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NFL Draft 2016 prospect: Joshua Perry

Joshua Perry will be a fan favorite at his future NFL city.

Joshua Perry was the heart and soul of the Ohio State defense for the past two seasons. Perry is a workout warrior who added bulk and definition to his frame each and every off-season. NFL scouts will be enamored with his football IQ, his nose for the ball and his leadership on and off the field.

The linebacker was a tackling machine in his 38 gamed played; as he accumulated 296 total tackles, 18 tackles for loss, 7.5 sacks and an interception. He is about as reliable and rock solid as one can get at the linebacker position.

Measurements

Height: 6'3

Weight: 253

Arms: 33 1/4"

Hands: 10 1/4"

Interviews

Perry was one of the more elaborate players during his interviews, giving thoughtful and insightful answers. When he met with the media he has a newly shaven dome, with a little bit of a back story.

"So, I got a little haircut. Got it for two reasons: first reason - I was just getting kind of tired of having hair and so one day I went to the store and got some clippers and shaver and I just cut it off - and the other reason, I have a thing, I'm not too trusting of barbers. I don't want to have a really awful haircut so I didn't want to have to wait like eight weeks to get back to Columbus to get a fresh cut so I just went ahead and shaved it all off."

Being a linebacker at Ohio State has a long track record of translating into success at the next level. Perry knew the pipeline even in high school, making it one of the reasons he wanted to be a Buckeye.

"It's huge. Every so often I think about those guys and I have contact with some from time to time, but to be a part of that is huge and that's the reason why I came to Ohio State is I knew that being a linebacker for The Ohio State University is a big deal and also just the tradition at the school and then moving forward into the NFL those guys are generally successful. That was a big draw for me."

Perry thinks his talent was a little bit understated at Ohio State, with so many productive players on defense, but also notes that some of that rests on his shoulder, "There were times where I'm not even going to front looked like I should've been a better athlete on film but then when you look at guys around us from guys playing behind me to guys playing next to me you got some pretty good athletes out there."

As one of the more philanthropic athletes coming out of college football, Perry understands the value of his character, especially in the current NFL climate. He noted, "The NFL is looking for character guys in just some of the things going on there's a lot of scrutiny on players in the league and things they get into. Some of those missteps are blown up in the media so everybody wants to sign a character guy but obviously you're there to play football and especially once you go to the league that's your business and that's how you eat."

Workouts

Bench press: 20 reps

40-yard dash: 4.68

Vertical jump: 33.5"

Broad jump: 10'4" -- 4th best among linebackers

Projection

Perry is a consummate professional who will be a fixture in the community, a leader in the locker room and solid on the field for years to come.  After playing outside linebacker in Ohio State's 4-3 defense, he may fit best in the NFL as a an inside linebacker in a 3-4 defense. Expect Perry to land somewhere in the second round.