Now that we have looked at both Courtney Upshaw and Melvin Ingram as possible draft selections for the Arizona Cardinals, we will turn to a player that receives not nearly the same amount of press. Khodder did a nice piece on Nick Perry a while ago, but I figured that since we are much closer to draft time now than we were when he wrote that article, we could go over some of his strengths/weaknesses that have been updated with his combine results.
As a quick recap, Upshaw was not a popular person among Cards fans. 58% of the voters said no thanks to Upshaw as the Cardinals first round draft choice. Many of you cited his poor combine results and that he might be too slow and unable to defend against tight ends as a 3-4 OLB in the NFL.
As for Nick Perry, you may have some different feelings.
Coming out of another college football factory (USC), Perry is likely to be selected somewhere in the first round of the 2012 NFL Draft. Some have him being picked up in the top 15, while others have him sliding all the way to the bottom of the round. But let's just assume he's there by the time the Cards are on the clock with the 13th pick. Here is what they would be looking at:
As you can see, this is yet another player that has no issues getting to the opposing quarterback. At 6'3" and 271 pounds, Perry should have success playing in either a 3-4 or a 4-3 scheme in the NFL.
Last season for the Trojans, Perry wracked up a total of 9.5 sacks. At the NFL Combine, he ran a 4.64 40-yard dash, he did 35 reps of 225 pounds, he had a 38.5" vertical and ran a solid 7.25 flat in the 3 cone drill.
NFL.com compared his pass rushing skills to that of James Harrison and LaMarr Woodley's from the Pittsburgh Steelers. However, they also are unsure of his ability to play in coverage, as that was not something he was asked to do very often at USC. Here are some of the other weaknesses NFL.com had to point out:
Perry can get tied up on double teams often and have trouble when working against lineman in a tight area. This would bode well for a move to outside backer, where he can rush with more space and better set up his pass rush moves... Perry is a thick player but still a bit of a positional tweener, and doesn't quite have the strength of most defenders his size. He could have trouble against the bigger, stronger offensive tackles in the NFL who can neutralize his leverage and power.
After reading all of this, I am not so sure that Perry wouldn't be the perfect fit for the Cardinals scheme. They do not ask their outside linebackers to play in coverage as much as you would think and Perry could be the talent that they have been looking for to come off the edge.
What are your thoughts on Perry after reading this updated scouting report? Should the Cardinals consider drafting him with the 13th pick? Is this a player that they could grab assuming they traded down a few spots? Tell us what you think and vote in the poll.