion. Then he will blow up a block on a sweep allowing the cornerback or safety get a clean hit on the runner. Then he will drop off the line of scrimmage in zone coverage and drop the receiver 1 yard short of the third down and make them have to punt. To the average person watching that film, they saw Denzel make a nice play on third down because he was in the right place. To me, I just saw Denzel make three impact plays in a row and get credit for one. That’s the type of player Denzel is and drafting him as early as the second round would seem smart if you ask me. This kid is a pure team player who will become a core player and a fan favorite for the team that drafts him. You can count on Denzel to make an impact on you teams play in spite of the fact that he might not make THE impact play.

Drew Boylhart