Spartans’ Jerel Worthy Entering Draft

Boom or Bust: Does Jerel Worthy Fit the Packers’ D?

Tyrann Mathieu has surprised those who thought he might fail in the NFL. (Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

Bennett: A Worthy Conversation ESPN.com’s Brian Bennett talked to Jerel Worthy on Thursday about his reasons for turning pro, what led to his decision and his thoughts on Michigan State’s future. Blog A key cog in a Spartans defense that ranked fifth nationally in the FBS this season, Worthy finished with 30 total tackles, including 10 for loss, 3 sacks and two blocked kicks. He has been projected as a potential first- or second-round pick in the April draft. Worthy was Michigan State’s first All-American defensive tackle since Ronald Curl in 1971. He helped the Spartans go 11-3, winning the Big Ten Legends Division title and beating Georgia 33-30 in triple overtime at the Outback Bowl. He also said his father suffered a stroke before the start of the 2010 season, something which impacted his decision. “My father is slowly but surely progressing back to where he needs to be,” Worthy said.

Nick Perry, Jerel Worthy Add Pass Rush Presence to Packers Defense.

Raji. But last offseason Jenkins jumped ship, signing a lucrative free agent contract to join the Philadelphia Eagles , leaving defensive end Mike Neal, a second-round pick of the Packers in 2010, as his replacement. Unfortunately, Neal found himself on the injury report more than on the field and the Packers pass rush suffered a dramatic drop off in production. With no adequate replacement, Jenkins departure had wide-ranging affects on the play of Matthews and Raji, who combined for just nine sacks in 2011 compared to 20 the previous season. Jamie Squire/Getty Images Matthews has to be excited about finally have a legit edge rusher opposite him. In all, the Packers saw their sack total fall to just 29, a big reason why their defense allowed more passing yards than any team in NFL history last season. So when Green Bay went on the clock near the end of the Round 1, it was easy for general manager Ted Thompson to select Perry with the 28th overall pick. A standout at USC, Perry is a 6’3″, 265-pound edge player, who has the ability to play standing up or with his hand in the ground. According the the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel , Perry finished his three-year college career with 21.5 sacks, 29.5 tackles for loss and 51 total pressures. The former Trojan may not be an ideal fit for defensive coordinator Dom Capers ‘ 3-4 defense, yet he can pressure the quarterback, an essential component for success in today’s pass-happy NFL.

Jerel Worthy ‘ready to go’ for Green Bay Packers, after patience-testing NFL Draft

Mark-Dantonio and Jerel-Worthy.jpg

The Packers traded up to grab Worthy with the 19th pick of second round. They, apparently, were surprised he was still available. Worthy was, too. But it clearly felt good to be chosen. “I was just trying to be patient,” said Worthy, who many analysts predicted would be off the board by the end of Thursday’s first round. “I knew my time would come. I knew that an organization would fall in love with me and they would willing to take me and they would take the chance on me.

The result is this look: For Worthy, if he were to line up next to Raji in the Packers nickel, it would get him as close to his Michigan State duties as possible in football terminology, Worthys ideal NFL fit going into the draft looked to be as 3-technique lineman, which means he lines up over the outside shoulder of an offensive guard. The 3-technique is what Warren Sapp so excelled at during his days in Tampa Bay, because it basically puts the defensive tackle in charge of one specific spot, the B gap between the guard and tackle, which allows him to go full-bore into that area. In the picture above the Packers two tackles are closer in on the center than that, but its a place Worthy may feel more comfortable. Worthy will have to be more physical in Green Bays 3-4 base defense, because, as mentioned above, the lines job there is to engage blockers while the linebackers swoop in for tackles. There will be a steep learning curve for Worthy, theres no question. Does he have the drive to make this match a successful one?

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