Jerel Worthy, NFL Draft 2012: DT Could Sneak Into First Round

EVANSTON IL - OCTOBER 23: Jerel Worthy #99 of the Michigan State Spartans celebrates a defensive play against the Northwestern Wildcats at Ryan Field on October 23 2010 in Evanston Illinois. Michigan State defeated Northwestern 35-27. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Jerel Worthy

Broncos, Patriots are both teams that could be enticed to pick Michigan State's Jerel Worthy in the 2012 NFL Draft.

Since declaring for the 2012 NFL Draft about a week ago, Michigan State defensive tackle Jerel Worthy has started popping up in some mock drafts. Pro Football Talk recently put out a mock draft that had the 310-pounder going as high as No. 21 to the Denver Broncos. SB Nation's latest mock draft has Worthy falling to the New England Patriots at No. 30.

Depending on how he does the NFL Combine, Worthy could really see his status climb. His physical attributes, more than his numbers, seem to be what impresses scouts most. For instance, although Mocking the Draft considers him just the 49th best overall prospect, they have long liked his size and quickness.

Worthy is a good athlete that possesses the size needed to be a versatile defensive lineman. He has a quick first step and strong punch that helps him gain position over the offensive line. His strength and strong lower half allows him to hold at the point and generate a push on the pocket. At this point, Worthy's best attribute is his ability to occupy blockers and hold at the point of attack.

Worthy did not really post huge numbers at Michigan State. In three seasons he posted just 12 sacks, although huge sack numbers don't usually come to defensive tackles. He did register 10.5 tackles for a loss this year and was a strong player against the run.

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