ANN ARBOR, MI - OCTOBER 09: Jerel Worthy #99 of the Michigan State Spartans rushes Denard Robinson #16 of the Michigan Wolverines during the game on October 9, 2010 at Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor, Michigan. (Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images)
The Green Bay Packers strengthens their front seven with their first two picks of the 2012 NFL Draft, taking USC defensive end/outside linebacker NIck Perry in the 1st round and Michigan State defensive tackle/defensive end Jerel Worthy in the 2nd round. Clearly, the Packers' front office has identified pressuring the quarterback as their greatest area of weakness in 2011, as have most draft experts.
Worthy, whose 22nd birthday was the first day of the draft, should help things get better in that area. According to his draft profile on CBSSports.com he, "May not put up huge sack numbers, but is a constant thorn in a quarterback's side in pass rush situations." In In his three seasons at Michigan State he totaled 107 tackles, 27.5 of which were for a loss, and 12 sacks. As a junior he was a consensus first team All-American, as he helped lead the best rushing defense and overall defense in the Big Ten. Worthy, whose "incredible power" was commending by Bill Polian on the draft broadcast, is also known for his quickness, according to Pro Football Weekly and National Football Post.
Many felt he was a first round talent, but he fell all the way to 51, perhaps because of stamina questions. In addition, he struggles with double teams, some of which is a question of effort, and that's not really going to fly at the professional level. Some believe that he should have stayed in school one more year and would have been a great prospect coming out as a senior. However, one of the reasons he is coming out a year early is to earn money for his dad, who had a stroke two years ago.
Now that he is in the pros, Worthy has a chance to play for the world champs from two years ago and will likely be expected to contribute right away. Other than B.J. Raji and Ryan Pickett, the Packers don't really have any household names on their defensive line anymore, and their poor play on the field has reflected that. A good place to turn to for help would be to the youth of Worthy.