The Outside Backers: An All-Worilds Rusher

Packer Report gets you ready for the 2010 NFL draft with this series examining a deep class of outside linebackers. We lead off with Virginia Tech's Jason Worilds, who talked to Packer Report in our latest exclusive story.

Jason Worilds admitted to not knowing a whole lot about Kevin Greene, the Green Bay Packers' gung-ho outside linebackers coach.

Told that Greene's 160 sacks are more than any linebacker in NFL history, Worilds paused.

"Wow. Wow. Wow. Wow, that's amazing," Worilds said.

"I know he'd be able to teach me a lot," the former Virginia Tech standout added. "I'm eager to learn. I want to be the best. That would be a great opportunity for me."

The Packers enter this draft needing to add at least a challenger to Brad Jones at left outside linebacker, and the explosive Worilds could be a target with the Packers' second-round pick.

Worilds wasn't quite all-world during his three seasons with the Hokies but he was consistently one of the better pass rushers in the country. After missing most of 2006 with a shoulder injury that required surgery and contributing as a reserve in 2007, Worilds burst onto the scene in 2008. He ranked fourth in the ACC with eight sacks and second with 18.5 tackles for losses. He recorded a sack in six consecutive games and contributed 21 quarterback hurries.

The big-play totals fell in 2009 but it wasn't like Worilds didn't make a sizable impact. His 4.5 sacks and 11 tackles for losses paled in comparison to his whopping 32 quarterback hurries.

A collegiate defensive end, the 6-foot-1, 254-pound Worilds is one of the top 10 prospects in an incredibly deep class of 3-4 outside linebackers. It's a challenge he's ready to tackle.

"I'd take it on," Worilds told Packer Report from Blacksburg, Va., where he's continuing his workouts leading up to the April 22-24 draft. "I'd love an opportunity to be a complete football player. The challenges that lie ahead, I'm definitely looking forward to them — learning schemes and learning football from a pass coverage perspective."

Worilds said the Hokies' scheme had him dropping into coverage a "good amount" when the defense zone blitzed. Like most of the defensive end/outside linebacker hybrids in this draft, Worilds did defensive line and linebacker drills at the Scouting Combine and again at the Hokies' recent pro day. He's been honing his coverage skills by working out with and studying the Hokies' defensive backs.

"It comes real natural," he said of playing coverage. "I'm just a football player. I pride myself on being able to be thrown out there and make plays. I just go out there and do what I know how to do."

While the Packers' outside linebackers must be well-rounded players, the priority is to get after the quarterback.

"There's nothing better than that," Worilds said in such a way that you could practically hear him grinning through the telephone. "The rush — that's why I play the game."

Worilds' exceptional athleticism allowed him to get to the quarterback consistently over the last two seasons. His 40-yard dash at the Scouting Combine tied for eighth among the defensive linemen but was two-hundreds of a second out of fifth place. He also ranked third in the three-cone drill and vertical jump and seventh in the 20-yard shuttle.

But Worilds is more than just an around-the-edge speed rusher. In the season opener against Alabama, for instance, Worilds put the Tide's left tackle on his butt a couple of times.

"I think a lot of people underestimated my power," Worilds said. "I can go speed, I can go speed to power. Bull rushes are something that you need to be an effective pass rusher. Then you also need a strong inside move. I pride myself on being able to do all those things. I can spin, I can rip and dip, I can do numerous things that I think really allows me to be effective at rushing the passer."

In his free time, Worilds plays video games (he never plays a football game as himself) and watches movies. His eclectic likes range from "Casino" and "Fight Club" to "Casablanca," and he recently bought all four seasons of "The Twilight Zone."

In less than a month, Worilds will be able to add another scene to his own personal movie.

"It's going to be (sigh), it's going to be a dream come true," he said. "It's going to be a dream come true. I've been dreaming about that day forever. To know that it's a month away, it's an amazing feeling."

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Bill Huber is publisher of Packer Report magazine and and has written for Packer Report since 1997. E-mail him at, or leave him a question in Packer Report's subscribers-only Packers Pro Club forum. Find Bill on Twitter at and Facebook under Bill Huber.

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