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Packers 2017 Draft: Why DL Chris Wormley Could Be an Option in Round 2

Packers 2017 Draft: Why DL Chris Wormley Could Be an Option in Round 2

Chris Wormley could be an option for the Packers in the 2017 NFL draft

Chris Wormley could be an option for the Packers in the 2017 NFL draft

The 2017 NFL Draft is getting closer and closer. In fact, two weeks from today, the whole thing will be over. By then, the draft and rookie free agency will be over and the 2017 roster will come into much greater focus.

However, that moment is still two weeks away and so there is no better way to spend that time than to speculate on who the Packers might pick with their eight selections (one in each round, two in the fifth). 

Green Bay is a hard team to predict come draft day. Ted Thompson has always tried to stick to the best player available mantra, which can sometimes make his targets hard to figure out.

Yet, Thompson does like a certain kind of player and while it's not always true, the Packers often select seniors and pick players with a lot of college production. 

Obviously, the Packers have strayed from that philosophy at times. Clay Matthews, who didn't even start until a few games into his senior season, is one that comes to mind. But generally, when I think about players that Green Bay would draft, I look for size and speed criteria, fit in the system and if the player seems like a Thompson pick. 

And to me, one player that sticks out as a Thompson guy is Michigan defensive end Chris Wormley. There are a few reasons why Wormley would fit perfectly in Green Bay and the first is that he's a heck of a player. 

Wormley was highly productive at Michigan and over four years he notched 119 tackles, 31.5 tackles for loss and 17.5 sacks. He's also 6-5 and nearly 300 pounds, but carries the weight well and is pretty darn athletic. 

Over the past two seasons, Wormley registered 12 sacks, but also did a great job against the run. In Green Bay, he would be an ideal 3-4 defensive end. He's stout, long, can rush the passer and is disruptive. He's a guy that could even see snaps a 4-3 end (elephant) the way Julius Peppers was used at times,

Certainly, the Packers need on the defensive line isn't great. Mike Daniels has one defensive end spot locked up and he's arguably the team's best defender. Kenny Clark showed plenty of promise as a rookie at nose and the roster also includes Dean Lowry, as well as newly signed Ricky-Jean Francois. 

But, Wormley is probably a better pass rusher than all those guys outside of Daniels and possibly Clark. He also could be a long-term starter at the position and a front three of Daniels, Clark and Wormley, with Lowry off the bench, would be formidable. 

Most projections have Wormley going in the second or third round and my gut tells me if Green Bay chooses him, it will be in round 2. With other needs to satisfy at offensive guard, cornerback, outside linebacker and inside linebacker, picking a guy like Wormley might seem like a luxury.

On the other hand though, good defensive lineman are hard to find and the Packers put a premium on big guys. Thus, if the board falls a certain way, I see Wormley as a plauisble day two option for Green Bay and one that will be a great fit, even if he doesn't fill an urgent need. 

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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (49) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

stockholder's picture

Love Wormley. Would be a good pick. So Watt, Willis ,Wormley, Awesome!

dobber's picture

A player we both like! Was bound to happen eventually! ;)

Nick Perry's picture

Hey dobber... Jared Odrick is still out there an available. Rumors are the Seahawks and Eagles are interested. I'm with you on this, bring him in and take a look. It NEVER hurts to look and I'd imagine his price has dropped.

dobber's picture

I was advocating for him early on and I agree: I'd like to see them kick the tires on him...thought he would be a nice addition to rotate at DE. True 5-tech who can play run/pass effectively. Missed a big chunk of 2016 with an elbow injury, but should be fine. In my reading, though, I've found that some say he's not a great locker room guy and that he comes off as indifferent regarding football. Might be real, might be just how he comes off. Whatever the case, he's a good player with a few years left in the tank if he's not a total flake.

I think TT is done on the FA market until after the draft, though.

Nick Perry's picture

I assume you're talking about Jordan Willis from Kansas State? If so I like him but where's the CB?

Edit.... Not complaining about Watt, Willis, and Wormley though. If that happened the Packers improved on defense... a lot.

stockholder's picture

Yes , I'm going to have to be more specific with first names and maybe colleges. I still believe the packers might have a shot at Willis. And TT should try to get him. (A Guy I would trade up for in rd.2.) I read that Capers has never had a Top 10 Defense when he was involved with drafts. It's time to change that.

WKUPackFan's picture

You read incorrectly. The 2010 Packers defense ranked 5th in total yards allowed, 2nd in points allowed, 2nd in sacks, 2nd in INTs, and 1st in QB rating allowed.

