2018 NFL Draft

Nick Perry, DE

School: Southern California  |  Conference: PAC12
College Experience: Junior  |  Hometown: Detroit, MI
Height/Weight: 6-3 / 271 lbs.
Projected Ranking
OverallPositionProj. Rnd.
Latest News
04/29/2012 - General manager Ted Thompson's calling card in building a title contender the last few years has been stockpiling draft picks. Thompson broke from his April tradition this year and went on the offensive to bolster his dismal defense. Thompson traded up three times and used the Packers' first six of eight selections on defensive players. "We hope we helped all aspects of defense," Thompson said. Green Bay had the league's worst-ranked defense in 2011 but still managed to go 15-1. A porous pass rush that contributed to the Packers' premature end to the season early in the playoffs after they won the Super Bowl the previous year took precedence in the draft room. Thompson went for the "juice" of taking Southern Cal's Nick Perry in the first round to pair with Clay Matthews at outside linebacker. In turn, Thompson upgraded the defensive line and the Nick Collins-less secondary by moving up twice in the second round for Michigan State lineman Jerel Worthy and Vanderbilt cornerback Casey Hayward. BEST PICK Linebacker Nick Perry: The Packers were desperate to take pressure off Matthews, who was held to a career-low six sacks last season. Perry will be counted on to start and deliver right away. - The Sports Xchange

04/29/2012 - A closer look at the Packers' picks: Round 1/28 -- Nick Perry, LB, 6-3, 265, Southern Cal...The athletic and explosive Perry is being moved from defensive end to outside linebacker to be the pass-rushing complement to former college teammate Clay Matthews. His ability to drop into coverage is a question mark. - The Sports Xchange

04/27/2012 - 2012 NFL DRAFT: PICK-BY-PICK ANALYSIS: 28. Green Bay Packers: OLB Nick Perry, Southern Cal -- Perry is one of the best all-around athletes in the draft. If he hones those skills and polishes his pass-rush technique, he could become the sackmaster the Packers need opposite Clay Matthews. - Jeff Reynolds, The Sports Xchange

04/27/2012 - Not long after Green Bay took Perry with the 28th pick in the first round Thursday, Thompson and defensive coordinator Dom Capers left no doubt the newest Packer is ticketed for a new position. The 6-foot-3, 271-pound Perry will line up at right outside linebacker -- opposite Matthews' position -- in Capers' established 3-4 scheme when players come in for the rookie orientation camp May 11-13. "At the end of the day, we thought he'd make a really good addition to our outside linebacker group," Thompson said. "He's played with his hand on the ground, but we're convinced that he's athletic enough to play standing up and do some of the things that we do. A very physical guy, can set the edge, can rush the passer. We feel good about him." Thompson wasn't fooling anyone when he declared after the addition of Perry that "it wasn't a need pick so much." The release of Pro Bowl safety Nick Collins the day before the draft and no solid replacement in place notwithstanding, addressing the anemic pass rush had to take precedence going into the three-day proceedings. "We were able to get more pressure," Capers said simply, when he looked back to the Super Bowl-winning 2010 season, in which the Packers had the league's fifth-rated defense, buoyed by 47 sacks. - The Sports Xchange

04/27/2012 - Perry doesn't feel he will need to shed any weight in making the transition to a stand-up position that will showcase his explosive pass-rushing abilities but also will have him backpedaling into coverage on occasion. Capers is optimistic about pulling off the conversion with this blue-chip player, but Thompson tempered the expectations. "I think he'll be fine," Thompson said. "He'll need some coaching, just like we do with all of our players as they come in." What's next for Thompson to accomplish as the draft winds into Day 2 is to get a potential heir to Collins at free safety, possibly a long-term successor to the departed Scott Wells at center and perhaps add another young player to a promising, but inexperienced group of running backs. The Packers have one pick each in rounds 2 and 3 on Friday night, then stand to be extremely busy Saturday with nine selections. The first-round grab of Perry comes in a week that started with the release of two prominent players -- 12-year left tackle Chad Clifton and Collins, the latter of whom the club wasn't willing to put back on the field after he underwent neck surgery last September. Clifton, who was coming off back surgery after last season, failed his physical. - The Sports Xchange

04/27/2012 - Clay Matthews and Nick Perry were teammates at USC but never played a down on the field together in their decorated college careers. Three years after Ted Thompson thought so highly of Matthews to make a rare trade up to get him late in the first round, the Packers general manager held Perry in similar high regard. "(A) tremendous physical specimen," Thompson said late Thursday night. With that, a reunion of Matthews and Perry gives Green Bay the pass-rushing bookends it desperately needs in an attempt to resuscitate a defense left for dead last season. "I played with Clay my freshman year, and since then we've been boys," Perry said. "I'll be glad to be across from him, just to create problems like he (has) and just to be a force on the other side of the ball." Perry didn't make his mark as a tenacious and productive defensive end for USC until after Matthews graduated to the NFL. The Trojans redshirted Perry as a true freshman in 2008, Matthews' final college season. As Matthews exploded onto the pro scene with 10 sacks as a rookie with the Packers in 2009, Perry led USC with eight sacks in a reserve role. Perry then started at defensive end as a sophomore and a junior, leading the Pac-12 with 9.5 sacks in the 2011 season before declaring as an early entrant in this year's draft. - The Sports Xchange

