2017 NFL Draft Scouting Report: Chris Wormley
By Charlie Campbell
Summary: Every year, one of the most desired commodities in the NFL Draft is defensive line talent. Linemen who are sufficiently versatile to play a variety of techniques are always in demand as they help teams to mitigate injuries during the season and can play multiple spots if a team likes to run hybrid 4-3 or 3-4 defenses. With that being the case, Wormley should be an early round pick after two solid seasons with the Wolverines.
Wormley was mostly a backup until he broke out in 2015 as a junior. He recorded 43 tackles with 6.5 sacks, 14.5 tackles for a loss, one pass batted and one forced fumble on the year.
As a senior, Wormley showed improved pass rush as he put more consistent pressure on the quarterback in his final season. He totaled 40 tackles with nine for a loss and six sacks in 2016. Wormley got better with his hand usage and shedding blocks to put heat on the quarterback. He had a lot of solid games, but was quiet against Ohio State and Florida State to end the season.
Wormley went on to have a respectable week on the field at the Senior bowl, but he didn't blow linemen away. He was one of the most impressive players in the meeting room though. Off the field and in the locker room, teams love Wormley, and multiple teams were raving about him after his Senior Bowl interview. One team source he seemed almost too good to be true in terms of his character. Wormley is known to have a good work ethic and high character, doesn't get in trouble, and is a good teammate. He has leadership potential for the NFL.
Wormley is a tough run defender who has some quickness and a burst to close when he breaks free. He is very strong at the point of attack and has good technique not to play too high. In terms of gap integrity, Wormley is very reliable to control his gap and stuff runs that come at him. There is no doubt that he should be a sturdy base end in the NFL and be an asset in run defense.
In the pass rush, Wormley has the strength to shed blocks with quickness to close. He has active hands to fight off blocks and enough speed to get upfield. He isn't a blinding edge rusher and doesn't possess an elite get-off. Michigan moved Wormley inside for him to get pressure on the quarterback rushing from defensive tackle. Wormley will probably be a player who averages six or seven sacks per season. In his prime years, he could be an 8-10 sack player, especially if he has an elite rusher on the other side who sets up a lot of one-on-ones for him. He should be a contributor to a team's pass rush as a left end or tackle.
NFL team sources love Wormley's versatility for the next level. He has ideal length and strength to be a five-technique defensive end in a 3-4 defense. In a 4-3 defense, he could be a three-technique tackle or a left defensive end who moves inside during passing situations. Wormley also could play left defensive end on all of his snaps, but he probably won't ever be a player who produces big sack totals coming from end.
Late in the 2016 season, one team source said that Wormley could end up going higher than many expect because of his size, strength, length, and versatility up front. After the Senior Bowl, however, sources from multiple teams said they felt that Wormley would probably go in the second round of the 2017 NFL Draft. They think Wormley might go late in Round 1, but he it is more likely will go on Day 2.
Player Comparison: Derek Wolfe. In conversations with scouts, they have compared Wormley to the Chiefs' Chris Jones, but not as fast or athletic as Jones. Jones just finished his rookie season, so for another comparison, Wolfe would fit. Both Wolfe and Wormley are physical defenders who are tough to set the edge and can contribute some pass rush. They won't be double-digit sack edge rushers, but they are very solid defenders who are good starters and help in both phases. It wouldn't surprise me if Wormley is similar to Wolfe in the NFL.
NFL Matches: Oakland, New York Giants, Dallas, Atlanta, New England, New Orleans, Detroit, Washington, Cincinnati, Arizona, Seattle and Denver
There are a lot of potential fits for Wormley in the first couple of rounds of the 2017 NFL Draft. The Raiders could use an interior disruptor, and Wormley could move inside in Oakland's 4-3 defense. The Giants could lose Jason Pierre-Paul and Johnathan Hankins this offseason. Wormley could help the Giants on the inside and outside.
Dallas needs defensive end help especially with the suspension issues of Randy Gregory and Demarcus Lawrence. The Cowboys also could lose Terrell McClain in free agency. Wormley could help them at tackle and end.
At the very end of the first round, Wormley could be a possibility for either of the Super Bowl participants. Atlanta needs an end across from Vic Beasley, and Wormley could also help replace aging veteran Jonathan Babineaux on the inside of the line in passing situations. New England could use more defensive end talent, too. Chris Long was only signed to a short-term deal, and the Patriots need more pass rush as they were led by Trey Flowers with only seven sacks in the regular season.
The Saints have to upgrade their defense and improve their pass defense. Wormley could be a nice fit in the second round if New Orleans doesn't take a defensive lineman in Round 1.
The Lions could use defensive line help. Wormley could give them an interior defender to pressure the quarterback in passing situations and serve as a base end on run downs across from Ziggy Ansah.
In the second round, Cincinnati could be a fit for Wormley. The team has Margus Hunt entering free agency, while Michael Johnson is a limited player. Wormley could play end on run downs and rush inside with Geno Atkins in passing situations.
Wormley could also be in play for the Cardinals if Calais Campbell isn't re-signed. They need defensive end help in part because Robert Nkemdiche was a disappointment as a rookie. Seattle could use an interior disruptor as well. Brandon Mebane left in free agency, and the Seahawks have had problems with a lack of interior pass rush once injuries have hit their defense.
The Redskins want to get younger and more athletic up front. Wormley would be able to play five-technique defensive end in a 3-4 or 4-3 end or tackle for Washington.
Last offseason, the Broncos locked up Derek Wolfe, but they lost Malik Jackson. Wormely could be a fit for the Broncos on Day 2 if they want to beef up the defensive line.
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