Southern California Trojans defensive lineman Nick Perry speaks at a press conference during the NFL Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium.
The Patriots recently took a look at another high profile pass rusher. According to Aaron Wilson of Scout.com, the Patriots recently held a pre-draft visit with USC defensive end / outside linebacker Nick Perry.
Perry has been a name thrown around a few times here on Pats Pulpit as a possible first round option at outside linebacker or defensive end. While Perry has shown some preference to playing the 4-3 defensive end position as opposed to 3-4 outside linebacker, he's one of the few players who many think could make the transition to the position.
Weighing it at a nose under 6'3" and 271 lbs at the combine, Perry is an incredible physical specimen with great athleticism and explosion as a pass rusher. He has good pass rush moves, can change directions well, has above average instincts and is surprisingly adept at stopping the run, even if he isn't as stout at the point of attack as some bigger defensive ends.
The bottom line is this: Nick Perry is an elite athlete with great pass rush skills and production at the collegiate level. While he may or may not transition well to 3-4 outside linebacker, he will instantly become a playmaker along the front seven for the team that drafts him.
Perry has been moving up the boards recently, and has been widely projected to go in the 15-25 range. So if the Patriots want to scoop him up, their best option might be to trade up a few spots from 27 on draft night.