(Photo by John E. Moore III/Getty Images)
Steelers offensive line coach Adrian Klemm was at North Dakota State's pro day on Friday to scout offensive tackle Dillon Radunz. It's also known that Steelers coaches were at Oklahoma's pro day today and worked out edge rusher Ronnie Perkins, according to Jim Nagy, who's the executive director of the Reese's Senior Bowl.
Perkins is 6-foot-4, 247 pounds and played defensive end at Oklahoma. Perkins complied 16.5 sacks and 32 tackles for a loss in his three years as a starter for the Sooners.
Perkins was named a second-team All-Big 12 pick as a sophomore, recording 38 tackles, 13.5 for loss, with six sacks in 13 starts. He was suspended for the team's playoff game against eventual champion LSU, however, after reportedly failing a drug test, according to Chad Reuter of NFL.com. That suspension carried over to the 2020 season for five games, but he still earned second-team all-conference honors by posting 24 tackles, 10.5 for loss, with 5.5 sacks in six games (five starts).
Below is an evaluation of Perkins by The Draft Network.
"Ronnie Perkins looks like he weighs a lot more than what he's listed at, but he carries it extremely well. He has experience from both the stand-up position and with his hand in the dirt. He has the speed to threaten the near hip of offensive tackles, but flattening and turning the corner can be hit or miss. Possessing very powerful hands, it’s easy to see the effect that they have on matchups as he’s consistently able to jolt them back suddenly after coming into contact with him. His unique power and strength help him to remain clean as a run defender. Snatch-pull and club-rip are two moves that he often likes to use and both have been highly effective for him throughout his career. Continuing to add more to his repertoire will only help him continue his development going forward. Right now, Perkins doesn’t have an apparent counter move that he likes to execute when blockers have an immediate answer to his first plan of attack. When unable to utilize initial moves, he can struggle to find that next move to still have an effect on plays. As a run defender, he can be wildly undisciplined with chasing pulling blockers or with chasing running backs on zone-read plays. When seeing that pullers who originally started on his side are traveling to the other, he immediately chased them, which often left the backside void of contain responsibilities. Playing more disciplined and demonstrating more patience on running plays is needed."
Perkins is expected to be selected in the second round of this year's draft, and with the Steelers drafting Alex Highsmith in the third round last year I don't expect the Steelers to pick an edge rusher with their first three picks. Maybe later in the draft, as they do need depth at the position, but they need to address the offensive line and running back position early.
As mentioned, Klemm was at North Dakota State today to check out Radunz at his pro day. It's unknown whether Steelers assistant offensive line coach Chris Morgan was at Oklahoma's pro day to scout center Creed Humphrey. The Steelers could be looking to draft a center early in the draft to replace Maurkice Pouncey, who retired last month.
Humphrey said Pouncey is one of the three guys he watches the most on film, according to Brooke Pryor of ESPN. He also said that he's drawn to their toughness and their leadership.