04/29/2012 - QUOTE TO NOTE: "A great organization took a chance on me. They saw my potential. I'm just ready to go in and just prove everybody wrong and just make an impact." - Defensive end Jerel Worthy, a potential first-round prospect whom the Packers picked in the second round of the draft. - The Sports Xchange
He didn't do himself any favors with a mediocre performance at a Combine filled with talented defensive tackles.
But in games, where it counts, Worthy is the definition of the word load. He demands immediate and constant attention by blockers or he can ruin an offense, and pretty much did exactly that as he earned All-American honors last season.
Worthy anchored a Spartans defense that led the Big Ten in rushing defense (100.5 yards per game), total defense (277.4 ypg) and sacks (45). Worthy explodes off the line at the snap and quickly uses his strong hands and unusual overall power to maintain an advantage. Little wonder he had at least one tackle for a loss in nine of 14 games last season.
He said his decision to enter the draft as an underclassman was partly because his father suffered a stroke in 2010 and he wants to offer financial support for the family.
Pass rush: May not put up huge sack numbers, but is a constant thorn in a quarterback's side in pass rush situations. Swims past lesser linemen with a shake and quick, violent hands. Closes on the passer in a hurry once free. Will sometimes line up a half-yard off the line to give himself room to make his move. Does not split doubles regularly or have a great bull rush, often giving up after initial contact.
Run defense: Packs power and has quick feet to handle one or two-gap run defense responsibilities in the box. Tough to move, stands up blockers when anchoring against the run. Brings down backs from behind within the box and straight up the middle, but does not regularly chase plays downfield or towards the sideline. Spins off blocks but doesn't have elite change of direction to reach quicker backs going through the hole once he's left it. Gets caught up in his man chest at times, failing to get off to make a play. Quick backs elude him easily in the hole. Avoids cut tackles to stay upright, but lacks quick acceleration to get into plays away from him.
Explosion: Impressive explosiveness off the snap, shocks his man with a strong initial punch and can also out-quick him to get into the backfield. Quick to get low, create a pile in goal lone situations. Gets too worried about contact or penetrating a gap that sometimes forgets to find the ball.
Strength: Already excelling in this area, should get even stronger in a pro strength and conditioning program. Strong hands allow him to shed lineman in either direction to catch backs coming into his area; consistency in using them could be improved, however. Once he gets a guard on skates, puts them into the quarterback. Takes his man backwards when slanting, also effective occupying two men on twists to free up the end.
Tackling: Limited area of coverage results average tackle numbers for the position. Swallows up ballcarriers in the box with length and superior upper-body strength, though, leading teams to stay away from inside runs. Closes well on quarterbacks and running backs in the backfield and rarely gets go of ballcarriers once making contact. Has enough agility and athleticism to grab backs from behind after a strong swim move.
Intangibles: His stamina and conditioning will be a concern for scouts unless improvements are made. Vocal on and off the field; points out potential hot receivers and run plays to teammates before the snap, something you don't see many interior linemen do.