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2018 NFL Draft prospect profile: Chris Worley Jr., LB, Ohio State

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Is Worley the linebacker the Giants have been looking for?

NCAA Football: Fiesta Bowl-Ohio State vs Clemson Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

There are a couple positions that the New York Giants need to address in the 2018 NFL Draft, and one of the biggest is linebacker. Considering Dave Gettleman’s history with the Carolina Panthers, that almost certainly means that he will be double-dipping and be selecting multiple linebackers.

The Ohio State Buckeyes’ defensive front is loaded with NFL talent and has churned out defensive linemen and linebackers for years. Will the Giants’ search lead them to OSU? Let’s take a look at middle linebacker Chris Worley Jr.

Measurables

Pros

  • Looks to be a potential “three-down” linebacker who doesn’t hesitate to play the run, looks comfortable in space, and is a talented blitzer.
  • Shows good football IQ and instincts.
  • Recognizes and diagnoses plays quickly. Rarely takes a false step and is generally disciplined.
  • Athletic enough to stay with most tight ends in coverage.
  • Versatile enough to play all three linebacker spots. Moved to middle from strong-side in 2017 and thrived in the role.
  • Improved tackling from 2016 to 2017.

Cons

  • Doesn’t have prototypical size for the position. A bit short with short arms.
  • Good athlete, but appears to lack top-end speed
  • Generally smart and disciplined, but can still get suckered by play-fakes on occasion.
  • Doesn’t make many “splash” plays.
  • Benefitted from playing behind a ridiculously good defensive line.
  • Needs to get better (or more consistent) at using his hands when taking on blockers.

Prospect video

What they’re saying

“I was impressed with Worley on film and even more impressed watching him live at Shrine practice. He’s tough and explosive yet also smart and disciplined. He was a demon in blitz drills, a force against the run and held his own in coverage drills. He’s a New York Giants-type of linebacker and would be a good pickup for the team on the draft’s final day.”

- Tony Pauline, DraftAnalyst

Final thoughts

Worley isn’t the star linebacker that Giants’ fans crave. He is, instead, more of a “glue guy”. That is, the kind of player that does most everything well and holds a unit together. Worley is the type of player who may not make highlight reel plays, but is always around the ball and gives maximum effort on every play.

Pauline rates him as a Day 3 pick, and that feels about right. He is a good player to watch and is just a good, solid football player. Some teams like to take risks on high-upside players in the hopes of finding a gem in the later rounds, but if Worley lasts that long his reliability and versatility would make him a strong value.

For the Giants, at the very least, Worley would provide strong competition for incumbent middle linebacker B.J. Goodson.