2012 Green Bay Packers Draft Results: Grading the Selection of Jerel Worthy

Elyssa GutbrodContributor IApril 27, 2012

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - DECEMBER 03:  Jerel Worthy #99 of the Michigan State Spartans looks on against the Wisconsin Badgers during the Big 10 Conference Championship Game at Lucas Oil Stadium on December 3, 2011 in Indianapolis, Indiana.  (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

The Green Bay Packers started the 2012 NFL Draft out strong with their late first-round selection of Nick Perry to help fortify the team’s pass rush at outside linebacker opposite Clay Matthews.

With a single pick, the Packers have easily filled the biggest area of need on their roster with an athletic beast of a man who has proved that he has a knack for getting to the opposing quarterback. Even better, there are still plenty of rough edges that can be molded in exactly the right way during the Pack’s training camp.

The Packers easily earned an A for their Round 1 efforts. But could they continue that success in the second round?

There are still plenty of areas on the Pack’s roster that are worn dangerously thin, and they addressed another need when they traded up in the draft to select Jerel Worthy, defensive tackle from Michigan State.

A large, physical player, Worthy was one of the most dominant defensive linesmen on the Michigan State defense.

He has the potential to blow up plays in the middle of the field, forcing other teams to account for him at all times and often double-team him.

He has made a career out of allowing other players on his team to have the opportunity to make plays. The job isn’t glamorous, but it’s hugely important to the team.

That could be good news for the Packers, who were taken advantage of down the middle of the field in 2011 against the run.

One area of concern with the selection of Worthy is that he spent comparatively little time on the field during passing plays. The Packers were weak against passing attacks in 2011, and it doesn’t necessarily seem that Worthy will help them in that area.

Worthy is certainly a decent pick with regards to overall talent, but as far as team needs are concerned, defensive tackle perhaps should not have been such a high priority that the Packers traded up to obtain it.

As the draft progresses, the Packers must draft talent throughout their secondary. If they are able to accomplish that goal and obtain some depth at linebacker, cornerback, and safety to round out the defense in their weakest positions, then the acquisition of Jerel Worthy could be an overall win.

Without buttressing up those positions or finding a way to incorporate Worthy into the passing defense, though, this pick could be a big bust in the big picture even if Worthy himself is a success.

Overall Grade: B