During the NFL draft this past offseason, the Green Bay Packers focused on fixing their defense that was ranked next to last in yards allowed and 27th in sacks. To help create more pressure on the quarterback, the Packers selected linebacker Nick Perry with their first-round pick.
Perry was immediately put into the starting lineup at left outside linebacker which moved Clay Matthews over to his original position on the right side. Perry’s power and speed made the Packers excited about his potential at both pressuring the quarterback and stopping the run. Unfortunately for the Packers and Perry, he was only able to play in six games before suffering a season-ending injury. During those six games, Perry had a total of 18 tackles with two sacks and zero interceptions. The first six games of the season were the best games defensively for Green Bay and the absence of Perry was noticeable.
Without Perry, the Packers front line was back to how it was last season, with Erik Walden replacing Perry and struggling to have a big impact. Their are still glaring holes on the Packers defensive line, but they need to be focused on the interior line rather than the outside. Perry has not had much of an opportunity to show what he can do, but from the short time he was on the field he has shown that he is a reliable player that the Packers could use.
The future is bright for Perry and he should be the perfect compliment to Matthews on the front line. This year’s draft for the Packers should be similar to last seasons focusing on the defensive side of the ball. With Perry having a shortened season in 2012, it will be interesting to see what he can do for an entire season.
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