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Prospect Profiles: Nick Perry

NICK PERRY, DE/OLB, USC

TRIANGLE NUMBERS: 6-3, 271, 4.64

SCOUTING REPORTS:

NFP:

What I like…

– Displays the ability to coil up into his stance, keep his base under him, back flat and take a positive first step off the football.

– Eats up grass well initially, getting on top of opposing tackles quickly in the pass game.

– Possesses the first step to threaten the edge and demonstrates some savvy to his game setting up his outside speed rush.

– Extends his long arms well into contact and showcases a little know how of when to work the club/chop in order to keep himself clean on the edge. Can be violent on contact.

– Possesses good length for his size, is a long armed kid who maximizes his length well into contact.

– Showcases some natural power when he’s trying to turn the corner through contact. Has a stronger lower half, works hard in pursuit and showcases a good motor fighting his way past tackles.

– Does a nice job working the edge and using his length to wrap on the quarterback when closing in pursuit.

– Showcases some suddenness when trying to change directions and keep himself clean toward the corner.

– Has slightly above-average power on his bull rush, extends his inside arm well into contact, can knock opposing tackles off balance and work his legs hard through contact.

– Exhibits better natural anchor strength vs. the run game than given credit for.

– Keeps his pad level down well off the snap, has an explosive first step and a powerful punch on contact.

– Uses his length well to shed on slide down blocks, finds the football well and has some range when asked to close.

– Was productive as a junior finishing with 9.5 sacks and showing well vs. some of the best offensive tackle prospects in the country.

What I don’t like…

– Is a slightly tighter pass rusher who struggles to really drop his pad level around the edge, sink his hips and flatten out under tackles.

– Too often is easily pushed past the pocket and eliminated from the play due to higher pad level.

– Isn’t real sudden off his speed rush on any type of change of direction move. There isn’t a real quick/sudden element to his game back inside.

– Gets upright through contact, doesn’t play as strong as he could because of pad level and makes it tough on himself to disengage once a lineman gets their hands on him.

– His pass rushing arsenal is limited, looks more like a one trick pony who is only real confident working the speed rush. Will sprinkle in the bull or the inside rush at times, but doesn’t have a “go to” change up.

– Gets upright vs. the run game when trying to play off blocks. Fails to sit into his base and keep his feet under him, allowing lineman to wash him from the play too easily.

Impression: Exhibits the first step to be a threat off the edge, however struggles to drop his pad level when flattening out. Plus, he doesn’t have much of a counter to his game at this point. Nevertheless, has some obvious talent and is a guy you would expect to start as a rush backer in a 34 scheme and be a productive threat off the edge.

Draft Countdown:

Strengths:
• Good bulk with a muscular, yoked up physique
• Terrific athleticism with very good body control
• Explosive with excellent speed and a burst
• Is able to bend off the edge and run the arc
• Strong with more power than you’d expect
• Active, violent hands to strike and disengage
• Adequate run defender and surprisingly stout
• Fantastic range and does a nice job in pursuit
• Will offer positional and schematic versatility
• Pretty productive against quality competition

Weaknesses:
• Does not have ideal length ( height or arms )
• Stiff with average agility and change of direction
• Motor runs hot and cold and disappears at times
• Must develop additional rush moves / counters
• Questionable instincts and overall awareness

Injury History:
• Missed one game with a sprained ankle in 2011

Notes:
Was a two-year starter for the Trojans — Named 1st Team All-Pac-12 in 2011 — Led the Pac-12 in sacks in 2011 — Could project to either defensive end or outside linebacker at the next level depending on the scheme — 35 reps of 225 pounds in the bench press — A workout warrior who really opened some eyes with combination of size, speed and strength at the Scouting Combine — Inconsistent and too reliant on natural ability so must work on rounding out skill set but potential is undeniable — One of the most dynamic pass rushers in this class.

FF Toolbox:

USC Trojans defensive end Nick Perry has the potential to play either a 4-3 DE or 3-4 OLB at the next level due to his quickness off the edge and above-average athleticism.

Perry hasn’t quite lived up to his own high standards. A sub-par sophomore season hurt his draft stock, but he might have been playing through injury. After a really nice junior campaign, he should be regarded as one of the better defensive end prospects in this draft class due to a strong season in which he has 9.5 sacks and 55 total tackles.

On the edge he explodes off the line, shows good snap count awareness, and can find the edge to apply pressure on quarterbacks. He has a nice array of pass-rushing moves and has quick enough feet to change directions inside with a nice swim move. Perry really improved his motor this season and there are many who feel he could transition seamlessly to a 3-4 OLB role. That might take more time, but it is certainly possible.

He does well to seal the edge and stay within his assignment. Perry is strong, but could afford to add more bulk. He shows nice patience and doesn’t get overly aggressive in pursuit. The next big leap he needs to make is using his hands to his advantage. Perry will sometimes get eaten up by blockers and struggle to get loose. If his quickness doesn’t win the battle at the point of attack, he needs to fight through it and battle because he can tend to get ineffective.

VIDEO:

GiantsGab Thoughts:

Nick Perry is an explosive pass rusher. Great burst. Really athletic. The big question with him is this: 43 DE or 34 OLB? He’s a tweener. Not quite big enough to be a DE, and if he bulks up, he may lose some quickness. Personally, I think he can be effective as a 43 defensive end, who can stand up and play a joker role. No matter where he plays, he can get after the passer. It’s up to the defensive coordinator to figure out which place is best. He’s a first round pick, and he could go as high as 12 to Seattle. I’ve seen him mocked to the Giants recently, and it makes sense: Giants love pass rushers, and Perry might be the best pure rusher in the draft. No, he wouldn’t be a starter, but it would give the Giants some flexibility if they wanted to trade Osi, and fetch a 2nd or 3rd round pick. The Giants can get very creative with Perry, and if he’s the pick at 32, I think it would be a good one.

PREVIOUS PROFILES:

QB:

BJ Coleman

RB:

David Wilson

LaMichael James

Chris Polk

Robert Turbin

Vick Ballard

Doug Martin

Terrance Ganaway

WR:

Juron Criner

Marvin McNutt

Tommy Streeter

AJ Jenkins

Ryan Broyles

Brian Quick

Alshon Jeffery

TE:

Coby Fleener

Dwayne Allen

Ladarius Green

Orson Charles

Michael Egnew

OT:

Mitchell Schwartz

Mike Adams

Zerbie Sanders

Bobby Massie

Andrew Datko

Levy Adcock

Jonathan Martin

OG:

Cordy Glenn

Brandon Washington

Kelechi Osemele

Brandon Brooks

Kevin Zeitler

Amini Silatolu

C:

Peter Konz

Ben Jones

DE:

Malik Jackson

Chandler Jones

Whitney Mercilus

Andre Branch

Jake Bequette

Jonathan Massaquoi

DT:

DaJohn Harris

Mike Martin

Billy Winn

Jerel Worthy

Marcus Forston

Jaye Howard

LB:

Luke Keuchly

Zach Brown

Lavonte David

James-Michael Johnson

Sean Spence

Keenan Robinson

Bobby Wagner

Dont’a Hightower

Vontaze Burfict

CB:

Casey Hayward

Brandon Boykin

Chase Minnifield

Josh Robinson

Josh Norman

Janoris Jenkins

Dre Kirpatrick

S:

George Iloka

Harrison Smith

Mark Barron

Antonio Allen

Markelle Martin

Aaron Henry


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