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Prospect Profiles: Jerel Worthy


TRIANGLE NUMBERS: 6-3, 310, 5.04



A thickly built defensive tackle with a long set of arms and thicker lower half. Displays only average flexibility when asked to coil up into his stance and at times seems to tire and struggles to really sit in. Exhibits above-average snap awareness. Is a savvy player who can time up the snap count well, routinely is one of the first lineman moving off the snap and is a consistently threat to knife his way into the backfield. He also displays a “plus” first step. Showcases the burst to initially gain a step off the ball between the B or C gap, keep his pad level down as a linear rusher and create havoc inside. Showcases some niftiness with his length/hands, knows how to work a sudden arm over in order to keep himself clean inside, still has yet to develop a rip, but can use his hands to slip on contact. As a pass rusher, if he doesn’t win with his first step he does exhibit some niftiness laterally, but tends to pop upright initially in order to try to laterally slip blocks and when he gets caught struggles to create a push or fend through contact. Can initially gain some leverage on his bull rush. However, he lets his pad level rise through contact causing him to struggle with balance, which negates his quickness to shed. Once a defender gets their hands on him, he has a tough time freeing himself.

As a run defender, again has the ability to knife his way into the backfield and stop plays before they start. Showcases good awareness on perimeter runs, can shoot his way through the C-gap, work his legs through contact and get up the field. However, is a bit tight hipped and will struggle to breakdown consistently on contact. Also, doesn’t do a great job really sitting into his stance when asked to anchor inside. When he sees the double team tends to lock his legs out and try to anchor his feet, instead of dropping his pad level. Is a naturally strong kid, but lacks balance inside vs. the double team and too often ends up on the ground because of lacking balance. Can be a playmaker though at times with his combination of ball awareness, first step and suddenness to slip and get into the backfield. However, is more of a hit or miss guy who flashes one play and is invisible the next.

Impression: 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.



• Excellent size and natural girth
• Surprising initial quickness
• Crosses face and shoots gaps
• Can bull his way into the backfield
• Swallows ballcarriers


• Motor runs hot and cold (takes plays off)
• Lets pads rise
• Does not anchor vs. double-teams
• Average eyes, instincts, recognition
• Needs to improve stamina level

The Way We See It:

Big, strong, explosive, inconsistent three-technique with strength and quickness to disrupt the backfield, but is not yet a finished product. Has talent to command a double-team at the next level, but must refine his technique and play with more consistent intensity.

FF Toolbox:

Worthy’s progression over the last few seasons is subtle. What fans should know is that although his numbers don’t jump off the page, his role in Michigan State’s defense is vital. In the beginning of his career, Worthy was free to pass rush and penetrate the line in what is usually called the off-tackle position (or under tackle). At this point in his career (as the team’s most dominant defensive lineman), his job is to occupy double teams, seal off running and passing lanes, take up space and hold ground at the point of attack. No, it’s not a glamorous job, but it allows his fellow lineman and other blitzers to get after the play. Offenses know if they didn’t double team him, he’d blow the play up more often than not.

Most evaluations miss this change in assignment and see a guy who doesn’t penetrate, doesn’t get in the backfield, doesn’t make impact plays, etc. But the role of a defensive tackle isn’t necessarily to be involved in that more than a couple times per game. Worthy does all his new tasks very well. He shows a great explosion off the line and is strong enough in his upper body to grab a player with one arm and, all in one motion, bring the ball-carrier into his chest and down to the ground.

When he does pass rush, he shows a good bull rush, swim move, and rip move. Worthy will make a great fit at either defensive tackle positions in a 4-3 defense. His development leans more toward him slimming down to be a 3-4 DE rather than a bulked up 3-4 NT. It really depends upon which team selects him.

All in all, Worthy is a very good prospect with a great diversity to his game that opposing offenses respect. His combination of athleticism and brute physicality will be a highly appreciated set of commodities.


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GiantsGab Thoughts:

Jerel Worthy is a nice looking defensive tackle prospect. Can play three technique. He’s big and he’s explosive. Good strength, too. Needs to develop more moves, needs to develop technique. But has starting potential inside. 2nd rounder. Giants drafted Marvin Austin in the 2nd round last year. Hurt, missed all year. Missed the year before with a suspension. He’s not a bust, but that’s 2 years without football. Hard to really know what we have with him. Doesn’t mean we give up on him. But the Giants need depth, especially when Rocky Bernard leaves. The Giants have two really solid starters inside, with Chris Canty and Linval Joseph. Joseph is a 2 down guy. Canty can play 3 downs. But they need depth on 3rd down. Worthy, I think, is a better pass rusher than run defender. So, I think on 3rd downs, he could make an impact. If Austin comes back and can produce, great. The more guys, the better. But if not, Worthy is a, well, worthy replacement ( couldn’t help myself). Yes, it would be the third defensive lineman in the 2nd round in the last 3 years, but you can never have enough.




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