2012 NFL Draft Grades: Why Nick Perry Is an "A" for the Green Bay Packers

Matt Stein@MatthewJSteinCorrespondent IIApril 26, 2012

NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 26:  Nick Perry (R) from USC holds up a jersey as he stands on stage with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell after he was selected #28 overall by the Green Bay Packers in the first round of the 2012 NFL Draft at Radio City Music Hall on April 26, 2012 in New York City.  (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
Al Bello/Getty Images

The Green Bay Packers used their first-round pick of the 2012 NFL draft on USC outside linebacker/defensive end Nick Perry.

The selection of Perry for Green Bay was a fantastic one on a number of levels. To start, it filled the Packers' biggest roster need.

In the past, general manager Ted Thompson has been known to simply select the best player available. And with so many top-notch players such as Doug Martin, Cordy Glenn and Courtney Upshaw still on the board, Thompson could have very easily pulled the trigger to get the best player available.

However, Thompson realized his team had a huge need at outside linebacker, and Perry must have had a close enough grade to the other players to warrant a first-round pick. 

Perry brings a lot to the table as a prospect. While there is still plenty of room for him to develop, one thing he can do right now is get after the quarterback.

He is a super-athletic prospect who displays the power and speed to consistently beat offensive tackles in a number of ways. While some believe Perry would have been better suited as a 4-3 defensive end, his athleticism should make the transition to 3-4 outside linebacker that much easier.

There is certainly a lot to like about Perry, but there are also some questions to his game that need to be answered. For example, can Perry do anything else other than rush the quarterback?

Well, right now, not really. He needs to improve against the run and in pass protection. There appears to be the willingness to improve, and hopefully he can reach his full potential as a complete linebacker.

Even though Perry is lacking in some areas of his game, the fact that he'll instantly upgrade the Packers' pass rush is what makes this such a solid pick for Green Bay.