NFL Draft

2021 NFL Draft Player Profiles: Oklahoma EDGE Ronnie Perkins

From now until the 2021 NFL Draft takes place, we hope to showcase as many prospects as possible and examine both their strengths and weaknesses. Most of these profiles will feature individuals that the Pittsburgh Steelers are likely to have an interest in, while a few others will be top-ranked players. If there is a player you would like us to analyze, let us know in the comments below.

#7 Ronnie Perkins Oklahoma DE – 6’2” 251 pounds

The Good

– Violent use of hands to disengage from blocks
– Plays with good leverage, shows quick initial first step off snap
– Relentless pursuit of plays, always around or near the football
– Excels using bull rush, speed to power moves to get after quarterback
– Played both as a standup end and hand in the ground end, not married to one side of the field
– Controls offensive lineman with powerful hand placement
– Splits double teams and shows ability to set the edge in the run game
– Good starting experience against quality competition

The Bad

– Lacks ankle flexibility to bend corners on pass rushes
– Chooses inside moves in counters, causes him to lose contain off the edge
– Not the most explosive athlete, lacks alternative pass rush moves that doesn’t involve winning with his power
– Needs to add weight to his relatively small profile
– Suspension caused him to miss one game in 2019, multiple games in 2020


– Played in 33 career games with 25 starts at Oklahoma
– Amassed 98 total tackles, 32tackles for loss, 16  sacks, 1 forced fumble
– 2019 & 2020 Second Team All-Big 12 (Coaches and Media)
– 2018 ESPN Freshman All American
– 4-star recruit who played high school ball at Lutheran North High School in Missouri, chose Oklahoma  over Georgia, LSU, Texas and others.
– Rated as the No. 1 recruit from Missouri by ESPN, No. 2 by 247Sports and No. 5 by Rivals

Tape Breakdown

Ronnie Perkins is one of the most physical imposing defensive players in the 2021 class. He plays with a reckless abandon and violence from someone who may be a bit undersized playing the defensive end, or EDGE position, depending on your defensive format. He displays heavy hands, shows the ability to cause disruption in the pocket and plays with a relentless motor.

His 2020 Oklahoma State film is one of the best single game performances in this draft cycle. From the first snap he set the tone of physicality all game long. In this first play below, Perkins uses a long arm bull rush against potential first round pick Teven Jenkins and puts him on his back. Love that type of edge he plays with.


Second play is also from the Oklahoma State game. Perkins should solid initial burst, uses push, pull, dip and rip technique and gets a violent sack. He took down QB Spencer Sanders so hard it knocked him out for most of the game.


As mentioned above, Perkins plays with discipline in the run game. In both plays shown below, Perkins does a great job getting underneath the pulling guards and meeting the running back in the backfield. Sets the edge on both snaps and disrupts the run plays.


Another dominant game for Perkins was in 2019 against the Baylor Bears. He finished the game with four tackles for loss and three sacks. The play below shows his relentless motor and knack for getting to the quarterback. While he doesn’t win with his pass rush, he maintained his outside arm to ensure if the quarterback escaped the pocket, he would be there to contain.


However, Perkins’ inability to bend the corner and win with speed showed up on tape. Also against Baylor in 2019, Perkins tries to convert speed to power but loses his balance and isn’t able to counter. He needed to threaten the tackle upfield more, quicker, but Perkins simply does not win that way.


This time against Texas in 2019, those same issues show up. Right off the snap Perkins attempts to try an inside move, is stonewalled, and tries to bend back outside but just doesn’t have that extra juice to bend the corner.


Delayed stunts and exploding with his short area burst and quickness will allow him to be used all over an NFL team’s defensive line. Times up perfectly and is able to get a pressure against Florida and a sack against Iowa State. Explosive, violent plays from Perkins.