It took about 10 seconds to research the correct information.

DesertPackFan's picture

Capers had a terrific D in his ealy seasons as HC in Carolina as well.

stockholder's picture

Read! Capers inherited the defense of 2010. He didn't ever have a top 10 after he was involved with the draft. After 2010 WPU. Same thing was true in Carolina. The wording is inherited. And drafting players for his current defenses. They didn't stay in the top 10.

DesertPackFan's picture

Capers was Carolina's 1st HC in team history. You don't think he was involved in that draft process? Really? Get real. IIRC he was hired as HC a full year before they started playing games, so Carolina had his fingerprints all over it, he was in place before they had ANY players!

Capers arrived in '09 and the previous year the D, was terrible. Hence changing Defensive Coordintors. His 1st year in GB was '09 and they immediately were among the best defenses. That is his legacy really. He comes in makes sweeping changes and the Defense improves immediately.

Per "Since Capers took over as defensive coordinator in ’09, Green Bay ranks first in the NFL in interceptions (148), fifth in total takeaways (204), second in opponent passer rating (78.9), fourth in sacks (288) and seventh in points allowed per game (20.8)."

Yeah I can see why you would get the impression he's not involved. To be honest tho, a DC doesn't have a significant say in the draft. A HC has a good amount, but ultimately the GM and scouts handle the draft. Coaches coach and GM and scouts, scout and draft or sign players. There's a pretty distinct delineation of roles.

As HC in Carolina and Houston, when he was the 1st HC in team history Capers had a rather substantial role in the drafts, more than any normal HC. As a DC he is a ways down the totem pole in terms of the draft involvement.

A good GM would not force a player onto a coordinator or HC, that is about the extent of a DC's draft involvement. A DC would have a list of prospects that he feels are best for him and his scheme, but they are integrated into the big board developed mostly by the GM and top presonnel men.

vj_ostrowski's picture

This post by Stockholder is so incorrect, it's incredible.

We drafted Raji and traded up for Matthews in the same year because we were switching to Capers' 34 and did not have an actual true 34 NT or OLB on our roster. We drafted them specifically for the switch to Capers' defense. He THEN fielded a top 5 defense two years in a row, 2009 and 2010. He didn't "inherit" a defense that was top 5 - players were specifically drafted to fit his 34.

These stories that fans invent for themselves, I swear...

stockholder's picture

I only quoted what is already on the internet. Just google it. But you are right about Mathews and Raji.(2009) They gave TT credit for those two. And for switching to the 3-4-4. (Which Brought Capers to GB in 2009) TTs LBs sucked and he knew it. But in 2010 when the defense was a super bowl team. Mike Neal? Cj WilsoN? Burnett is no All - Pro , and Collins was never replaced. Inherited was a good word because TT decided what was needed. Not Capers. Capers for the Guru he's suppose to be. Has not had this defense in the top 10 since 2010. And What about Datone Jones, And how many others failed. Panthers? Just same thing. Somehow were lacking All-pros. TT said if his coaches etc. want a player now. He tries to get him. Capers has a free hand. So Whose fault is it when your players don't perform, and were still spending picks on defense. Yep, Blame the fans that make it up.

WKUPackFan's picture

Do you have any idea what the word "quote" means? You stated that you had "read" that Capers has never had a top 10 defense when he was involved with drafts. That statement is not a quote. At best, it's loosely regurgitating something you allegedly read. At worst, you just made it up.

You incorrectly stated that Capers "inherited" his defense at Carolina. It was obviously impossible for Capers to inherit a Carolina defense because there was no Carolina team prior to Capers being their first coach. There was nothing for Capers to inherit.

Then you have some imaginary "they" allegedly giving credit to TT for switching to the 3-4 resulting in Capers being brought to GB. That is just flat out backwards, non-sensical, and contrary to incontrovertible facts. Those facts are that 1) MM hired Capers after 2008; 2) Capers was hired in accordance with MM's plan to switch to the 3-4; and 3) TT then drafted players, including Raji and CM3, to fit the new 3-4.

Whatever you may have read on the internet or fabricated out of thin air does not change those indisputable and undisputed facts.

WKUPackFan's picture

It's extremely difficult to inherit the defense of a team that didn't exist beforehand.

Turophile's picture

DE as a need has hardly ever been mentioned (a true 3-4 DE that is, not 3-4 OLB). I'm pleased to see it given some air. I'm sure the lack of attention given there is at least partly due to the Packers fondness for playing two man fronts.

