Southern California defensive end Nick Perry will likely be selected as a 3-4 outside linebacker in the 2012 NFL Draft. He finished the 2011 season with 9.5 sacks and 54 total stops on his way to being a finalist for the Hendricks Award (nation's best defensive end).
Switch to 3-4 in the works?
- Quick feet and initial burst
- Flexibility and leverage coming off the edge
- Cognizant in disrupting passing lanes
- Disciplined tackler that understands his assignments
- Aggressive hands
- Quality read-and-react skills against the run
- Fluid athlete with lateral change-of-direction skills
- Physical stature and skill set offer positional versatility (3-4 OLB, 4-3 DE)
- Upside to be a premier pass rusher
- Concerns about his conditioning
- Lacks awareness in pass coverage
- Instincts are suspect
- Lacks ideal size (6-foot-3, 250 pounds) and strength to play 4-3 end
- Short arms
- Inconsistent timing of first step
- Limited pass-rushing repertoire
- Durability issues (history of knee and ankle injuries)
Expected draft placement
The lack of elite edge rushers in this draft class will push Perry up the board based on potential alone. He could play 4-3 defensive end in a Cover 2 base system, but a 3-4 team is more likely to select him and convert Perry to an outside linebacker.
Perry could land with the Dallas Cowboys (No. 14), New York Jets (No. 16), San Diego Chargers (No. 18), Green Bay Packers (No. 28) or New England Patriots (No. 31).
About Cory J. Bonini
Cory is KFFL's General Manager. In late 2002, he joined the KFFL staff as a research analyst and has been involved in fantasy sports since 1996. A member of the Fantasy Sports Trade Association, as well as Fantasy Sports Writers Association, Bonini has been featured in print, on radio and on scores of websites. Bonini co-hosted Big Lead Sports on SiriusXM Fantasy Sports Radio from 2011 to 2012.
Bonini was recognized with the 2010 Best Article in Print Award from the FSWA and was a finalist for the same award in 2011. In '11, he finished first overall in the FSWA NFL experts challenge that featured 60 of the industry's best competitors.
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