Scouting Report-Berry is one of those special players in the secondary that don't come along very often. Going into the season I figured it would be he, and Taylor Mays head to head to be the first defensive back off the board, but Mays isn't in his league. Berry is so smart, and just has that "it" factor when it comes to making the right play. Whether it's sniffing out a screen pass, baiting a quarterback into a throw, or coming up and stuffing the run, Berry is always there for the play. He plays with a very aggressive nature but it's always under control, and he uses that to his advantage. He's going to have a great 40 time, but in short bursts is where is speed is most evident. He can play any safety spot, and it wouldn't shock me if he played some cornerback in the NFL as well. He's such a hard working player, I'm not sure there's anything he can't do. He's got the best hands of any dback in the draft, and does a great job picking the ball up in the air, and making the interception instead of just the knockdown. The biggest knock on Berry might be the combination of a shoulder injury mixed with his overly aggressive nature/average size. I have to wonder if Berry is going to be a Troy Polamalu type who has a huge impact on the game, but will be out of the lineup periodically with injuries from that aggressive and explosive style.
Draft Status-The importance of a dominant safety cannot be stressed enough in this league. Every great defense has a player in the back 4 who can dictate the game on some level. There aren't these type of players in every draft, so Berry will be coveted early in the first round. Probably the top 10 picks. This is of course assuming his shoulder checks out clean, but even if not, he won't fall far.
Final Analysis-Aside from Ndamukong Suh, Berry is the best defensive player in the country and in this upcoming draft. His impact on opposing offenses will be noticeable early, and his ability to elevate his play will make whatever defense he's playing on, look even better. Berry is sort of a mad scientist mix of skills that make him so valuable in today's NFL. Berry is going to blow people away this offseason who haven't gotten to see him play and by next April, the Berry hype machine will be full speed ahead.
Reminds me of: Troy Polamalu, Pittsburgh Steelers-I could have said Ed Reed here as well and been able to make a comparison as well. But for me, the level of intensity and suddeness that Berry plays with, reminds me a lot of the Steeler great. Both are a little undersized, incredible speed and quickness, great hands and a tendency to play a little too aggressive at times.
Scouting Report written by Curt Popejoy