With the 61st pick of Pride of Detroit's 2012 NFL mock draft, the San Francisco 49ers select Michigan State defensive tackle Jerel Worthy. JCruize is serving as the 49ers' general manager, and his reasoning for the pick is below.
If this were to really go down on Friday evening, Jim Harbaugh would be in San Francisco's war room getting his slapping fetish on with GM Trent Baalke. The Niners representative that is in New York would be doing cartwheels up to the podium. This would be an absolute steal if the Niners were able get a player that could be a day one pick at the end of day two.
Even though Worthy was used as a one and three technique for the Spartans, because of his agility, quickness and strength, he will have no problem sliding over to a five technique in the Niners' 3-4 scheme. Like past fellow Big Ten alums who played defensive tackle, Jared Odrick (Miami Dolphins) and Corey Liuget (San Diego Chargers), this transition will be seamless and smooth. I do not envision Jerel to be a day one starter, but rather a desperately needed rotational backup. With both starters Justin Smith and Ray McDonald getting over 1000 snaps each last season, Jerel will allow those two get off the field without much of a drop off in production.
While at Michigan State, Worthy did not boast huge sack numbers, but he seemed to always be in the quarterback's face. He has quick feet and power and is tough to move, and he stands up blockers when anchoring against the run. Impressive explosiveness off the snap shocks his man with a strong initial punch, and he can also out-quick him to get into the backfield. He is quick to get low and create a pile in goal line situations. Sometimes he is so focused on getting penetration that he forgets to locate the ball carrier. He is already a very strong player and should get even stronger in a pro strength and conditioning program. Strong hands allow him to shed lineman in either direction to catch backs coming into his area; consistency in using them could be improved, however. Once he gets a guard on skates, he puts them into the quarterback. Worthy does come with concerns about his stamina, conditioning and his overall motor. But hopefully being in the same locker room as Patrick Willis and Justin Smith, their dedication and work will rub off on Jerel.
Jerel Worthy was named first-team All-American by the Associated Press, American Football Coaches Association, Walter Camp Foundation, Sporting News, CBSSports.com, NBCSports.com and Yahoo! Sports. He was an All-Big Ten first-team selection (coaches and media) and is MSU's first All-America first-team selection at defensive tackle since Ron Curl in 1971 and is also the school's first All-Big Ten first-team selection at the position since Travis Davis in 1989. He is the first Spartan defensive lineman to earn AP first-team All-America honors since the great Charles "Bubba" Smith in 1966.
Check out the 2012 Pride of Detroit Community Mock Draft tracker for a look at all of the picks.