2012 NFL Draft: Grading the Packers' Selection of Nick Perry

Matt SteinCorrespondent IIApril 26, 2012

EUGENE, OR - NOVEMBER 19: Defensive end Nick Perry #8 and linebacker Lamar Dawson #55 of the USC Trojans close in on quarterback Darron Thomas #5 of the Oregon Ducksin the third quarter of the game at Autzen Stadium on November 19, 2011 in Eugene, Oregon. USC won the game 38-35. (Photo by Steve Dykes/Getty Images)
Steve Dykes/Getty Images

The Green Bay Packers have drafted outside linebacker/defensive end Nick Perry out of USC with the 28th pick of the 2012 NFL draft.

Green Bay's biggest need heading into the draft was at outside linebacker, where they sorely lacked production opposite Clay Matthews at that position. Neither Erik Walden or Frank Zombo is the long-term answer at that position.

While Perry may be somewhat raw in aspects of his game, as a pass-rusher, he was one of the better prospects in this year's draft. He is extremely athletic with a number of moves to be able to get after the quarterback.

Perry reminds me a lot of a younger, rawer version of Clay Matthews coming out of USC. He isn't quite as polished as Matthews was, but he should still be able to team nicely with Matthews to form a dominant pass-rushing duo.

Green Bay could have gone with a defensive lineman like Jerel Worthy or with another outside linebacker like Courtney Upshaw, but I fully believe that Perry is the perfect pick here.

For a long time, Perry was seen as a top-15 pick in this draft, and it was only recently that he started to fall down draft boards. As long as Perry can improve the Packers ability to get after the quarterback during the 2012 season, this is a great pick by Green Bay.


Final Grade: A

Had the Packers drafted Upshaw with this pick, I still would have given them an "A" grade. However, I like the upside of Perry a little more than Upshaw.