Keep your eye on #99: Jerel Worthy Could Be The Key

This past April, former Packer great Leroy Butler walked onto the stage at Radio City Music Hall and announced the selection of the future of the Packers defense: Jerel Worthy.

The Packers took Worthy with the 51st pick of the draft, which raised eyebrows in Packer Nation. Worthy came with a lot of baggage, the same type of baggage from which Ted Thompson normally avoids. While playing at Michigan State, the defensive end developed a reputation for being lazy and taking plays off.

After being drafted Worthy embraced his reputation by saying “I take plays off just like everyone else,” which made many cringe. There were also criticisms of his play. Many scouts said Worthy didn’t possess the ability to shed the offensive lineman and work in space. But with the right coaching staff I feel all of this can be fixed.

Through training camp I haven’t heard much from Worthy other than that he is a high energy player who has treated every play like it was an in-game situation. That last sentence signifies that the man has started to change his ways.

I think that Worthy is the key to getting this defense back into championship  form. I’ll even go out on a limb and say Worthy is the next great Packer defensive lineman.

Worthy plays with a mean streak, and this is what this defense has been missing. If Worthy can put his energy and attitude into playing football then I believe he will fill the hole left by Cullen Jenkins.

In college, Worthy took on a lot double teams. This allowed his defensive mates to take advantage and penetrate the backfield. This fact alone should bring a smile to Clay Matthews and BJ Raji’s faces.

He doesn’t need to be an immediate All-Pro defensive end this season, he just needs to have enough of an impact to make his defensive mates better. Worthy possesses something that CJ Wilson, Mike Neal, and Jarius Wynn don’t seem to have: aggressiveness.

Worthy will get his chances to show his abilities with Anthony Hargrove serving an eight game suspension. If he stays healthy he could start making his impact in week 1.

During Thursday’s preseason game against the Browns, and the remaining two games,  keep your eye on #99 as he starts to get acclimated to the game.

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Tags: Anthony Hargrove B.J. Raji CJ Wilson Clay Matthews Cleveland Browns Green Bay Packers Jarius Wynn Jerel Worthy LeRoy Butler Mike Neal Packer Nation

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