2012 NFL Mock Draft: Analyzing Nick Perry, USC's Athletic Pass-Rush Specialist

Chris Trapasso@ChrisTrapassoAnalyst IJanuary 17, 2012

LOS ANGELES, CA - SEPTEMBER 10:  Jordan Wynn #3 of the Utah Utes passes as he is rushed by Nick Perry #8 of the USC Trojans while blocked by John Cullen #77 of the Utah Utes during the game at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum on September 10, 2011 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
Harry How/Getty Images

USC's Nick Perry has the talent, technique, athleticism and upside to be one of the first pass-rushers selected in the 2012 NFL draft. 

He didn't receive a ton of notoriety this season with defensive stalwarts in the SEC receiving most of the headlines. Also, the Trojans were somewhat overshadowed in the Pac-12 by Stanford and Oregon, who pieced together seasons that led to BCS bowl game appearances. 

Their own bowl game ban didn't help Perry, either. 

Regardless of how much press he received, there's not much the 6'3'', 250-pound Perry leaves to be desired as he enters the draft as a pass-rushing outside linebacker or defensive end. 

He was extremely productive during his three years in Los Angeles. As a freshman, Perry exploded onto the scene with nine sacks. 

With offensive lines scheming to stop him in 2010, he only tallied 4.5 quarterback takedowns. However, this fall he totaled nine sacks with a respectable 55 total tackles, 13 of which came behind the line of scrimmage. The redshirt junior also forced three fumbles in 2011. 

When watching tape, he has a noticeable suddenness off the snap and displays the variety of moves in his repertoire in every game. Perry uses the speed rush and bull rush equally and, like many players who roam the field at USC, he's an elite athlete who goes hard on every snap.

Although he didn't register a sack against Stanford's premier tackle Jonathan Martin in their battle this year, he got decent pressure on Andrew Luck and battled well throughout the contest.

The most intriguing facet about the Trojan' standout is his age and consequential upside. Perry will be 22 when he's drafted and has a frame to which he can add bulk. 

Many teams are in dire need of skilled pass-rushers, and with his great production, athletic talent and room to grow, Nick Perry is an appealing prospect that should be a top-20 selection. 

2012 NFL Mock Draft (Jan. 17th Update)

1. Indianapolis Colts: Andrew Luck, QB, Stanford

2. St. Louis Rams: Justin Blackmon, WR, Oklahoma State

3.  Minnesota Vikings: Matt Kalil, OT, USC

4.  Cleveland Browns: Trent Richardson, RB, Alabama

5.  Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Morris Claiborne, CB, LSU

6.  Washington Redskins: Robert Griffin III, QB, Baylor

7.  Jacksonville Jaguars: Alshon Jeffery, WR, South Carolina

8.  Carolina Panthers: Dre Kirkpatrick, CB, Alabama

9.  Miami Dolphins: Courtney Upshaw, DE/OLB, Alabama

10.  Buffalo Bills: Nick Perry, DE/OLB, USC

11.  Seattle Seahawks: Whitney Mercilus, DE/OLB, Illinois

12.  Kansas City Chiefs: Michael Brockers, DE/DT, LSU

13.  Arizona Cardinals: Jonathan Martin, OT, Stanford

14.  Dallas Cowboys: David DeCastro, OG, Stanford

15.  Philadelphia Eagles: Vontaze Burfict, LB, Arizona State

16.  New York Jets: Melvin Ingram, DE/OLB, South Carolina

17.  Cincinnati Bengals (from Oakland Raiders): Lamar Miller, RB, Miami  

18.  San Diego Chargers: Riley Reiff, OT, Iowa 

19.  Chicago Bears: Michael Floyd, WR, Notre Dame

20.  Tennessee Titans: Zach Brown, LB, North Carolina

21.  Cincinnati Bengals: Kendall Wright, WR, Baylor

22.  Cleveland Browns (from Atlanta Falcons): Dont'a Hightower, LB, Alabama 

23.  Detroit Lions: Stephon Gilmore, CB, South Carolina

24.  Pittsburgh Steelers: Cordy Glenn, OL, Georgia

25.  Denver Broncos: Chris Polk, RB, Washington

26.  Houston Texans: Devon Still, DT, Penn State 

27.  New York Giants: Mike Adams, OT, Ohio State

28.  Baltimore Ravens: Luke Kuechly, LB, Boston College

29.  New England Patriots (from New Orleans Saints): Brandon Thompson, DT, Clemson

30.  San Francisco 49ers: Peter Konz, C, Wisconsin

31.  New England Patriots: Mark Barron, S, Alabama

32.  Green Bay Packers: Chase Minnifield, CB, Virginia 


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