Green Bay’s first-round draft pick played in only six games before going on IR
The Green Bay Packers began the season with 10 rookies on the 53-man roster. That’s a pretty high number – especially for a team than won 15 games the previous year. But GM Ted Thompson didn’t hang on to all those rookies to save money or to make himself look good. He kept them because they could play. In fact, seven have played significant roles in the team’s march to its second straight NFC North title.
I’ll be ranking the rookies – from least productive to most productive – over the next couple of weeks. Here’s #7:
Story of 2012: I actually thought Nick Perry was playing fairly well prior to going on IR with a wrist injury. The former USC star was physical at the point of attack and he was improving as a pass rusher. True, he looked lost in space, but that was to be expected from a rookie who played defensive end in college. Perry is No. 7 on this list because he played in only six games, and he split snaps with Erik Walden in most of them. He probably would’ve been a lot higher had his season not ended in early November.
What to expect in 2013: I expect Perry to make a much bigger impact in 2013. He looks the way a 3-4 outside linebacker is supposed to look, and at times, he played the way a 3-4 outside linebacker is supposed to play. Scouts questioned his intensity, but I didn’t see effort as a major issue – either in camp or during the season. If Perry can expand his repertoire of pass rush moves, he has a chance to be the playmaking partner that Clay Matthews has been missing since he arrived in Green Bay three years ago.