NFL Draft Round 1: Packers select USC DE Nick Perry
Pre-draft reports on Perry are somewhat spotty - he'll have to transition from DE to a 3-4 OLB, but current Packer OLBs Jamari Lattimore, Vic So'oto, Frank Zombo and Erik Walden were all college DEs, so position coach Kevin Greene does have experience helping guys through the transition.
Scouting reports say that Perry is explosive, but did gain a lot of leverage from having his hand on the ground. He seems to get lost on run plays and has a bit of a reputation as all-or-nothing. On the first two plays of the season in a game against Minnesota, he got lost and completely missed his man and then came back the next play and knocked the ball from the QBs hand.
His combine numbers were pretty spectacular, (Perry ran the 40-yard dash in 4.58 seconds, benched 225 pounds 35 times and had a 38.5" vertical leap. No other 3-4 prospect had such a complete showing)but one scout compared him to "bust" draftee Marcus Gholston, which isn't very flattering for Perry. However, the Packers see him as having the speed and the instincts and apparently think they can teach him how to be better against the pass rush. Pairing up with Clay Matthews, if he can learn the position, they'd be a very lethal USC-based combo on the pass rush.
His senior year, Perry finished with 54 tackles, 9 1/2 sacks and 13 tackles for loss.