NFL Combine: Worthy steady in drills
Likely the first of the former Spartans taken in the NFL Draft, Jerel Worthy came into the NFL Combine with some expectations of what scouts would see.
The results seemed to be no one was particularly wowed, but he performed about as expected in the eyes of most analysts.
“(Worthy) did well, stayed the course, fringe 1st (rounder),” Shane P. Hallam of Draft Countdown said.
Dion Caputi of National Football Post agreed with Hallam.
“MSU DT Jerel Worthy had a good overall day; didn’t hurt himself, didn’t harm himself. Did well in flashing his quickness though,” he said.
Worthy measured in at 6-foot-2, 308 pounds earlier in the Combine and ran a 5.08 40-yard dash Monday.
“The guy has got size, he has got strength, he has got got quickness and he has got some pass rush ability,” NFL Network’s Charley Casserly said on a recap show. “He can play the one-gap he can play a two-gap, but he doesn’t do it all the time, he is more of a flash player. Positive for him: he lost some weight coming in here.”
Worthy acknowledged consistency is the concern of scouts and the knock against him, but pointed out he has gotten better and more consistent.
“It’s something I’ve gotten better at, from the beginning of my season last year to the end of my season. I showed up with a lot of marquee games, made my imprint on the game,” Worthy said.
An ESPN analyst is particularly high on the former Spartan.
“He flashes on tape as much as anyone I’ve watched on the defensive line,” Todd McShay said. “When he’s going hard, he’s a mid-first-round player who could be a major impact interior defensive lineman. He gets off the ball quickly; he’s very explosive and can disrupt in the backfield. I’ve got him as the No. 2 defensive tackle right now, behind Michael Brockers from LSU.”
One analyst, however, thought Worthy did not do himself any favors in Monday’s workouts.
“Worthy didn’t work out as well as he’s capable of Monday,” Russ Lande of Sporting News said. “He looked out of sorts in the bag and pass rush drills. He did run well in the 40-yard dash for his size, but that was really the only area he looked good. Worthy showed poor balance and no true explosiveness throughout his workout. Once viewed as a first-round pick, he’s the type of player who could continue to fall, possibly all the way to the third round.”
Now, in my opinion, Lande overlooked things and hyperfocused on things that were much smaller in their importance.
Firstly, Worthy did trip in the bag drill — which hurt his time and gave the impression of a lack of balance. Another analyst chose to view this mishap in a different light: “To his credit, he quickly bounced up and finished the drill,” wrote ESPN blogger Steve Muench. “More importantly, he showed quick feet and above-average lateral burst before and after the mishap.”
Secondly, Lande said he looked out of sorts in the pass rush drills, which would not come as a huge surprise to anyone who has watched Worthy or watched his highlights. Worthy is a run-stopping defensive tackle, that much is known.
As for his “no true explosiveness,” that ignores his ability to jump the snap, which cannot really be measured in the drills at the Combine.
Either way, no matter the outcome, Worthy has set his eyes on doing even better.
“Didn’t do to bad today. Always can be better. Now time pro day prep time. The dream is right around the corner,” Worthy tweeted after the workouts.
Worthy’s numbers (He did not bench press, but will at MSU’s pro day)
40-yard dash: 5.08 seconds
Vertical jump: 28.5 inches
Broad jump: 107 inches
3-cone drill: 7.60 seconds
20-yard shuttle: 4.56 seconds