There's definitely been mixed reaction among the Green Bay Packers fanbase to the selection of Nick Perry, but most of the reaction seems to be positive. He has fantastic physical tools and he fills a need at outside linebacker opposite Clay Matthews. He was a very good pass rusher in college, and he'll be able to contribute immediately. But even with all of that going for him, was he a good value pick?
It depends on who you ask. I decided to pull up the mock drafts and big boards of a couple of pundits whose opinions I respect that are not behind paywalls. The best non-paywall stuff I could find from guys who had both a mock draft and a big board publicly available were Rob Rang of CBS and The Sports Xchange and Mike Mayock of NFL.com and the NFL Network.
Below the jump, a review of what Rang and Mayock thought of Perry pre-draft.
In his pre-draft mock, Rang had the Packers selecting Shea McClellin, who went off the board to the Bears at No. 19 overall. He had Perry going to the Patriots -- who traded up last night -- at No. 31. On Rang's big board, Perry was his 28th best player available. Even though Rang didn't guess the pick here, he more or less got the Packers' selection, mindset, and his player grades spot on based on how the draft unfolded. The Packers' pick was totally in line with Rang's pre-draft mock and rankings.
Mayock's mock and rankings were a slightly different story. He also had the Packers taking McClellin in his mock, but did not have Perry going in the first round. That's probably because Perry was only the 49th rated player on Mayock's big board.
That makes the Perry pick sound like a minor reach. He had remaining pass rushers Courtney Upshaw and Vinny Curry rated above Perry. Personally, I had Perry rated above Curry and Bruce Irvin, and I didn't think there was a lot that separated Perry from Whitney Mercilus. I preferred Upshaw to Perry, but Perry has much more upside, even if he is less of a sure thing.
I definitely respect Mike Mayock's opinion, but I am in slight disagreement with his pre-draft evaluation of Perry, and I hope that on this occasion, Ted Thompson got it right and Mayock was a bit off with his rankings.