Next up in the 2012 Draft prospects to workout for the Denver Broncos is Defensive Tackle Jerel Worthy. A 3-year letterman for Michigan St., Worthy is a Junior declaring early for the draft. He stands 6-3 and weighs in at 310 lbs. He played 40 career games for the Spartans, including 38 starts at Defensive Tackle. Jerel totaled 107 Tackles, 27.5 Tackles For Loss, 12 Sacks, 6 Passes Batted down and 3 blocked kicks. Those marks rank among the leaders in Spartan history.
As a Junior last season, he was named a consensus 1st-team All-American. Worthy earned 1st-team All-America honors from The Associated Press, American Football Coaches Association, Walter Camp Foundation, Sporting News, CBSSports.com, NBCSports.com and Yahoo! Sports. Jerel was also selectes as an All-Big Ten 1st-team selection by the coaches and media.
Worthy gives back too, participating in the Athletes in Action sports ministry. He majored in family community services at Michigan St.
Jerel was invited to the 2012 NFL Scouting Combine and worked out, though he did not participate in the Bench Press. He later put up 28 Reps at the Michigan St. Pro Day. Here is his Combine Report.
6'2", 308 lbs.
Arm Length 33"
Hands: 9 3/8"
40 yard Time: 5.08
Vertical Jump: 28.5"
Broad Jump: 8'11"
20 Yard Shuttle: 4.56
3-cone drill: 7.60
Worthy is an extremely thick, tightly built defensive tackle who displayed a ton of power throughout his career at Michigan State. He chose to forgo his senior year and looks prepared to be an immediate rotational player on the front of a 4-3 scheme. He is capable of playing the nose if necessary, but has the athleticism to be a sub-package 3-technique rusher.
Worthy is very thick and powerful throughout his upper body and has thigh power that can blow back interior lineman off the snap. He has a surprising burst for a player his size and is capable of knifing and slanting the line and getting into the backfield almost instantaneously. He is a pad-level and leverage-savvy player who understands how to win with a first step and bull rush alike.
Worthy gets upright off the snap and really has trouble working his pass rush moves or moving his feet if he doesn't win with a burst or quickness off the snap. He struggles in space and has a difficult time breaking down his weight to attempt to fit on a ball carrier. He can get neutralized at times by double teams not out of strength or talent, but because of effort and breakdown of technique.
CBSSports.com has Jerel ranked as the 4th best Defensive Tackle prospect in 2012 and 27th overall player at the present.
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.
Sports Illustrated projects Worthy as a 2nd round pick:
When on his game Worthy is an unstoppable force who collapses the pocket or occupies blockers, which allows his teammates to make plays. He comes with a terrific amount of upside, and if he's able to concentrate on the details of his position, Worthy will be a productive starter at the next level.
Jonathan Bales wrote a Scouting Report on Worthy for the NY Times. To read more, go here:
Jerel Worthy has the best snap anticipation of any defensive lineman I have reviewed this year. He times the snap count and uses his quickness to get into the backfield faster than any tackle in this class. I’m really not sure how he does it on such a consistent basis. As you might expect, Worthy jumps offside more than average, but so do some of the top pass-rushers in the N.F.L. I watched five full games of Worthy’s, and I saw multiple plays like this in each of them. He’s a play-making defensive tackle who is going to be a terror as an inside pass-rusher at the next level.
Worthy’s stock is tough to predict because I see a top 15 talent, yet most are putting him into the second round. He’s a borderline first-day pick whose most likely destinations are Chicago, Denver, Green Bay, San Diego, St. Louis or New England.
Last August, Michigan Defensive coordinator Pat Narduzzi said that football intelligence has helped Worthy make quick adjustments on the field.
"He's not a guy who gets in a three-point stance and waits for everything to happen," Narduzzi said. "Sometimes I get nervous, I'm like 'What's Jerel doing?'
"He's on a knee and he's looking around, looking at the backfield set, looking to see what that tackle's looking at. What's the guard looking at? He not only is playing his position and has the athletic ability to do it, he's a smart football player."
Jerel Worthy sounds like an outspoken young man, a mountain of a man and a leader of men. He has shown improvement, maturity and a dedication to the game. I would personally feel good about Jerel Worthy in the Orange and Blue. Some guys you want with you versus against you. Worthy is that kind of guy.