04/27/2012 - Green Bay mustered just 29 sacks last season, when its unstoppable offense covered up for so many flaws by the league's worst-ranked defense as the Packers won 15 of 16 games before their quick flameout in the playoffs. The defense allowed an NFL-record 4,988 passing yards in the regular season. "The pressure helps the coverage, and the coverage helps the pressure," Capers said. "Last year, we weren't pleased, really, with either area. What we're looking to do is go back to work and find a way to get back to pressuring that quarterback like we did a couple years ago and cover a lot better." Thompson is banking on the athletically imposing Perry to fill a huge void. The absence of a playmaker on the right side negatively impacted Matthews, whose sacks dipped appreciably from 13.5 in 2010 to six, which equaled the paltry production by the rest of the team's outside linebackers in the regular season. "The basis of our defense starts with being able to threaten offenses from both sides," Capers said. For the Matthews-Perry marriage to be as fruitful as his new employers envision is going to require some tough love the next few months. Perry let it be known in the weeks leading up to the draft he preferred to stay at defensive end. He took the high road after the Packers selected him with the intention to turn him into a linebacker. "It's here. I can't control it," Perry said. "This is something I love doing; I love playing football. I'm here to do whatever it takes to compete. Whatever I can do to help the team, I'm here for that." - The Sports Xchange

04/26/2012 - ROB RANG'S TOP 50 PLAYERS OF THE 2012 NFL DRAFT: 28. Nick Perry, DE, Southern Cal*: As had been anticipated, Perry enjoyed one of the Combine's most impressive all-around performances showing speed (4.64), strength (35 reps) and explosiveness (38.5"). He led the Pac-12 with 9.5 sacks in 2011 and may just be scratching the surface of his potential. - Rob Rang, NFLDraftScout.com

03/16/2012 - NFL Draft Scout Top Edge Players, OLB/DE: *Nick Perry, DE/OLB, Southern California, 6-3, 271, 1-2...Perry opted for the draft after being named USC's Defensive Lineman of the Year following a 2011 season in which he led the Pac-12 in sacks with 9.5. Considered a 'tweener who could be an outside linebacker or defensive end, Perry wants to play the latter. So he added more than 10 pounds of lean muscle since the season ended to convince scouts. Still, many believe he projects as a stand-up linebacker in a 3-4 defense, despite not showing instincts to play in the open. His natural athleticism was on display at the combine, where he had an unofficial 10-yard time of 1.57 seconds and showed tremendous explosion with a 38.5-inch vertical jump, a mark worthy of a good wide receiver. Scouts would also like to see more hustle on plays away and/or better conditioning, as he seems to fatigue in the fourth quarter. Perry was a prized recruit after he led Detroit's King High School to a 14-0 season and a 2007 state championship with 147 tackles and 36 sacks, a Michigan prep record. - Frank Cooney, The Sports Xchange/NFLDraftScout.com

03/08/2012 - USC Pro Day: Perry, who weighed 270 pounds, said he "could have done better" on some of his position drills but was pleased overall, especially combined with his combine results. He is projected to be a first-round pick. "I get asked a lot by NFL teams about certain schemes because everyone wants to know if I can also play in a 3-4 (defense)," Perry said. "It's good to be in the conversation (for the first round)." - NFLDraftScout.com

02/25/2012 - Michigan native Perry wasn't an unknown out of high school. He was a blue-chip, five-star recruit who spurned the Wolverines when Lloyd Carr was fired and joined Pete Carroll at Southern Cal. Perry was a freshman All-American in 2009 after leading the team in sacks (8.0) as a backup. And became a starter as a sophomore and had his best season in 2011 as a junior, leading the Pac-12 with 9.5 sacks before leaving school early. Despite standing at just 6-2, Perry offers an impressive blend of speed and strength at 271 pounds, adding over 20 pounds of muscle in the last six months. He lined up at defensive end his entire career, but teams that employ the 3-4 formation have also taken a liking to the former Trojan. Perry has the versatile skill-set to stand up as a rush linebacker, but he enjoys his more natural position on the line. "I can handle both, but I prefer 4-3," said Perry when asked about playing in either formation. "I'd like to keep my hand in the dirt, but as long as I'm rushing and getting to the quarterback, I'm fine with whatever it is." There are differing views on Perry's best position fit at the next level, but most agree he's capable of filling either role depending on the scheme. Some prospects encourage the switch to standing up in space to get more freedom. But other pass rushers hope to keep their hand on the ground where they feel most comfortable. "I've been playing defensive end for a long time now and I have experience at that," Perry said. "So I think being put further away from what you're used to doing makes it a little uneasy." - Dane Brugler, NFLDraftScout.com

