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2016 NFL Draft: LB Joshua Perry under national radar, but might help Giants

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Joshua Perry has been consistently productive for Ohio State, could he be doing the same for the Giants come September?

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The New York Giants need help at every level, and they need players who will help to replenish the leadership in their locker room.

Ohio State's Joshua Perry isn't the most well-known prospect to come out of OSU this year and was in fact one of just three seniors to start for the Buckeyes. Perry might get lost in the shuffle with players like Joey Bosa, Ezekiel Elliott, Cardale Jones, or Adolphus Washington, but he might be the kind of linebacker who catches the Giants' eye.

Measurables

Pros

  • High motor, high character player who never takes a play off, and is hailed as a "consummate teammate"
  • Smart player, with a good football IQ
  • Versatile, having played all three linebacker positions, prototypical size or strong side or middle linebacker.
  • Not an elite athlete, but a good enough athlete for his size to play in space. Shows a good closing burst.
  • Great strength to take on blocks in the run game.
  • Productive with 229 tackles, 16 for a loss, 6.5 sacks, and 6 passes defensed in the last two years.

Cons

  • Doesn't add the speed to the defense that the Giants need.
  • Aggressive play can take him out of out of position

Prospect Video

Big Board Rankings

Mocking The Draft - 31st overall

CBS - 46th overall

Draft Tek - 73rd overall

Does He Fit with the Giants?

Is he a living, breathing, functional linebacker? Then, yes.

Perry is a player I tagged heading into the 2015 draft as a player the Giants could target if he came out. To me, Perry is the perfect "Coughlin" linebacker. Prototypical size with solid athleticism for that size, with high effort, high motor, and high character. In fact, if I had to make an NFL comparison, a healthy Kennard is who Perry reminds me of.

Will the Giants change how they evaluate linebackers and broaden their horizons to include smaller more athletic 'backers? Only time will tell there, but depending how the draft shakes out Perry could make a good pairing lined up next to Devon Kennard.

Final Thoughts

Perry is a player I like watching but on that almost absurdly stacked Ohio State defense he almost fell through the cracks. I would say that with Kennard already on the roster, Perry is a bit redundant, but with Kennard's injury history, is redundancy a bad thing?

While the Giants need to add speed at every level of defense, Perry has the skill set to be a three-down linebacker as long as you don't ask him to cover too much ground or for too long.