It was a long wait, but the Jets think Muhammad Wilkerson will be worth it. More than three-plus hours after the 2011 NFL Draft commenced, the Green & White selected the 6’4”, 305-pound Temple defensive lineman with the 30th overall selection.
“We’re excited. We didn’t think he’d be there,” Mr. T. told me before midnight. “He’s a big, strong powerful guy. He is versatile — he can line up outside on early downs and inside on passing downs. I think he’s going to be a good player for a long time for us.
“As I was looking at our team, we were really concerned about the depth in the defensive line the last couple of years. We think he can come in and contribute right away.”
Wilkerson, who amassed 17.5 sacks and 26 tackles for loss throughout his three-year playing career, is coming is coming off a 9.5-sack campaign.
“His length, long arms,” said Tannenbaum when asked what he liked about the newest Jet. “He is going to be a really good match not only outside but inside against some of these shorter-arm guards. I think he’ll be able to use his arm length and he’s been productive in college. Al Golden, I thought, did a great job at Temple and now he’s at the University of Miami — he felt great about him. We did a lot of work on him and we’re excited he’s a Jet.”
Despite excelling mainly against MAC competition, Tannenbaum liked how Wilkerson responded when he lined up against Big Ten foe Penn State. Two weeks ago, the Jets brought Wilkerson in to the Atlantic Health Training Center as one of their local visits.
“He was the only defensive lineman and he worked with [D-line coach Mark] Carrier and Coach Carrier worked his tail off,” Mr. T. said. “He didn’t get a break. He had a motor and his effort was very impressive.”
Tags: Al Golden, Mike Tannenbaum, Muhammad Wilkerson, Temple Owls
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