Scouting Report: Eric Berry

Written by Will Spencer on January 24, 2010



Eric Berry


Position: Safety School: Tennessee
Height: 5’11 5/8 Weight: 211 lbs
Class: Junior 40 time: 4.47

Overall Grade:

7.74

Draft Projection:

Top 10 Pick



Draft Breakdown Red Star Player



Non-position specific categories


Category

Max. Value

Grade

Height/Weight 6 5.5
Speed 8 8
Quickness/Agility 10 10
Strength/Explosion 10 9
Athletic Ability 8 8
Durability 8 7.5
Character 6 6
Production/Experience 6 6
Toughness 8 8
Potential 10 10


Defensive Back Specific Categories


Category

Max. Value

Grade

Ball Skills 10 10
Man Coverage 10 9.5
Zone Coverage 10 10
Tackling 6 5
Run Stopping 6 5
Hips/Lateral Movement 8 8
Physicality 6 6



Explanation of Player Grading System


Strengths

Berry is the complete package. Elite ball skills and play recognition. Does a good job of reading the quarterback’s eyes and jumping routes. Great instincts. Outstanding range, covering larger parts of the field than most safeties. Fluid hips allow him to turn and run with ease. Soft hands. Does a good job finding the ball in the air to make the play. A threat to score whenever he touches the ball. Solid in run support. Unafraid of contact and a strong hitter. Good tackling fundamentals and rarely misses and open field tackle. Does a good job in run support. Very aggressive in both the passing game and playing the run. Off the charts production and good durability. Also a very cerebral player with a deep understanding of the game. No history of off-field issues.

Weaknesses

Will take some risks and gamble, but most elite secondary players will. Has a shoulder injury history. Doesn’t have ideal size and could benefit from an NFL weight training program.

Analysis

Most compare Berry to another play making safety, Ed Reed. Berry has the ability to change the game as a defender and will be an immediate impact player for whatever team is lucky enough to draft him. Berry also has the versatility and skill set to play either strong safety, free safety, and possibly corner if needed. Berry comes from a pro style defense, and played under a Super Bowl winning defensive coordinator (Monte Kiffin). A hard worker with elite skills and intangibles, Berry could be a once in a decade type of player.

Experience

Berry is a three year starter at Tennessee.

Awards and Honors

2009: Jim Thorpe Award Winner. Bronko Nagurski Award finalist. Consensus first team All-American.
2008: Unanimous first team All-American.
2007: Consensus Freshman All-American and All-SEC. SEC Defensive Freshman of the Year.

Academics

Psychology major at Tennessee.

Bloodlines

Father, James Berry, played for Tennessee as a running back from 1978 to 1981. James was a three year starter and team captain as a senior.

Injuries

Berry has a nagging shoulder injury, but it hasn’t been bad enough to make him miss a single game for the Volunteers. Berry reportedly played the entire 2008 season with this injury and had surgery to help the issue after the season.


Career Stats
Year Tack Solo Asst Sack FF Int TD
2009 82 54 29 0 1 2 0
2008 72 44 28 3 0 7 2
2007 86 52 34 0 1 5 1






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Will Spencer

Will is the founder and President of Draft Breakdown & has been scouting draft prospects since 2002. His work has been featured in numerous publications, including the USA Today Draft Preview Magazine, the official website of the Baltimore Ravens, Ravens Insider and The Orange and Brown Report. Will has previous playing experience as a defensive end in the AFA, is currently a member of the Football Writers Association of America and graduated from the SMWW Football Scouting course in 2009. See all posts by Will Spencer.