Jerel Worthy

The Green Bay Packers unceremoniously ended the Jerel Worthy era on Tuesday by shipping his fat ass to New England for a late-round, conditional draft pick.

We were all pretty fired up when the Packers drafted Worthy in the second round in 2012, having seen him dominate the Big 10. However, he brought none of that domination with him to the NFL, registering only 2.5 sacks in two uneventful, injury-riddled seasons.

As much as we liked the Worthy pick at the time, Bob McGinn says it was actually a panic pick, i.e. we need a defensive lineman, so we better panic and trade up to get one!

The Packers did indeed do that, sending away a fourth-round pick in order to move up eight spots in the second round and select Worthy. McGinn claims the Packers were actually more interested in two other guys.

Desperate for an end to play in the 3-4 defense, the Packers wanted Kendall Reyes (6-4, 299). When Reyes went No. 49 to San Diego, Green Bay panicked and made the trade up for Worthy (6-2½, 298). Not only was Reyes bigger than Worthy, he also was stronger, smarter and more athletic. Worthy beat Big Ten guards with a quick first step but soon discovered more was necessary against NFL guards. As for being a 3-4 base end, forget it. He didn’t have the desired length, power or mind-set to stack blockers. The Packers really liked LB Lavonte David, but not at No. 51. David, who went No. 59 to Tampa Bay, is special playing the weak side in the Bucs’ 4-3 defense. Undersized or not, David (6-0½, 233) would have given the Packers the fast, tough playmaker they sorely lack at inside linebacker.

Reyes has 10.5 sacks in his first two NFL seasons. Unlike Worthy, he’s also played in all 16 games both years and became a full-time starter in his second season.

That doesn’t really matter though because Reyes was off the board.

Not drafting David is a little more painful. He’s started all 16 games in both of his NFL seasons, racking up 284 tackles and nine sacks. What’s more, he plays outside linebacker in Tampa’s 4-3, but would have been an inside linebacker in the Packers’ 3-4.

I know it’s a foreign concept, but try to imagine an inside linebacker that’s capable of making plays that change the course of a game.

What doesn’t make any sense is the statement that the Packers liked David, “but not at No. 51.” Well, why didn’t they stay at No. 59, keep their fourth-round pick and take David?

There’s either some fundamentally flawed in that logic or the statement itself.

And another question. When has Ted Thompson ever not taken a guy he likes way higher than anyone else thought he should? One of this year’s third-round picks, Khyri Thornton, is a perfect example. We’ve found no one that’s given Thornton a third-round grade.

Of course, none of this matters now. We’re just dreaming of what could have been.

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