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2017 NFL Draft Profile: Nebraska Safety Nathan Gerry

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Will the South Dakota native turned Cornhusker hear his named called on Day 3 of the draft?

David McGee

Safety Nate Gerry made an impact immediately as a true freshman, with three starts and playing time in every game in the 2013 season at linebacker. Roster numbers allowed him to move back to his natural safety position for 2014 and beyond.

As a sophomore, he started every game, picking off five passes and totaling 88 tackles (2nd on the team). He was named 2nd team All Big Ten by the media and honorable mention by the coaches.

As a junior in 2015, Gerry was named a team caption and again started every game. He totaled 79 tackles and four interceptions. He was named 3rd team All Big Ten by the media and honorable mention by the coaches.

He was again named team caption as a senior and made 11 starts. He missed the opening game and the bowl game, both due to suspensions. He had 74 tackles and four interceptions. From Huskers.com:

Gerry earned All-America honors from Pro Football Focus (first team), USA Today (second team) and the Associated Press (third team). The AP also chose him as a first-team all-conference performer, while the Big Ten media panel named him to its second-team all-league squad. Gerry was also a semifinalist for the Bednarik Award.

David McGee

Gerry was also known for being on the wrong end of a few targeting calls during his college career, including being tossed from two straight games vs Iowa and vs UCLA in the 2015 season (the second of which was a fairly questionable penalty).

Nate came to Lincoln by way of Sioux Falls, South Dakota where he was not only a standout football player but a state champion sprinter. He finished his Husker career with 13 interceptions, second all time in school history.

Draft Prospects

Gerry was one of only two Husker players to be invited to the NFL combine this year.

40 yard dash: 4.58 seconds (12th among safeties at the combine)
Broad jump: 122 inches (6th among safeties)
Bench press: 17 reps (8th among safeties)

His vertical jump (30.5”) was nowhere near the top safeties (40+”) and I could

From his NFL.com draft profile:

STRENGTHS

Chiseled from granite. Controlled, downhill shuffle from the box to mirror running back. Plays with advanced instincts against both run and pass. Anticipates patterns and can play ahead of receiver's breaks. Will not hesitate to fire into the passing lane. Has soft hands with plus ball skills leading to thirteen career interceptions. Races into his run support work. Can adjust his run fits according to flow of the play. Decisive when triggering downhill from high safety position. Takes smart angles to the ball with a good feel for speed vs. space. Looks to make tackles near line of scrimmage. Played combo safety role and has experience with slot coverage.

WEAKNESSES

Plays with tightness in his lower half. Linear attacker with need for excessive gear-down to redirect his weight. Restricted strider with limited play range. Missed excessive amount of tackles over last two seasons. Lacks desired agility and change of direction in tight quarters to secure shifty runners. Slow to flip hips and accelerate down the field. Lacks speed, range and length to play single-high safety on pro level. Susceptible to separation when asked to work from backpedal.

Both Walter Football and CBS Sports have him ranked as the 16th best safety in the draft pool. He is tabbed to go anywhere from the 4th round to undrafted. I see the 4th as being a bit high, but would be surprised if he goes undrafted.

Some highlights vs Wisconsin as compiled by BTN: