After going offense with his first three picks last year, Ted Thompson is likely to flip and address defense early and often in this draft. He pounced on Southern Cal’s Nick Perry with the 28th pick, a bit of a surprise since Perry professed his desire to play end in a 4-3 defense in the NFL when asked at the NFL Combine.
With the Packers he will be asked to stand up and play outside linebacker to complement fellow Trojan Clay Matthews. I’m guessing he won’t hesitate to embrace his new position. Dom Capers can’t wait to get his hands on him. Moments after the draft he reminded everyone that Perry ran a 4.5 at 270 pounds. Think about that for a second. What do you think it feels like to get hit by a guy that big and that fast. We’re hoping opposing QBs find out, beginning this season.
Capers maintains that having explosive ability to come off the edge is the #1 priority in a 3-4 outside linebacker. He also knows that you need two of them on the field to really make that 3-4 hum.
Perry will struggle in coverage and is not too good against the run, but what he provides is a nice bookend for Matthews and a chance to develop into an all around player. He played against very good competition in the Pac 12 and had his way with Stanford tackle Jonathan Martin, likely an early second round pick.
It would be a surprise if he’s not the opening day starter, opposite Matthews. So what will Thompson do on Friday? I expect a defensive lineman (Nebraska’s Jared Crick?) and maybe a safety (‘Bama’s DeQuan Menzie?). Will he package a few picks to try to pick twice in the second round? Will a running back catch his eye?
What would you like to see the Packers do in the second and third rounds?