Even so, a line of Daniels Clark, Lowry, with Ferguson backing Clark and a draft pick rotating/competing with Lowry, that looks good. DE's can help the pass rush too.

Nick Perry's picture

Ferguson was released, he didn't pass his physical.

Turophile's picture

Sorry, didn't mean Ferguson, meant to type Francois

johnnyd17's picture

Ricky Jean-Francois also, dare i mention Christian Ringo too?

dobber's picture

If the Packers draft another DE, Ringo better be awful nervous...

Bert's picture

Let's not get overly optimistic about drafting a bunch of guys on defense just yet. Seems like we've been down this road before. Draft for defense, get hopes up, then draft for defense again next year. Sounds familiar.

The TKstinator's picture

We all know TT and his staff work their arses off preparing for the draft. I've compiled an extensive list of excellent questions for them to use, free of charge, to add to their exhaustive evaluation process:

1. Does he play defense?
2. Is he good?

If 'yes' and 'yes', then go with "Welcome to Green Bay!"

OrganLeroy's picture

Willis is moving up fast and could be a late 1st rounder, very early 2nd, how do supose the Packers are going to draft Watt, Willis and Wormely in the 1st 2 rounds without mortgaging the rest of the draft?

dobber's picture

By banking the 2018 draft against the 2017 draft?

OrganLeroy's picture

You're dreaming about something that another GM in another city might do, Ted won't and doesn't need to make silly moves like that. Willis, Awuzie, Conley, Watt, all these guys are moving up very fast and none of them could be there at 29. Conley's quickly becoming a top 15 pick and Awuzie's wonderlic and versatility has him zooming up. Willis should be there at 29, Watt might not be, and Awuzie might not be, Conley won't be. I'd be fine with Ted taking Willis or Watt.

The TKstinator's picture

If those guys are rising, who's falling?

DesertPackFan's picture

Seems now your the one dreaming about what other GM's might do. Suddenly your the authority and you know that all these players are moving up and all will be gone. Out of Watt, McKinley, Awuzie and Conley I'm sure one of them will be available. I would include Keven King as a distinct possiblility, but I don't include Willis in Rd 1.

There's alot of risers in the weeks leading up to the draft. 90% of them settle into their slot w/o much, if any, change. What you hear now in these weeks, is mostly bogus info.

dobber's picture

I'm not dreaming...I wouldn't advocate for it. About the only way to build early through the 2017 draft without giving the later rounds away. You never know: the Packers are lined up to make some hay on compensatory picks in 2018...

stockholder's picture

Willis is not ahead of Watt. So far, every board I see does not have Willis in the top 50 yet. There's always a possibility someone just falls in love with him, and overdrafts him. Most teams will pertect against combine warriors. But if TT wants him he will have to go up after him. And why not? He went after Spriggs last year. Spriggs was in the top 50. If defense is TTs plan ,go after him. Wormley is a solid 3. WHY BECAUSE THE OLBS ARE GOING TO FLY OFF THE BOARD WITH THE RBS. And 23 Dbs are expected to be taken before him.

jeremyjjbrown's picture

I was impressed by that guy. Wouldn't mind seeing him a Packer.

DThomas's picture

Chris Peterson: "He also could be a long-term starter at the position and a front three of Daniels, Clark and Wormley, with Lowry off the bench, would be formidable."

Turophile is right but may be understating the Packers fondness for two man fronts: According to McGinn's grading column for last season, the Packers used the 3-4 11% of the time (136 of 1,239 snaps). The 2-4-5 is the Packers base D. Unless they consider Wormley the best OLB available at their pick in the second round (and they didn't pick an OLB with their first pick), I don't think picking him makes a lot of sense.


dobber's picture

Wormley is a poor-man's Jared Odrick (at least coming out of college). Looks the part of a 5-tech, good athleticism, can play the run and rush the passer. Not the athlete that Peppers is/was, but could fill some snaps in that kind of role. In general, he's a good big guy. Can never have enough of those.

DesertPackFan's picture

I'm thinking Wormley would be an interior pass rusher in the Packers nickel 2-4-5. I don't see him as a transition player to OLB like Peppers, Neal and Datone Jones made. He's more a pure DL than any of those guys. Definitely a hand in the dirt player down in and down out.

