NFL Draft Player Profile: Nick Perry
My NFL draft player profile series continues today with another defensive line prospect being linked to the Green Bay Packers at pick #28 of the first round.
NAME: Nick Perry
POSITION: Defensive End
HEIGHT / WEIGHT: 6'3" / 271
DRAFT PROJECTION: Late first round
WHAT'S HIS DEAL...
Perry was a junior last season with the Trojans, and is an early entry candidate in the NFL draft. Many consider him undersized to play defensive end in a traditional 4-3 system. There is nothing traditional about the Packers 3-4 system, and Perry projects to be an effective outside linebacker in a system similar to Green Bay's. Athletic ability and the ability to get to the quarterback are not in question with Perry. What is in question is his ability to forget about the pass rush and play the run.
WHAT SCOUTS ARE SAYING...
STRENGTHS: Perry has a very strong base and balance that helps him keep momentum toward the backfield regardless of his initial move. Perry plays with good leverage and surprising athleticism for his size. He has a good burst off the ball and a natural feel for disrupting plays. He chases laterally down the line well and is a sound tackler when he reaches the ball. He has fluid hips and feet in the open field. He will be reliable even as a rookie to set the edge and defend the run with strength.
WEAKNESSES: Perry can get tied up on double teams and has trouble in a tight area. This would bode well for a move to outside backer, where he can rush with more space. It remains to be seen if Perry can cover in the flat. He's a thick player but still a bit of a positional tweener, and doesn't quite have the strength of most defenders his size.