The Philadelphia Eagles made an unconventional pick in the fifth round of the 2017 NFL Draft when they selected Nebraska safety Nathan Gerry and instantly announced their plans to convert him to linebacker. Take a look at some more analysis of the pick.
In terms of production grades at the safety position in 2016, LSU’s Jamal Adams was PFF’s top safety. It may surprise that second on that list was the unheralded Nebraska safety, Nathan Gerry, who collected four interceptions and six more pass breakups. What’s even more impressive, though, is that he allowed only one completion of 20-plus yards into his coverage all season long. That reliability on the back end has considerable value in the NFL.
Top-graded safeties in college football— PFF College Football (@PFF_College) January 16, 2017
Jamal Adams, LSU, 89.4
Nathan Gerry, Nebraska, 88.3
Marcus Williams, Utah, 88.2
10 NFL draft prospects we're higher on than most, including Tennessee edge Derek Barnett and Nebraska S Nathan Gerry https://t.co/FuIelDkql3— Pro Football Focus (@PFF) April 12, 2017
Over the past 3 seasons QBs completed 51.5 percent of throws into Nate Gerry's coverage and had a rating of 54.5 against him.— Ben Natan (@TheBenNatan) April 29, 2017
Nate Gerry is savage. Picks off QB, gets tackled, hands him the ball back. I love it. pic.twitter.com/veX5WGnN8z— Ryan Quigley (@RP_Quigs) April 29, 2017
Pro Football Focus had Nathan Gerry ranked as the 99th best player in the draft overall. #Eagles got him at 184 overall.— Eliot Shorr-Parks (@EliotShorrParks) April 29, 2017
S Nate Gerry is an interesting pick. Big kid who can really play the run. Tough, physical player. Cover skills are a bit of a question.— Tommy Lawlor (@lawlornfl) April 29, 2017
Eagles just announced Gerry will play LB. I like that quite a bit. Good in the box. 6-2, 218. Willie T was that size when he came to NFL— Tommy Lawlor (@lawlornfl) April 29, 2017
I wasn't a big fan of this LB class so I like the fact the Eagles came up with a creative way to find a talented LB.— Tommy Lawlor (@lawlornfl) April 29, 2017
Nate Gerry is a physical, emotional player. Will knock the crap out of runners/receivers. Will let them know about it afterward.— Tommy Lawlor (@lawlornfl) April 29, 2017
Nolan Nawrocki rated Gerry as a 4th or 5th round pick so this shouldn't be a player people have no clue is.— Greg Richards (@igglesnut) April 29, 2017
Gerry was a third-team all-Big Ten pick last season. He missed the Cornhuskers' bowl game because of academic ineligibility.— Aaron Kasinitz (@AaronKazreports) April 29, 2017