Jerel Worthy: Career Highlights, Analysis

The Packers had a choice of Michigan State's Jerel Worthy and Penn State's Devon Still. NFL scout Dave-Te' Thomas wrote about both of them in his predraft analysis. Also, here is a year-by-year account of the second-round pick's career.


The Packers had to choose between Jerel Worthy and Davon Still. Here is what NFL scout Dave-Te' Thomas had to say about both prospects:

The Big Ten Conference boasted two of the elite defensive tackles in college entering the 2011 season. While Michigan State's Jerel Worthy and Penn State's Devon Still had their moments, there was enough inconsistency throughout the year that if I was a general manager I would look elsewhere in the early rounds for defensive tackle help.

Worthy is an impressive physical specimen, but look at his body of work, especially last season. Only once did he post more than four tackles in a game and he "produced" just one stop in each of the Florida Atlantic, Central Michigan games and was completely shut out vs. the Iowa Hawkeyes' dominant offensive line. He has a very impressive hand punch, but more often than not, he's short-arming when trying to generate a bull rush.

Attack him low or ask him to split double teams and he will have problems. He is tough to move out when he anchors, but whether it is a lack of lateral agility or lack of effort, he's not going to give pursuit chasing down ball carriers along the sidelines. He has good foot speed, but running backs, especially cat-quick ones, had a field day running away from this guy (see Notre Dame, both Wisconsin games and Georgia).

As for Still, he's had knee issues in the past, but the school which touted him and Jordan Hill as the best defensive tackle tandem in college football was left eating crow after the season. If those two were the "best" in the collegiate game, please explain why Penn State ranked 74th (165.62 ypg in 2010) and 42nd (133.31 ypg in 2011) vs. the running game the two years Still was a starter?

He has an adequate swim move, but a lot of his missed chances at getting to the quarterback are the result of the lineman not showing the vision to locate the quarterback once he gets into the backfield (sacks last year came vs. struggling offensive lines like Temple, Northwestern and Illinois).

Still is much more effective vs. plays right in front of him, as he is very stout with his anchor, but he gets knocked on his rump more often, thanks to his inability to stay low in his pads. He also needs to be more conscious of protecting his feet by using his hands to stave off low blocks.


Worthy started 38-of-40 games for Michigan State at the left defensive tackle position, as he registered 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.


Worthy was named first-team All-American by Associated Press, American Football Coaches Association, Walter Camp Foundation, Sporting News,, and Yahoo! Sports, becoming the Spartans' first defensive tackle to earn first-team national honors since Ronald Curl in 1971…He is also the first Michigan State defensive lineman to be selected first-team by the Associated Press since Charles "Bubba" Smith in 1966…A consensus All-Big Ten Conference first-team choice, Worthy also became the first MSU defensive tackle to be selected by the coaches and media since Travis Davis in 1989…One of twelve semifinalists for the Lombardi Award, one of sixteen semifinalists for the Bednarik Award, and one of twenty quarterfinalists for the Lott IMPACT Trophy (Defensive IMPACT Player of the Year)…Recipient of the team's Most Outstanding Underclass Lineman Award (defense)…Started all thirteen games at left defensive tackle, as Worthy recorded 30 tackles (19 solos) with 3.5 sacks for minus 28 yards, finishing fourth on the squad with 10.5 stops for losses of 42 yards…Credited with three quarterback pressures, one fumble recovery, a pass deflection and a pair of blocked kicks, helping the Spartans lead the league and place sixth nationally in total defense, allowing only 277.43 yards per game, including just 100.5 yards per rushing (also led the Big Ten and ranked ninth in the country vs. the run).


