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Road to the Draft: Nick Perry

Nick Perry, DE, Southern California
6-foot-3, 271 pounds
Draft projection: First round

Lowdown: Perry aced the NFL Scouting Combine. He ran the 40-yard dash in 4.64 seconds, third best among defensive linemen. He had the best vertical jump (38.5 inches) and the best broad jump (10 feet, 4 inches) among defensive linemen. He showed surprising strength, lifting 225 pounds 36 times, which tied for fifth at his position. He’s most comfortable with his hand on the ground as a 4-3 end. Given his size and speed, 3-4 teams will give him strong consideration, too, even though he did not go backward in the Trojans’ defense.

Perry led the Pac-12 in sacks last season with 9.5. He had four sacks as a sophomore and eight as a red-shirt freshman in 2009. So he’s not a one-year wonder. The question is that while his workout results say he has the athleticism of a 12th overall pick, his play on the field wasn't quite that good. Said ESPN draft analyst Mel Kiper: “Good pass rusher. One of the fastest defensive players on USC. Strong kid. Durability concern coming into this year, but he's proven that wrong.”

---Mark Gaughan 

(The News is profiling 50 prospects in 50 days leading up to the 2012 NFL Draft.)

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NFL Draft
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