Nick Perry

Impact Rookies: Nick Perry

The Green Bay Packers were Super Bowl favorites for most of the 2011 season, but they still had some glaring holes to fill this offseason.

1st-round pick Nick Perry will be expected to start from day one at outside linebacker opposite Clay Matthews. He takes the starting job over from Erik Walden, who struggled throughout the 2011 season, recording just three sacks and proving to be a liability against the run.

Perry wasn’t the most explosive pass rusher in this year’s draft class, but he doesn’t need to be in have an impact in Green Bay. The Packers will rely on Matthews to pressure the quarterback, as they have the past few years, and anything Perry adds will simply be a bonus.

The Packers will notice Perry’s impact most against the run, where he offers a significant upgrade over Walden. According to Pro Football Focus’ grading system, Walden ranked dead last among 3-4 outside linebackers against the run in 2011.

Perry is a more physical player and better suited to hold up at the point of attack, where is Walden is undersized and is better suited to be playing inside in Dom Capers’ defense.

While Perry may not have the statistical impact necessary to earn Defensive Rookie of the Year votes, he will almost certainly be one of top rookies still on the field in January.

Check out our full review of the Packers 2012 draft class.

Posted on by Ryan McCrystal in Packers Leave a comment

Draft Grades: Green Bay Packers

As good as the Green Bay Packers looked at times in 2011, they had some significant holes to fill this offeason. Ted Thompson elected to stay quiet through most of free agency, but came up big with another strong draft class which should help in their quest for another Super Bowl title.

I was somewhat surprised to see Nick Perry still on the board at No. 28. While he would have benefited from returning to USC for another year, his raw talent is undeniable. Green Bay is the perfect place for Perry, who won’t feel the pressure to perform immediately. He will likely start from day one, but he won’t be the center of attention on a defense featuring Clay Matthews and A.J. Hawk. It’s a great place for him to learn and develop, while also providing some immediate help.

Jerel Worthy could be a steal in the 2nd round, but we’ll have to see how the Packers use him. The Packers like oversized, space-eating defensive ends in their 3-4 defense, and Worthy is capable of filling that role. But he’ll need to stay in shape, because he’s just a few big meals away from looking more like a nose tackle.

I also like the selection of Casey Hayward, who could step into a starting role at some point this year. The 2nd round may have been early for Hayward, but the Packers needed to add an instant-impact player in the secondary.

Mike Daniels is more of a traditional 3-4 end, at least compared to Worthy. His upside may be somewhat limited, but he has the potential to provide some depth in the front seven.

Jerron McMillian was a reach in the 4th round. There was very little talent at the strong safety position in this draft and it felt like the Packers reached to add depth at a position of need. It’s an acceptable strategy in some situations, but the Packers got carried away with this one. Due to the lack of depth at the position he should make the final roster, but he’s a purely developmental prospect who offers little immediate value.

Terrell Manning could prove to be one of the great steals of this draft. He’s an explosive sideline-to-sideline linebacker who should excel at inside linebacker in Green Bay. The depth chart is crowded, so he may not see the field much early, but he definitely has a future in the league.

Andrew Datko has battled injuries which contributed to his fall the 7th round, but he’s well worth the risk at this point in the draft. The Packers will likely groom him behind Bryan Bulaga at right tackle.

I’m not as high on B.J. Coleman as some, but I can’t argue with the selection in the 7th round. He clearly has the measurables of an NFL quarterback and will have the opportunity to be brought along slowly in Green Bay. It’s a good situation for Coleman, and a nice opportunity for Green Bay to develop a prospect behind Rodgers.

Overall, this was one of the better draft classes in the league, something which is becoming common for Ted Thompson. Few GMs in the league understand the importance of finding value in the late rounds better than Thompson, who consistently plucks future starters from the scrap heap late in the draft.

Posted on by Ryan McCrystal in Draft Grades - 2012, Packers 1 Comment

Nick Perry scouting report

Nick Perry DE USC #8
Ht: 6’3″

Wt: 250

 
Strengths:
Adequate size and strength. Explosive off the snap. Has a powerful rip move that, when coupled with his speed off the edge, makes him a dangerous pass rusher. Decent athleticism for his size; able to change direction relatively quickly. Strong lower body, able to generate a decent bull rush. Does a nice job keeping his eyes in the backfield and making adjustments. Has played with his hand off the ground on occasion, and dropped back into zone coverage at times. Had some of his best games vs top opponents, most notably against Stanford (vs Jonathan Martin).
Weaknesses:
Somewhat overaggressive at times; goes full speed ahead into the backfield on most plays, putting him at risk of getting beat when opponents run the ball to his side. Struggles to shed blocks once he’s engaged; needs to win off the snap to be effective. Suffered a knee injury in 2010 preseason. Missed time in 2010 with ankle injury and was hampered by the injury all season. Missed time in 2009 with bruised knee.
Comments:
Perry is the premier pass rusher in this year’s draft class, and has the skill set to be an effective three-down lineman. His only major flaw is the fact that he gets a little pass-rush happy at times, and he lacks the elite athleticism necessary to make up for those types of mistakes. As he improves his discipline on the field he should become a more well-rounded lineman, but you can expect to see him make an impact as a pass rusher immediately.
Videos:
2011 vs Stanford
2011 vs Arizona
2011 vs Utah
Posted on by Ryan McCrystal in Scouting Reports - 2012 Leave a comment