Going into the 2012 NFL Draft, the Green Bay Packers were in desperate need of finding that special player to line up opposite All-Pro Clay Matthews.
With the 28th pick in the Draft, the Packers think they’ve found their guy with the uber-talented defensive end Nick Perry.
It’s only fitting that Perry and Matthews are both alums of USC.
If Perry can come anywhere close to Matthews’ 10 sacks during his rookie season, Green Bay will be more than happy with their investment. Matthews was selected 26th overall in the 2009 draft and is now one of the premier inside/out linebackers in the game.
Even though it’s tremendously easy to compare Clay and Nick, they are quite a bit different.
The Packers took a big chance on Matthews as he was not even the best linebacker on his college team. The Texans’ Brian Cushing (15th overall) and Bengals’ Rey Maualuga (2nd round) were teammates of Matthews and just as highly regarded. In fact, all three of them were invited to the combine and were featured on the cover of Sports Illustrated together.
Perry was no doubt the best at his position at USC, if not in the entire Pac-12 conference. He led the Pac-12 with nine and-a-half sacks for a Trojans team who went 10-2 with an impressive upset over #4 Oregon. Perry had a sack and a forced fumble in the thriller at Eugene.
After being drafted, Perry told the media (quotes from the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel);
“I have the raw skills and the mind to do it,” Perry said. “There’s a lot of potential that has to be taken out of me. In Green Bay, there’s great tradition to help improve my game.”
“I’m ready to compete at the next level,” Perry said. “It’s been a dream my whole life and I’m ready to take the chance now.”
It shouldn’t be much of a surprise that the Packers went with Perry considering the rival Chicago Bears snatched up Boise State’s LB Shea McClellin at the 18th spot. McClellin appeared to be a perfect fit for the Packers defense, but Perry will do just fine for Dom Capers’ elusive 3-4 scheme.
Green Bay ranked 27th in the league in sacks and will rely on Perry to make a significant impact right away. His 6-2, 271 pound frame should make him a dynamic pass-rusher and a force to be reckoned with on the end.
One area where Perry needs to make improvements is on his run defense, where he lacks burst at times. Luckily for him, the Packers B.J. Raji is one of the best in the game at stopping the run.
One pick down, eleven to go for the Packers. Rounds two and three will go down tonight while the remaining four rounds will take place on Saturday.
What did you think of the Nick Perry selection? Was it the right move by the Packers? Let me know by commenting below!
Nick Grays is a senior writer at the Sports Bank where he covers the Wisconsin Badgers, Green Bay Packers, and Milwaukee Brewers. He also enjoys to share Fantasy Advice from time-to-time. Follow him on Twitter by clicking here or visit his blog Nick Knows Best.
Nick Perry Draft Selection (packers.com)
Nick Perry USC (totalpackers.com)
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