Let’s get this out of the way first: I couldn’t be more excited about the 2012 Green Bay Packers draft class. I thought Ted Thompson did a great job targeting needed position players and acquiring them at a good value. For a GM who has scraped the bottom of the barrel for outside linebackers the past two years, it’s refreshing to see him pick a prospect like Nick Perry in the first round.
Of course, draft picks usually come with some baggage, and Perry is definitely no exception. Draftniks have identified a couple question marks when it comes to Perry’s future as an outside linebacker for the Packers:
1. Is he the right fit for a 3-4 OLB, or should he be playing as a DE in a 4-3 system? His body size seems to be large for an OLB, and he has expressed minimal enthusiasm about switching positions.
2. Does his motor run consistently enough for the professional level? Scouts have called him “a little soft” and noted that he has a tendency to take plays off.
These are valid concerns, but I would challenge you to find an NFL draft pick (or even current player!) with no flaws or uncertainties about them. The question becomes how the coaches work to correct these deficiencies and implement the player in the defensive scheme.