A better comparison for him is Derek Wolfe IMO. He was rated mid to late 2nd who went to Denver a little higher #36 overall. He's become a terrific DL for Denver. Wormley is in the same mold IMO and would be a very good pick late 2nd. Same size and frame, similar speed and athleticism. Wolfe was a little stronger in the upper body (bench press).

Chris Peterson's picture

That is true but I think he would be an ideal guy to rotate inside with Daniels and Clark. I think he can be a really good sub package DT. He can stop the run and rush the pass inside.

Thegreatreynoldo's picture

Your point is well taken: the nickel is fast becoming the base defense for a lot of teams. I support the notion that we should pick at least one OLB and one CB in rounds 1 and 2, or at most 1-3. Depends a little on who is on the board when we pick, of course.

I suppose it could be a bit of the chicken and the egg - a matter of personnel. I don't remember GB ever having bookends on the 3-man DL who could generate pressure on the QB and have a guy in the middle who can generate some push and/or pressure all at the same time.

dobber's picture

Am I the only one missing the "Surviving Sundays" columns?

Here's to you Adam! You've made a lasting impression on this little corner of the world!

WKUPackFan's picture

You are definitely not the only one dobber.

Nick Perry's picture

Make that three for sure though I'm sure there's many more.

Nick Perry's picture

WOW.... WHO would dislike a comment like this about Adam. There are some plain ole F'ed up people on here. Al, PLEASE make it like the old site where we see the name of the person who like and dislike a comment. I bet half the dislikes on this board wouldn't happen, even if those people are still hiding behind a computer! Punk ass cowards!

Dzehren's picture

Do we play so much 2 down lineman because we lack personnel (3-4 end with pash rush ability) or to have more people in coverage?

DThomas's picture

I think having 5 DBs is a reaction to the NFL having become a passing league. Keep in mind the 2-4-5 acts a lot like a 4-2-5 when both OLBs rush the passer or stay put and play the run. But not only has Capers gone to the nickel as a base D, but when Burnett lines up at ILB, there are 6 DBs on the field. In my opinion, that's more a function of their inability to find an ILB who can cover well than playing a modified dime. It would be preferable to have a true ILB who excels at coverage but Morgan at ILB does allow Brice to get on the field and with more experience, I think that's a good thing, he really hits. But how long can Morgan last playing a lot of snaps at ILB?

DesertPackFan's picture

As long as he's not at ILB on run downs, Burnett could play like that for another 3 or 4 yrs IMO. I doubt if the Packers will sign him to an extension tho. Clinton-Dix will have to get paid too and Brice looks like the developmental Safety being groomed to become a starter in a year or 2.

Tugboat2's picture

If we go OLB in the first round we have to get a corner in the second round. There is no way we can take a DL when we have so much secondary needs.

Kevin McDonnell's picture

I think that DL is a long shot for the first 4 picks. If anyone, it would be Taco Charleton in Rd 1.

As God as TJ Watt is, I think it's CB in the first Rd, hopefully it's Gareon Conley...

DesertPackFan's picture

I would call it a toss up between Edge and CB. Both are distinct needs... Need 1 and 1a.

My list comes down to McKinley, Watt at Edge and Conley and Awuzie at CB as the best picks at #29. I don't think you can go wrong w/ any of them.

Charleton would be interesting. Much more of a true 43 DE than 34 OLB and he would move directly into the Elephant End role. The EE is a position for a DE that doesn't fit into the OLB role, and isn't a necessity in our D. Its a way to fit a player who isn't a perfect scheme fit in a 34 D.

I just don't think Charleton would be the kind of pass rusher we need. IMO we need a really explosive type similar to Matthews and have Perry as the power player at the position. Charleton's slow 40 in concerning.

Chris Peterson's picture

I think Charlton would be great. Could fill Peppers old role perfectly. I just don't think he makes it to GB in RD 1.

OrganLeroy's picture

Conleys going to be long gone by #29 he's shooting up the boards like a rocket, everybody better forget about Conley.

dobber's picture

That's OK...for every guy that shoots up, someone has to fall down.

OrganLeroy's picture

Very true, and I hope that the QB's all go in the 1st and if Kamara can sneak into the 1st as well which is a possibility and Evans the Safety from A&M, which is what I'm seeing. At least 3 teams ahead of us are very high on him and have Safety needs. That leaves more CB's and OLB's for us,..hopefully.

Handsback's picture

Wormley is the perfect TT prospect.Very productive, good measurables, and fairly athletic. I would be happy to see TT grab him in the 2nd round. I have actually seem a mock with TT drafting him in the 1st round. That would be a major reach.

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