The SB Nation two-round NFL mock draft continues along with each lead NFL team blogger making the pick for their team. The final pick of the day, No. 45 overall, comes from the Dallas Cowboys.
With the 45th pick in the 2012 SB Nation NFL Writers Mock Draft, the Dallas Cowboys select Southern California defensive end Nick Perry.
Dave Halprin, site editor for Blogging the Boys, breaks down the choice and I respond after the jump. For the latest on the Cowboys, make sure to check out BloggingTheBoys.com.
Dave Halprin explains: After picking the premiere guard in the draft in round one, David DeCastro, the Cowboys were initially looking at shoring up a troublesome secondary in round two. But, much to their delight, borderline first-round talent Nick Perry from USC was still on the board, and fits a need for Dallas. Although listed above as a defensive end, Perry’s size is more suited for an outside linebacker in the Cowboys 3-4 defensive scheme. Dallas franchised current strong-side linebacker Anthony Spencer for 2012, but has yet to work out a long-term deal. Spencer’s strength has always been against the run, and the Cowboys are looking for a pass-rushing bookend to superstar DeMarcus Ware. Perry’s best attribute in all of the scout’s eyes is his ability to rush the passer.
Perry has expressed a preference for being a hand-on-the-ground defensive end and Dallas will be able to use him in that way and as a stand-up edge rusher. Contrary to popular belief, the Cowboys use multiple defensive fronts, switching into a 4-3 alignment for a good percentage of plays. Perry can be used as a pass-rushing defensive end in that alignment, and platoon with Spencer in a base 3-4 alignment. Spencer is stronger against the run, Perry shows much more skill as a pass rusher. Dallas will have to work with Perry to develop his skills as a full-time 3-4 OLB, mainly in setting the edge against the run and dropping back into coverage on occasion. These are the areas that make the pick a bit of a risk. But the benefits of getting an athletic pass-rusher who has been graded by many as a first-round talent is too much to pass on. For too long teams have overloaded their protections to stop Ware; having a legitimate pass-rush option opposite him could greatly benefit the Cowboys defense, and may even help out a secondary that has struggled.
Dan Kadar responds: I'm not particularly high on Perry, only because he's limited in the run game and may need time to develop in the NFL. That's why I love this pick. If Perry goes to a team like the Cowboys, he could ease into the NFL and be relied upon simply to get after the passer. When Cowboys defensive coordinator Rob Ryan had the same job with Cleveland, one of the best blitz packages he had was using defensive end Matt Roth inside at tackle. With a player like Perry, Ryan could dust that old play off. The idea of Perry shooting an inside gap with Ware coming around the edge is scary. Because of how he'd be used in the Dallas defense, I like this pick. Other teams may not have as much success as Dallas with a player like Perry. There is third-round value this year at cornerback and safety, so secondary can be addressed later in the draft.
Mocking the Draft's Top 5 Remaining Prospects
|1||Indianapolis Colts||Andrew Luck||QB||Stanford||Story|
|2||Washington Redskins||Robert Griffin III||QB||Baylor||Story|
|3||Minnesota Vikings||Matt Kalil||OT||USC||Story|
|4||Cleveland Browns||Justin Blackmon||WR||Oklahoma State||Story|
|5||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||Morris Claiborne||CB||LSU||Story|
|6||St. Louis Rams||Trent Richardson||RB||Alabama||Story|
|7||Jacksonville Jaguars||Quinton Coples||DE||North Carolina||Story|
|8||Miami Dolphins||Ryan Tannehill||QB||Texas A&M||Story|
|9||Carolina Panthers||Fletcher Cox||DT||Mississippi State||Story|
|10||Buffalo Bills||Mike Adams||OT||Ohio State||Story|
|11||Kansas City Chiefs||Riley Reiff||OT||Iowa||Story|
|12||Seattle Seahawks||Courtney Upshaw||OLB||Alabama||Story|
|13||Arizona Cardinals||Jonathan Martin||OT||Stanford||Story|
|14||Dallas Cowboys||David DeCastro||G||Stanford||Story|
|15||Philadelphia Eagles||Luke Kuechly||LB||Boston College||Story|
|16||New York Jets||Melvin Ingram||DE||South Carolina||Story|
|17||Cincinnati Bengals||Stephon Gilmore||CB||South Carolina||Story|
|18||San Diego Chargers||Mark Barron||S||Alabama||Story|
|19||Chicago Bears||Michael Floyd||WR||Notre Dame||Story|
|20||Tennessee Titans||Dre Kirkpatrick||CB||Alabama||Story|
|21||Cincinnati Bengals||Cordy Glenn||OT||Georgia||Story|
New England Patriots
Green Bay Packers
San Francisco 49ers
New England Patriots
New York Giants
St. Louis Rams
|36||Tampa Bay Buccaneers
|39||St. Louis Rams
||Alshon Jeffery||WR||South Carolina
|44||Kansas City Chiefs