1) Introduction: Packers outside linebacker Nick Perry was the team’s first round draft pick in 2012 (28th overall). Perry was thought to be high on Green Bay’s list and sure enough, he was their selection on draft day. Having been primarily a defensive end at Southern Cal, Perry was said to be a project for the Packers, who planned to use Perry standing up as an outside linebacker opposite Clay Matthews.
- Age: 22
- Born: 4/12/1990 in Detroit, MI
- Height: 6’03″
- Weight: 265
- College: Southern California
- Rookie Year: 2012
- NFL Experience: 1 year
3) Expectations coming into the season: The hope was that Perry would be an immediate and regular contributor to the team’s pass rush and start opposite Clay Matthews on the left side. Perry showed some burst in training camp but it was clear early on that he would need guidance in learning a new position and at the next level. Perry understood the team’s expectations and spent much time with Matthews during camp absorbing the defensive scheme and learning his trade. He was the starter at left outside linebacker in week one against the San Francisco 49ers.
4) Player’s highlights/low-lights: Perry started out the season slowly with his worst statistical game in week one. He quickly turned that around in week two with his best performance as he continuously pressured Bears quarterback Jay Cutler in a winning effort. Perry also had a very memorable shot on Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck early in week five but the play was flagged for roughing the quarterback and nullified. Those types of plays were evidence that Perry had the potential to be a solid force against opposing quarterbacks. Unfortunately, Perry’s season was cut short when he suffered a season-ending wrist injury in week six. Forced to miss the team’s last 10 games, Perry missed some valuable on-field experience and will need to rebound well during the 2013 offseason program.
5) Player’s contribution to the overall team success: Perry’s season was a short one but he did show some flashes of what he can bring to the defense. If healthy, he has the speed and power to develop into a player that offensive lines cannot ignore. His biggest contribution was in the week two win against Chicago when he was effective enough to shift the offensive protection away from Matthews just enough for Clay to have a field day with Cutler. He unfortunately wasn’t healthy enough to make much of an impact on the team’s season.