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NFL Draft 2012: Jerel Worthy Among Handful of D-Linemen Who Could Fit With Titans

The Tennessee Titans are projected to take Jerel Worthy’s position – defensive lineman – with the 20th overall pick in the upcoming NFL Draft. But Worthy is among a handful of lineman who figure to be vying for that spot.

Titans coach Mike Munchak said last week that the Titans would be looking for a "difference maker" with their first round pick. The 6-3, 305-pound Worthy fits that bill: He was first-team All-Big Ten and a first-team All-American following his junior campaign with Michigan State. He finished the season with 10.5 tackles for loss and 3.5 sacks.

ESPN blogger Adam Rittenberg writes that Worthy’s "explosiveness and ability to dominate for stretches make him a very appealing prospect."

But there are other appealing prospects along the D-line as well. SB Nation’s recently-updated mock draft projects Tennessee taking USC’s Nick Perry, as does an SI.com mock. A CBS Sports mock draft, meanwhile, has the Titans taking LSU defensive tackle Michael Brockers. Jared Crick, a defensive end from Nebraska, could be a first-rounder as well.

The only D-linemen who figure to go before No. 20 are Devon Still, a DT from Penn State, and Quinton Coples, a defensive end from North Carolina.

Even if Worthy slips outside the top 20, his decision to forgo his senior year transcended his draft stock. His father suffered a stroke in 2010, which Worthy says made his decision to leave a little easier – even if it made the Titans decision a little tougher.

For more on the Michigan State Spartans, go to The Only Colors. You can also head over to SB Nation's main NCAA Football hub at SBNation.com/NCAA-Football.