NFL draft: Virginia Tech's Jason Worilds
In anticipation for this weekend's NFL draft, Hokies Journal will be looking at some former Virginia Tech players who are prospective draftees. The NFL draft opens with the first round on Thursday evening, followed by the second and third rounds on Friday and the fourth through seventh rounds held on Saturday.
6 feet 1, 254 pounds
Projected draft selection: second round
Projected NFL position: outside linebacker or defensive end
Virginia Tech career: 25 starts, 132 tackles, 15 sacks, 34 tackles for loss
Jason Worilds stunned many in Blacksburg -- including his coaches -- by opting to leave Virginia Tech early to enter this year's NFL draft. But in the months since then, he has been impressive in workouts and could be the first Hokie off the draft board.
At 6 feet 1, Worilds was undersize even for a college defensive lineman, but he is a gifted athlete with pure strength and speed. He could fit better as an outside linebacker in a 3-4 scheme, joining a talented cast of prospective draftees in that position. The players that top the list include Sergio Kindle of Texas and Brandon Graham of Michigan.
Worilds had met with a handful of teams before the draft, including the Miami Dolphins and Buffalo Bills, who run a 3-4 defense. "I think things went well," Worilds said in a recent telephone interview. "Everything I could see was positive.
Worilds is a great pass rusher, with nimble footwork and strong techniques. Sound familiar? Worilds fits the description of Corey Moore. A former Virginia Tech defensive end standout, Moore was 6 feet and 215 pounds and played a similar style and tireless motor. Moore was a third-round draft choice of the Buffalo Bills in 2000, played nine games as a rookie and only one the following season with the Miami Dolphins before stepping away from the game.
Worilds does not seem fit to play with his hand on the turf in the NFL. He has said making the switch did not bother him, and that he would player wherever he is needed. But whether Worilds, who posted good times in the 40 yard dash and various agility drills, can play in coverage against NFL talent is still a question.
For his part, Worilds, who had been working out in Blacksburg, said he would try to avoid watching the draft and would sequester himself with his family and close friends. He said they would eat together and he would "do push ups," in part to help kill the time, in part because he first started working out by simply doing push ups, so it would serve as a reminder of where he started.
The questions still surrounding Worilds center mostly on whether he will fit as a defensive end or an outside linebacker. As for what round in which he will be selected, he seems likely to go in the second or the third round.
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