Dec 26, 2009; San Francisco, CA, USA; Southern California Trojans defensive end Nick Perry (8) before the game against the Boston College Eagles in the 2009 Emerald Bowl at AT

Chicago Bears Draft Prospect Watch: Nick Perry

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It’s becoming pretty clear that the Bears are going to go defense with their first round pick and defensive end is such a big need, it just kinds of makes sense.  Enter Nick Perry, defensive end out of UCS.  He’s about the 4th or 5th ranked DE and could very well be there when the Bears select at #19.  Let’s read the scouting report.

This from CBS Sports:

Pass rush: Has very good first step quickness and does a nice job in space. Has the footwork, body control and fluidity to quickly change directions. Does a nice job elevating and getting his hands up to knock down passes at the line of scrimmage. Works hard to collapse the pocket with a relentless motor. Brings aggressive playing style on every snap and doesn’t quit. Lacks elite size and length — undersized and can be swallowed by larger blockers.

Run defense: Read/reacts quickly with good awareness and recognition skills to chase down the play from different angles. Understands leverage and does a nice job staying balanced, getting lower than blockers and underneath their pads, usually attracting holding penalties.

Explosion: A quick, flexible athlete with sharp burst off the snap. Shows the natural bend and coordination to dip his shoulder and consistently win the edge. Doesn’t always time-up his explosion and isn’t a sudden pass rusher.

Strength: Uses his powerful upper body and hands to force his way into the pocket. Does a nice job swatting blocker’s hands/arms with his violent, active hands. Struggles to disengage at the point of attack and will never be the strongest on the field — functional strength is a question mark.

Tackling: Plays smart and disciplined, staying at home and restraining from biting on fakes — listens and applies coaching. Good hand strength to secure tackles. Lacks ideal arm length, but works hard to wrap and tackle through the ballcarrier.

Intangibles: Projects best as a stand up linebacker in a 3-4 scheme at the next level, but doesn’t have much experience in this area and there could be a learning curve — can he play with his hand on the ground at the next level? Lined up in both the two and three-point stance in college. Has good production on his resume, capping off his career with a strong junior season, leading the Pac-12 in sacks. Has questionable instincts when asked to drop in coverage. Appears fatigued late in games and needs to show better conditioning.

As you know, we’ve got to see a little highlight reel.

You know that Lovie likes his DE’s a little lighted and more athletic, so I’m not worried that some project him as an OLB in the 3-4.  Who knows, maybe Emery gets a building block for his new defense after he gives Lovie the boot after this season.

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