I’m a bit late to the party on a write-up of MSU draftees. You might say a week late, I’d say fashionably late. With the 51st pick in the draft, Jerel Worthy went to the Green Bay Packers. The Green Bay Packers finished last in total yardage defense in 2011 and 19th in Scoring Defense. Nick Perry, Michigan native and USC product was taken as the packers first round pick.
In Green Bay, Worthy will change from a 3-technique Defensive Tackle in a 4-3 defense to a Defensive End in the 3-4 defense. This is going to be a significant transition for him. In a 4-3, the 3 Tech is responsible for controlling the B-Gap, where in the 3-4, the Defensive End is responsible for controlling the B and the C gap. In a 3-4 he’ll also have significantly less pass rushing responsibility. That falls to the outside linebackers, in this case Clay Matthews and Nick Perry.
Now, a lot of this will describe the typical play responsibilities of Worthy. What you have to love about him though if you’re a Green Bay fan is that despite being a full 30 lbs lighter than B.J. Raji, Worthy has the same ability to blow up a play from the interior of the line. You’ll probably see some packages from Green Bay involving Raji out on the Defensive End spot and Worthy in the middle in a 3-4. While pass rushing won’t be Worthy’s primary responsibility, his ability to do it well will give him a leg up on the competition.
Come for the middle of the line kasplodey around 0:35, stay for the Rawk!
The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel likes this pick as a “calculated gamble”. The Packers B/R writer loves his upside and notes that he needs to sand some edges off. Acme Packing Company writes that Worthy and Perry strengthen the Packers front seven.
B.J. Raji is cemented as a starter on the Packers defensive line for years to come. Ryan Pickett is aging at 32, but still very stout against the run. The third D-Line spot was vacated by Cullen Jenkins in the 2010-2011 offseason and never really replaced. Sure the Packers tried by drafting a defensive end in the second round in 2011 as well, Mike Neal. Neal was injured for most of 2011 and had virtually no impact once he did see the field. So the available playing time is right there for Worthy, but the competition both in 2012 and a year or two following will be fierce.
As a Lions fan, I wish him a successful career and two Lions losses annually. Congrats to Jerel Worthy.