2012 NFL Draft Scouting Report: Jerel Worthy

  • Quick get-off
  • Speed to shoot the gap
  • Ability to collapse the pocket
  • Quality pad level
  • Bulk to hold ground against drive blockers
  • Strength to shed blocks
  • Can take over games and dominate for stretches
  • Durable, experienced 3-year starter
  • Passionate player who was devoted to his team

  • Lacks elite characteristics
  • Not consistent
  • Disappears at times
  • Needs to refine pass-rushing moves for NFL guards
  • Conditioning needs to improve
  • Bigger reputation than actual production

    Summary: Worthy has been one of the better defensive tackles in the Big Ten over the past couple of seasons. In 2010, he notched 40 tackles with eight tackles for a loss and four sacks. Heading into the 2011 season, Worthy was in the running to be the top defensive tackle in the nation. However, he had an inconsistent season, and other defensive tackles passed him, like Penn State's Devon Still. Worthy had 3.5 sacks with 30 tackles, 10.5 tackles for a loss and two blocked kicks in 2011.

    There were stretches in games where Worthy was utterly dominant. When he took on Wisconsin in two games, he would be blocked well for a portion of the game, before wrecking havoc in the backfield for a quarter. Worthy had underwhelming performances against Nebraska, Iowa and Notre Dame. He had a superb showing against Ohio State, and ended his career well against Georgia. Versus the Bulldogs, Worthy got the better of the matchup against Georgia center Ben Jones, a second-day prospect.

    Worthy looks like he would be best as a one-gap penetrator in a 4-3 defense. He could play the three-technique in a Tampa-2 defense that requires a quick tackle to fire through the gap. Worthy is at his best when he is trying to get into the backfield to make plays. At the same time, Worthy is a quality run defender at the line of scrimmage. He holds his ground and doesn't get pushed around.

    While Worthy probably is a better fit in a 4-3 defense, he could play the five-technique as an end in a 3-4. His ability to hold his ground could set the edge and free up outside linebackers. However, that may not be the best use of his talents.

    Player Comparison: Rocky Bernard. Worthy will definitely be drafted ahead of where Bernard went. In the 2002 NFL Draft, Bernard was a fifth-round pick of the Seahawks. That turned out to be an excellent selection, as Bernard has gone to have a successful career with Seattle and the Giants. Even though Worthy will go higher, he has a similar skill set to Bernard and could have a comparable career. Bernard has averaged three sacks per season with an abnormal 8.5 sacks in 2005.

    NFL Matches: Denver, New York Giants, Minnesota, St. Louis, Seattle, New Orleans, Carolina

    Worthy could fit just about any 4-3 defense that is in need of a defensive tackle. Denver could use a tackle who can push the pocket and take out quarterbacks who try to step up to avoid an edge rush. Minnesota and St. Louis could both use some youth on the interior of their lines. Seattle needs to upgrade their interior pass rush. The Giants are always looking to add to their defensive front, and Worthy could be Bernard's replacement.

    The Saints have veterans on the inside of their line, but could use some long-term answers. While Carolina used picks on tackles last year, they both were injured so the Panthers need more at the position for an effective rotation and depth. Worthy could be a quality second-round pick for any of those seven teams.


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