Nick Perry, DE, USC
2011 Stats: 55 total tackles (32 solo), 9.5 sacks, three pass deflections, two forced fumbles and one fumble recovery.
Green Bay desperately needed a pass rusher to complement Clay Matthews and Perry is the right man for the job. Although he was a defensive end at USC, look for defensive coordinator Dom Capers to mold him into an outside linebacker. Linebackers coach Kevin Greene will work with him every day and teach him how to play the position, just like he did with Matthews. Speaking of Matthews, look for him to mentor Perry and show him the ropes of how to become a dominate pass rusher in the NFL.
The 6’3”, 270-pound Perry is relentless at getting to the quarterback and has a consistent motor similar to Matthews. He also has a phenomenal first step with a quickness that every NFL pass rusher must have. He is capable of dipping his shoulder to get around offensive lineman and can use his upper body strength to plow through blockers. His good hands will be great for moving blockers, as well as, deflecting passes in coverage.
Perry led USC in tackles in 2011 with 55. This is one of his best attributes as he wraps up well and never lets a quarterback escape his grasp. He is an intelligent individual that will not succumb to fakes and is strong enough to bring down any playmaker. Perry has the total package as he benched an incredible 35-rep of 225-pounds and ran a 4.64 40-yard dash at the combine.
At USC he never had to drop into coverage, which is something he will have to learn how to do as all linebackers in Green Bay’s defense must know how to defend the pass. Perry’s arm length was considered a weakness by many scouts but it honestly should not be a factor. Matthews has proven that you do not have to be big with long arms to dominate as an outside linebacker. In fact, Matthews is 6’3” with an arm length of 32 1/4-inches. Meanwhile, Perry is of the same height with an arm length of 33-inches. Green Bay is not as concerned with size as they are with the overall ability to play a position above and beyond everyone else.
It is no secret Green Bay struggled to muster any kind of pass rush which ultimately cost them a second-consecutive trip to the Super Bowl. Perry will make an immediate impact on the Packers and, with Matthews, will form one of the most dangerous pass rushing duos the NFC North has not seen in some time. There is no offense that will be able to contain both of them, especially if Green Bay is able to pick up some interior pass rushers in the draft.
I selected the Packers to take Nick Perry in the Rant Sports 2012 NFL Mock Draft. I knew this was going to be a solid pick and I am ecstatic he fell to the 28th spot. I am excited Green Bay was able to add a valuable piece to the puzzle, but there is much more work to be done.
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