02/23/2012 - NFL DRAFT SCOUT PRE-COMBINE TOP 64: 28. *Nick Perry, DE, Southern Cal, 6-3, 250, 1-2...Although it is unclear exactly what position he will play at the next level, Perry opted for the draft after being named USC's Defensive Lineman of the Year following a 2011 season in which he led the Pac-12 in sacks with 9.5. That was the most sacks by a USC defender since 2007. Most scouts believe he projects as a stand-up linebacker in a 3-4 defense, despite not showing instincts to play in the open. If he adds muscle to his frame he may be more comfortable with his hand on the ground as a traditional defensive end in a 4-3. Scouts would also like to see more hustle on plays away and/or better conditioning as he seems to fatigue in the fourth quarter. Perry was a prized recruit after he led Detroit's King High School to a 14-0 season and a 2007 state championship with 147 tackles and 36 sacks, a Michigan prep record. - Frank Cooney - The Sports Xchange, NFL Draft Scout

12/19/2011 - USC junior defensive lineman Nick Perry is leaving the Trojans early to enter the NFL draft. "We counseled Nick throughout his decision-making process, and we stand behind him on this decision," Coach Lane Kiffin said Saturday. "His career progression at USC continued climbing to a point where he was ready to make the jump to the NFL." The Trojans this week also lost junior offensive tackle Matt Kalil (Servite High) to the draft. Perry led the Pac-12 with 9.5 sacks this season. "He was an awesome pass rusher for us and he created havoc throughout the Pac-12 this year in a league that featured many of the nation's most dangerous passing offenses," Kiffin said. "He will be a valued addition to any NFL team and should be an attractive choice in the upcoming draft." Two other Trojans - quarterback Matt Barkley (Mater Dei) and safety T.J. McDonald - also are candidates to leave early for the NFL. Those college players eligible have until Jan. 15 to make a decision on entering the draft. - Jeff Miller, The Orange County Register

10/13/2011 - THIS WEEK'S GAME: USC at Cal, Oct. 13 The Trojans have dominated the series, winning the past seven meetings after a triple-overtime loss to Cal in 2003. USC led 42-0 at halftime last season before coasting to a 48-14 victory that is tied for the largest margin in coach Lane Kiffin's tenure. This game is at AT&T Park while Cal's Memorial Stadium is being renovated. KEYS TO THE GAME: USC has allowed its past two opponents (Arizona State and Arizona) to complete 66 of 85 passes (77.6 percent). Cal QB Zach Maynard isn't the type to complete a high percentage of passes he's only at 51.4 percent but the Trojans are going to have to tighten up their Tampa 2 defense and not let receivers Keenan Allen and Marvin Jones catch short passes all game. The pressure will be on USC's cornerbacks to come up big, and watch for junior college transfer Isiah Wiley if starting CB Torin Harris can't play. PLAYERS TO WATCH: DE Nick Perry has three sacks, although he'll have to be careful against Cal's Zach Maynard, who can break containment and make plays with his feet. - The Sports Xchange

09/10/2011 - SCOUTING THE DEFENSE: Look for coach Lane Kiffin to expand his defensive rotation this week against Utah. He had planned to go deeper in the opener against Minnesota, but the close nature of the game in the second half gave him pause. He said he would like to get a trio of true freshman involved this week - LB Lamar Dawson, DE J.R. Tavai and DT Christian Heyward. Defensive ends Nick Perry, Wes Horton and Devon Kennard lead the charge up front for a defense that recorded four sacks last week. - The Sports Xchange

09/03/2011 - PLAYERS TO WATCH: DE Nick Perry - The junior is one of three talented, experienced ends for the Trojans along with Wes Horton and Devon Kennard. Perry had four sacks and has the tools to double that figure on what should be a more dynamic front. - The Sports Xchange

08/10/2011 - 2011 PRESEASON TED HENDRICKS AWARD WATCH LIST: Nick Perry, USC, has been named one of 35 players selected to the Ted Hendricks Award Watchlist for the 2011 college football season, honoring the nation's top defensive end. - The Ted Hendricks Award

07/13/2011 - 2011 ROTARY LOMBARDI AWARD PRESEASON WATCH LIST: Nick Perry, DE, USC, (12 career sacks in 10 starts, 7.5 TFLs, 25 tackles), has been selected to the Rotary Lombardi Award Preseason watch list for the 2011 college football season. Eligibility for the Rotary Lombardi Award is limited to down linemen, end-to-end, either on offense of defense, who set up no farther than 10 yards to the left or right of the ball, and linebackers who set up no father than five yards deep from the line of scrimmage. This is the 42nd year that the Rotary Lombardi Award has named the nation's college lineman of the year. - The Rotary Lombardi Award Committee