After an eye opening workout at the NFL Combine over the last few days, USC DE Nick Perry has propelled himself firmly into first round discussion. Perry at 6-foot-3, 271 pounds, had the top defensive line marks in the vertical leap (38.5 inches) and broad jump (10-feet, 4 inches) while posting the No. 3 time in the 40-yard dash (4.64 seconds). After racking up 9.5 sacks this last season with the Trojans, teams have sat up and noticed.
Rob Rang, of CBSSports.com and NFLDraftScout.com, has Perry projected to the New England Patriots at 31. Per Rang:
31. New England Patriots
Nick Perry, DE, Southern California: Some teams are hesitant to grade Perry as a first-round prospect due to the fact that he elected to leave USC after just one highly productive season. He led the Pac-12 with 9.5 sacks in a breakout junior campaign. There are scouts who do believe he's just scratching the surface of his potential and others who like him best as a defensive end rather than an outside linebacker in the 3-4. For Patriots coach Bill Belichick, Perry would likely be asked to play both positions.