It will be tough to ignore Perry if he catches the ball well in Indianapolis
Today we take a quick look at Navy quarterback Malcolm Perry, who is entering the NFL draft as a wide receiver.
First and foremost, the intangibles are there. He's a mature and intelligent, a natural-born leader who would be an asset to any locker room in the National Football League.
The athleticism as a runner is obvious as well. Running Navy's option, Perry posted 4,354 rushing yards and 40 touchdowns during his 41-game collegiate career. He showed patience between the tackles and a burst through the hole that allowed him to routinely torch defenses for big gains.
He's going to interview well. He's going to run well and excel in the agility drills. What we don't know for certain is how he'll fare catching the ball. That's the key to everything for Perry if he wants to be a receiver at the next level. Other recent converts from quarterback to receiver, including Braxton Miller and Terrelle Pryor, have had mixed results there.
During Senior Bowl practices at receiver, he ran routes well for someone who hadn't played the position before. He also showed soft hands and an ability to catch the ball away from his body.
With a little polish and some hard work between now and the combine, an athlete like Perry has the ability to show up in Indy and look like a natural.
Perry's size (5-9, 190) probably limits him to a role as a slot receiver. Additionally, he could have some value as a punt returner.
My prediction is that scouts are going to fall in love with Perry a the Combine, and he'll remind them of another college quarterback-turned-receiver: Julian Edelman. It took Edelman a while to figure things out as a receiver, but suffice to say, the patience New England displayed during his development has paid dividends.
Perhaps Perry will yield similar results for some lucky franchise.
If Malcolm Perry proves he can catch passes consistently, there's a good chance that a team will roll the dice on him in the later rounds. He's about as safe of a pick as you can ask for in terms of a guy learning a new position.
— Written by J.P. Scott, who is part of the Athlon Contributor Network. His work has appeared on SI.com, FoxSports.com, Yahoo! SBNation and Bleacher Report. He is a three-time FWAA writing contest award winner. Follow him on Twitter @TheJPScott.
(Top photo courtesy of navysports.com)