Ohio State Buckeyes linebacker Joshua Perry (37) tackles Michigan State Spartans running backGerald Holmes
(24). Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports
Joshua Perry, LB, Ohio State
While Smith, Jack, and Ragland get a majority of the publicity as 2016’s top inside linebacker prospects, don’t go to sleep on Ohio State’s Joshua Perry.
Perry’s been a cornerstone player on a very talented Buckeyes defense for several years now. After leading OSU in tackles with 124 in 2014, Perry returned with another solid 98-tackle campaign as a senior, showcasing both his ability to defend the run and drop in coverage.
What’s even more impressive is Perry made the switch from inside to outside linebacker this past season and remained an impact player on defense. His versatility, as well as his ability to be a three-down player, will be something teams covet at the next level.
Most draft experts seem to have an early second-round grade on Perry, meaning he could be in play when the Packers select near the end of the first round.
If the top guys (Smith, Jack, Ragland) are off the board by then, Green Bay could seriously consider the OSU standout. He could be a day-one starter in their defense, bringing much-needed size (6-4, 254) and physicality to their linebacking corps.
I love the idea of him lining up alongside Jake Ryan at inside linebacker with Matthews and Peppers as bookends.
Bowl Game: Fiesta Bowl, Jan. 1st, 1 pm et. (ESPN) — Notre Dame vs. Ohio State
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