Worthy had two stops, including a half tackle for loss, and blocked an extra point in the season-opening win over Youngstown State…Recorded a 10-yard sack in the win over Florida Atlantic...Wore No. 95 vs. the Fighting Irish as a tribute to former Spartan All-American Bubba Smith, who passed away this summer; Smith's final collegiate game was the 10-10 tie in 1966 between No. 1 Notre Dame and No. 2 Michigan State, as Worthy made four tackles and recovered a fumble at Notre Dame…Produced two tackles, including 1.5 for losses and a 5-yard sack, in MSU's 10-7 win at Ohio State…Compiled three tackles, including one for a 2-yard loss vs. Wisconsin in the teams;' first meeting for 2011…Named Spartan Defensive Player of the Week after helping limit Iowa to 87 yards rushing, as he blocked a field goal on the final play of the second quarter vs. the Hawkeyes…Added two tackles, including a 9-yard sack, vs. Northwestern…Registered two tackles, had a QB hurry, and broke up a pass on a two-point conversion vs. Wisconsin in the Big Ten Championship Game...Closed out his career with five tackles and a pair of stops behind the line of scrimmage vs. Georgia in the Outback Bowl.


Worthy earned All-Big Ten Conference honorable mention from the league's coaches and media…Selected for the College Football News All-Sophomore team…Presented MSU's Outstanding Underclass Lineman Award (defense)…Started all thirteen games at left defensive tackle, but missed the second half of the Illinois game after he suffered a hyper-extended knee…Had previously sat out spring drills with a shoulder injury…Recorded 40 tackles (14 solos) with a team-high four sacks for minus 27 yards, finishing third on the squad with eight stops for losses of 42 yards…Added two pressures as he deflected three passes and blocked one kick…Totaled five tackles at Penn State, including a 4-yard sack and made four stops, including a half tackle for loss (1 yard), vs. Purdue…Matched his season-high with five tackles, including 1.5 for losses (6 yards) vs. Minnesota...Recorded another five tackles, including one for a 4-yard loss, and also broke up a pass at Iowa... Had 1.5 sacks (12 yards) and credited with a quarterback hurry at Northwestern...Posted three tackles, including a 9-yard sack of QB Denard Robinson and blocked a field-goal attempt on the final play of the first half in a victory at Michigan...Registered three stops, including one for a 4-yard loss, and a pass break-up vs. Western Michigan.


Worthy earned first-team Freshman All-America honors from Football Writers Association of America (FWAA),, and Sporting News…Also named to the Big Ten Conference All-Freshman Team as selected by, and Sporting News…Started eleven games at left tackle, coming off the bench vs. Western Michigan and Texas Tech…Produced 37 tackles (19 solos), as he finished second on the team with 4.5 sacks for minus 23 yards and nine stops for losses of 34 yards…Broke up two passes and recovered a fumble.


Redshirted as a freshman…Selected Scout Team Defensive Player of the Week vs. Eastern Michigan.


High School…Suffered a knee anterior cruciate ligament tear during his prep days as a junior at Wayne High School.

2010 Season…Did not participate in spring camp due to a shoulder injury…Missed the second half of the Illinois contests with a hyper-extended knee.


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.


Worthy first attended Chaminade-Julienne High School in Dayton, Ohio, where he competed in football as a freshman and sophomore…As a junior, he transferred to Wayne High School in Huber Heights, playing football for Warriors head coach Jay Minton…The two-year starter delivered 54 tackles, including four sacks, while playing in nine games as a junior…Rated 53rd at his position in the nation by and 78th by, along with earning Super Prep and Prep Star All-Midwest honors… regarded him as the 34th-best overall talent in the state of Ohio, as ranked him 30th…Had 50 tackles, including 10.5 sacks, and 12 quarterback hurries, in addition to posting seven pass break-ups and two fumble recoveries as a senior…Named to the Associated Press Division I All-Ohio and Southwest All-District first-teams, along with being selected by the Ohio News Network (ONN) to the All-Ohio squad…After the 2007 campaign, he was a participant in the 2008 Big 33 Football Classic that pitted the top prep players from the states of Ohio vs. Pennsylvania.

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