New York Giants 2012 NFL Draft Profile: Michigan St. DT Jerel Worthy

By Christopher Gamble

The New York Giants have won 2 Super Bowls in the last five years and one of the main reasons for that success has been the defensive line.  With excellent pass rushers in defensive ends Justin Tuck, Osi Umenyiora, and Jason Pierre-Paul, the Giants possess one of the best pass-rushing units in the league.  However, on the interior, the Giants are facing a lot of questions marks.  Last year’s second round pick, DT Marvin Austin missed the entire season because of a torn pectoral muscle and he missed his last year of college football due to suspension.  Linval Joseph and Chris Canty are the starters and both are productive, especially against the run.  However, after those three, the Giants are short on defensive tackle depth.  Rocky Bernard and Jimmy Kennedy are both free agents and it isn’t likely the Giants will re-sign either one.  Dwayne Hendricks is the only other defensive tackle currently on the roster so adding depth should be a priority for the Giants in the 2012 NFL Draft.

One player the Giants will look long and hard at, especially if he is still available, is Michigan State defensive tackle Jerel Worthy.  Worthy has decent size at 6-3, 305 pounds and is quick for a man his size.  He can use a quick first step to get into the backfield and hit the ball carrier for a loss.  He uses his hands well but has trouble disengaging from blocks at times.  His game was built on quickness and he often disappeared if his first step didn’t beat the offensive lineman.  Worthy can either be a dominant force in the middle or completely disappear, leading some to question his work ethic and his in-game motor.  However, he is a smart and instinctive football player who could easily learn to play at the NFL level and excel.  He will need to show he is motivated to play at the next level, however.

Worthy will need to learn to become more physical and more violent at the point of attack if he wants to be a starting defensive tackle in the NFL.  At the very least he can be a solid contributor in a rotation like the one the Giants employ.  The lack of aggression and his unreliable motor could drop him into the Giants lap at pick number 32.  With the Giants defensive line it is highly unlikely he would be seeing many double-teams which might allow him to become more of a factor in the pass rush.  With a slight attitude change on and off the field he could become a huge asset on the defensive line for the defending Super Bowl Champs.


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