Why Clay Matthews Will Thrive Because of 2012 NFL Draft Pick Nick Perry

Nick HartCorrespondent IMay 14, 2012

NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 26:  Nick Perry from USC holds up a jersey as he stands on stage 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 selected outside linebacker Nick Perry in the 2012 NFL draft to serve as the complement to Clay Matthews. With Perry manning the other outside linebacker position in the Packers defense, Matthews will be able to wreak havoc once again.

No one benefits more from the addition of Nick Perry than Clay Matthews. 

A defensive end at the University of Southern California, Perry has the pass-rushing skills necessary to thrive in the NFL. He's relentless and has the ability to rush from both sides of the line, either standing or with his hand on the ground.  

Perry also has the size and athleticism to handle the position, standing 6’3” and weighing 271 lbs while running a 4.64 40-yard dash with a 38.5 inch vertical and a 124 inch broad jump. 

Nick Perry is going to make an impact his rookie season.

Perry will play opposite Clay Matthews in Green Bay's 3-4 defense, and will serve as the perfect complement. Obviously a strong pass rusher, Perry is quick off the edge, yet has the power necessary to bull rush through opposing lineman. He also has the ability to move around and rush from a variety of different positions. 

Nick Perry and Clay Matthews will create major headaches for opposing offenses.

Matthews had a down season in 2011, only posting six sacks. As the only viable pass-rushing threat, Matthews consistently faced double and triple teams, neutralizing him and the defense's pass rush. Consequently, opposing quarterbacks had all day to throw and were able to pick apart the Packers' secondary.

The presence of Nick Perry will change all of that. 

Offenses will have to respect Perry’s ability and will no longer be able to triple team Matthews, nor will he have to face double teams on a regular basis. Offenses will be forced to focus part of their protection on Perry, and will have to designate blockers in an attempt contain him, limiting their protection elsewhere.

With Perry occupying blockers, Matthews will be able to consistently pressure opposing quarterbacks, racking up sacks and generally wreaking havoc on opponents.

The attention Nick Perry will receive from opposing lineman is essential for Clay Matthews to return to form. The addition of Nick Perry will result in Clay Matthews again posting double-digit sack totals, generating consistent pressure and becoming a mainstay in opposing backfields.

Matthews will once again be in the discussion for the Defensive Player of the Year award, and an appearance on the All-NFL first team isn’t out of the question. 

Clay Matthews will benefit greatly from playing alongside Nick Perry, and the "Claymaker" will return to the discussion as one of the NFL’s premier defensive players.