The talent and raw physicality is there with Oklahoma DE Ronnie Perkins. He won’t wow you with his athleticism like other EDGE rushers  in this class do, but he shows up and plays with an attitude and swagger that would fit in with the Steelers defense perfectly. Although there are red flags off the field, with him missing multiple games from suspension stemming from a failed drug test, Perkins has shown maturity and could be worth the investment on Day 2 of the draft.

If the Steelers are picking him, it would likely be used in a versatile gap scheme or stand up edge player. Not sure if Perkins could be a guy that plays in space, but he certainly could be another tool to use on an already solid defense.

Projection: 2nd-3rd Round

Games Watched: vs. Oklahoma State, vs. Iowa State (CC), at Baylor (2019), at Florida, vs Texas (2019)

Previous 2021 NFL Draft Player Profiles
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CB Patrick Surtain II OG Deonte Brown TE Kylen Granson TE Brevin Jordan
OL Trey Smith OT Adrian Ealy CB Jaycee Horn CB Kary Vincent Jr.
RB Elijah Mitchell OT Alex Leatherwood TE Hunter Long RB Najee Harris
CB Tyson Campbell LB Zaven Collins DB Greg Newsome TE Tony Poljan
DL Christian Barmore RB Kenneth Gainwell OT Rashawn Slater WR Kadarius Toney
RB Michael Carter EDGE Joe Tryon CB Thomas Graham Jr. WR Amari Rodgers
RB Demetric Felton C Creed Humphrey C Trey Hill LB Jabril Cox
CB Asante Samuel Jr. S Joshuah Bledsoe OT Samuel Cosmi S Trevon Moehrig
RB Chuba Hubbard S James Wiggins LB Garret Wallow RB Kylin Hill
WR Dazz Newsome RB Khalil Herbert CB Shaun Wade WR Tylan Wallace
RB Rhamondre Stevenson CB Camryn Bynum WR Amon-Ra St. Brown WR Shi Smith
OT Liam Eichenberg EDGE Patrick Jones DT Alim McNeill OT Christian Darrisaw
QB Kyle Trask RB Jermar Jefferson QB Trey Lance OT Jaylen Mayfield
OT Teven Jenkins TE Kenny Yeboah LB Chazz Surratt CB Tre Brown
QB Kellen Mond LB Nick Bolton OL Brady Christensen DL Dayvion Nixon
CB Elijah Molden QB Mac Jones EDGE Rashad Weaver LB Cameron McGrone
RB Trey Sermon LB Pete Werner LB Tony Fields TE Luke Farrell
RB Jaret Patterson LB Dylan Moses TE Kyle Pitts LB Jamin Davis
TE Tommy Tremble QB Jamie Newman TE Shaun Beyer EDGE Azeez Ojulari
QB KJ Costello CB Caleb Farley DB Richie Grant OT Tommy Doyle
OG Jackson Carman WR Ihmir Smith-Marsette LB Baron Browning WR Terrace Marshall
LB/S JaCoby Stevens OC Josh Myers S Hamsah Nasirildeen OT Dillon Radunz
LB Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah WR Anthony Schwartz S Talanoa Hufanga WR Sage Surratt
WR Dyami Brown WR Elijah Moore OT Jaylon Moore WR Seth Williams
NT Forrest Merrill WR Cornell Powell WR Rondale Moore EDGE Jaelan Phillips
S Divine Deablo WR Rashod Bateman EDGE Elerson Smith C Jimmy Morrissey
RB Larry Rountree C/G Quinn Meinerz CB Benjamin St-Juste OT Spencer Brown
EDGE Daelin Hayes WR Tamorrion Terry DL Marvin Wilson OT Walker Little
CB Aaron Robinson WR D’Wayne Eskridge EDGE Joseph Ossai EDGE Quincy Roche
OT Alijah Vera-Tucker WR Tutu Atwell TE Pro Wells RB Pooka Williams
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ILB K.J. Britt OG Aaron Banks DL Jay Tufele OG Wyatt Davis
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