2012 SB Nation NFL Mock Draft: Round 2, Pick 45

LOS ANGELES - NOVEMBER 27: Defensive end Nick Perry #6 of the USC Trojans forces a fumble by quarterback Tommy Rees #13 of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish to set up USC's touchdown at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum on November 27 2010 in Los Angeles California. Notre Dame won 20-16. (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)

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

OVR Name Pos. College Report
23 Brandon Thompson
DT Clemson
scouting report
25 David Wilson
RB Virginia Tech
scouting report
29 Lamar Miller
RB Miami scouting report
30 Dwayne Allen
TE Clemson
Coming soon!
32 Chris Polk
RB Washington
Coming soon!

Pick Team Player Pos. School Story
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
22 Cleveland Browns Kendall Wright WR Baylor Story
23 Detroit Lions
Janoris Jenkins CB North Alabama
24 Pittsburgh Steelers
Dont'a Hightower MLB Alabama
25 Denver Broncos
Michael Brockers DT LSU
26 Houston Texans
Dontari Poe DT Memphis
27 New England Patriots
Whitney Mercilus DE Illinois
28 Green Bay Packers
Devon Still DT Penn State
29 Baltimore Ravens
Kevin Zeitler G Wisconsin
30 San Francisco 49ers
Stephen Hill WR Georgia Tech
31 New England Patriots
Kendall Reyes DT Connecticut
32 New York Giants
Peter Konz C Wisconsin
33 St. Louis Rams
Jerel Worthy DT Michigan State
34 Indianapolis Colts
Coby Fleener TE Stanford
35 Minnesota Vikings
Rueben Randle WR LSU
36 Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Doug Martin RB Boise State
37 Cleveland Browns
Zach Brown OLB North Carolina
38 Jacksonville Jaguars
Brian Quick WR Appalachian State
39 St. Louis Rams
Alshon Jeffery WR South Carolina
40 Carolina Panthers
Lavonte David OLB Nebraska
41 Buffalo Bills
Chandler Jones
DE Syracuse
42 Miami Dolphins
Andre Branch DE Clemson
43 Seattle Seahawks
Mychal Kendricks MLB California
44 Kansas City Chiefs
Josh Robinson CB Central Florida

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