Representing the New England Patriots, super8 with the 31st pick in Arrowhead Pride's 2012 NFL mock draft...
Hello again fellow AP members! The last time we met, the Patriots had just drafted Janorus Jenkins out of North Alabama. Most of us know that it was a very risky pick, and could very well be a wasted pick, or, it could be a huge steal. However, in my opinion, it is best to make a safe pick after taking a risk. I don't want to risk throwing this entire draft out the window, do I? So, I've got to have a few sure-thing players in the mix, to at least know I'm getting something out of this offseason. The player I have selected has few or no character issues and brings the most important need of the offseason right into my lap....pass rush. Some "experts" having going in the second round, but he is a certain 1st rounder in my eyes. Oh...I'll give you a clue, it's not Shea McClellin.
The New England Patriots select....Nick Perry OLB USC
While some analysts have Nick Perry as a very early 2nd rounder, he only falls there due to circumstance. It is no question that he is one of the top outside linebackers in this year's draft. This year, he was the USC Defensive Lineman of the Year and the Pac12's sack leader with 9.5 sacks. He left school a year early.Perry can be a multi-purpose player. Scouts think that he is capable of playing both the DE and OLB positions at the next level. Perry however, prefers to play DE, and has gained 10 more pounds in order to do so. Luckily for him, he can spend some time in both positions in New England's hybrid defense. This should be appealing not only to him but also the Patriots coaching staff.
Nick Perry has lots of great pass rushing skills. He is consistently working to knock down the pocket, and has a skill for knocking down passes. He can leap like a wide receiver, win edge battles, use his agility in impressive ways, and doesn't bite on fakes. He seems like a smart player who is willing to learn. The Patriots are famously known to take intelligence very seriously, so Perry should certainly appeal to them in that category. Perry also shows that he can handle the run very well, which is something the Patriot's line has been very average at stopping.By drafting Nick Perry, he fills a big need up on the defensive line and linebacker's core. DE's Ellis and Deaderick only came up with a combined 3 sacks in the regular season. At left OLB, Tracy White had no sacks at all. Mark Anderson has proved he can be a pass rushing threat, but he can't do it all on his own. It is obvious that pass rush is a need for the Patriots and Perry will take care of that. Perry will need to develop better instincts and conditioning, but if he can do that he will be a force in this league.
***Previously (with approval results)...
9. Carolina Panthers - South Carolina LB/DE Melvin Ingram (Forgot to do a poll)
31. New England Patriots - USC OLB Nick Perry