After the completion of an important fifth year at Michigan, defensive lineman Chris Wormley is trying to impress NFL scouts as he looks to solidify himself as a high draft pick.
Each year, high profile underclassmen enter the NFL Draft early for the opportunity to capitalize on their current draft stock.
It isn't too often anymore, however, that a prospect decides to not only return for his senior season in hopes of getting more attention from NFL scouts, but for a fifth season. But that's the case of Michigan defensive lineman Chris Wormley, who is a hot name at the 2017 Senior Bowl in Mobile, Ala.
"That's the biggest reason I wanted to come back; to show everyone that I can be that total player," Wormley told Redskins.com. "Play inside, play outside and have pretty good success at it. Coming back was a big decision and I was happy I stayed."
Wormley indeed was a total player during the 2016 season, as he finished with 40 tackles and six sacks while earning first-team All-Big Ten honors from league coaches. The 23-year-old was named to Pro Football Focus' College Big Ten Team of the Week for his performance against UCF on Sept. 10, as he recorded seven tackles along with two blocked field goals and a sack.
"I think I can do a little bit of everything which is nice," Wormley said. "That versatility some teams look for is really what I'm trying to push right now. To play inside, play outside, can rush the passer, can stop the run, so a jack of all trades is what I'm going for right now."
During the first of three practice sessions for the North Team on Tuesday, Wormley stood out alongside his fellow defensive line prospects, checking in at 6-foot-6, 302 pounds.
As his path to being selected in the NFL Draft continues, though, Wormely wants to add a little bit of bulk to his frame.
Check out these photos of Michigan defensive end, Chris Wormley.
"Definitely strength," Wormley said of what he's looking to improve on in the coming months. "Upper-body strength, pass rush can always be improved especially a guy that is as big as I am on the outside. If a team decides to put me on the outside I got to learn how to more efficiently on the outside. And just learning the defense, types of defenses, learning what the guys in the back end are doing and just become that better overall player."
While Wormley joked that nearly everyone has a mock draft these days, a few earlier versions have the Redskins taking the defensive linemen at the No. 17-overall pick. He said seeing his name pop up as a potential first-round pick is nice, but he's not focused on where various draft pundits are pegging him.
"At the end of the day I'm looking forward to this week, the combine, pro day, and then meeting with teams afterwards to get a really good feeling on where I'm going to be placed," Wormley said.
Wormley will spend the rest of the Senior Bowl week knocking off the cobwebs – he hasn't played in a game for nearly a month now – but is appreciative to even be in the position he is right now.
"It's pretty special," Wormley said. "I mean, going back to be recruiting by Michigan was my dream school. Chose there and had a great experience there Coach [Jim] Harbaugh done phenomenal things for us. So, now to be at the cusp of something that is bigger than Michigan and bigger than yourself and that's being in the NFL. It's pretty special and it's an honor to be even apart of this whole experience."