With their second-round pick (51st overall) in the 2012 NFL draft, the Green Bay Packers selected Jerel Worthy a defensive tackle / defensive end from Michigan State University.
The Packers traded their 2nd round pick (#59) and 4th round pick (#123) to the Philadelphia Eagles for their 2nd round pick (#51). This was the first trade of the 2012 NFL draft by the Packers.
Defensive Tackle / Defensive End
Michigan State University
Huber Heights, OH
Wayne High School
Worthy started 38-of-40 games for Michigan State at the left defensive tackle position, registering 107 tackles (52 solos)…His twelve sacks for minus 78 yards rank 14th on the school career-record chart, while his 27.5 stops for losses totaling 118 yards rank 13th in MSU annals…Added six quarterback pressures with two fumble recoveries and six pass deflections…Also blocked three kicks.
5.03 in the 40-yard dash…1.81 10-yard dash…2.97 20-yard dash…4.58 20-yard shuttle… 7.62 three-cone drill…28 ½-inch vertical jump…8’11” broad jump…Bench pressed 225 pounds 28 times…33-inch arm length…9 3/8-inch hands…79 7/8-inch wingspan.
What makes life difficult for offensive linemen that have to face Worthy one-on-one is that explosive first step. He will sometimes align a half-step off the line of scrimmage and that technique allows him to get a “head of steam” to collide and engage the interior linemen, where his 27.5 stops behind the line of scrimmage attest to his ability to create havoc in the backfield. He has good mechanics crossing the face of those blockers and shooting the gaps, using his long arms to easily engulf and wrap up the ball carrier. Wes Bunting of National Football Post has this to say about Worthy, “A talented kid with a thick frame, “plus” get off burst and snap awareness to his game. However, doesn’t shed blocks well when engaged and lacks ideal anchor ability inside. Looks like a one-gap type lineman only who could give solid reps at both nose and three-technique in a 43 front. But is going to need some time before he’s ready to start.”
While the Packers definitely needed to get some help along their defensive line, I’m not sure I agree with trading up and losing a pick in order to take a player like Worthy who could have possibly been available later in the draft. Also, with players like Devon Still, Brandon Thompson and Alameda Ta’amu still on the board, Green Bay would have likely been able to sit back and still get a player who was capable of making an impact instantly.
With that said, Worthy does fill a need, and if Ted Thompson traded up for him, he must be much better than we all think.