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Mike T: ‘We Didn’t Think He’d Be There’

Posted by Eric Allen on April 29, 2011 – 1:05 am

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.”

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Posted in Eric Allen | 42 Comments »

42 Responses to “Mike T: ‘We Didn’t Think He’d Be There’”

  1. By Jet Fan Since '64 Tom on Apr 29, 2011 | Reply

    A little surprising to me to hear Rex say he doesn’t see Wilkerson at NT, but I have a feeling that’s because we’re going to pick almost all D this yr. Wouldn’t be surprised to see us take an OLB, a S, another DL, a CB, and then a WR and something else, maybe a K or P if there’s a really good one, possibly in that order.

  2. By IRA on Apr 29, 2011 | Reply

    EA, Completely agree with Mr T. On the Radar since Feb a lot of fans called for Wilkerson and i thought he would never make it past 20 -25 or so. I think Balt would have taken him if Smith didn’t drop. While i wanted taylor i never thought MW would be around. Great pick and he adds a lot of versatilty to the Jets D-Line. Wonder now if they bring Ellis back or not? Now lets hope they add his teamate at Temple to their roster by taking jarrett in the 3rd or 4th rd.
    Also this pick goes along what i thought all along. Ayers and Reed were projects to switch to OLB and they didn’t want to go down that road again. Houston is too iffy also for a 3-4. Wilkerson was the safest and best pick they could make who was left on the board.
    GO JETS!!!!

  3. By IRA on Apr 29, 2011 | Reply

    One question though is if Balt had taken Wilkerson and Smith dropped i think the Jets would’ve taken him over Ayers and Reed too. Everybody’s thoughts?

  4. By IRA on Apr 29, 2011 | Reply

    Wilkerson also becomes only the 2nd DL that Mr T has drafted since he took over in 06. Titus Adams was their 7th rd pick in 06 and he didn’t work out. They have filled their needs via UDFA and FA’s. DeVito was a steal and maybe Dixon and RP can round out that D-Line now. The Ellis watch is on right now. I hope they bring him back at the right price to finish his career.

  5. By Jet Fan Since '64 Tom on Apr 29, 2011 | Reply

    The more I think about a mostly D draft, the more sense it makes to me. If Schotty can’t get Sanchez to put more TDs on the board this yr, he’ll be gone and MS will be on the hot seat too. But if Rex can keep upgrading the D, he can tell Woody, “Hey, the O wasn’t MY fault!,” hoping to duck the question of whether he knows enough about O to begin with. Then he can finally fire Schotty and trade for or draft another QB, setting MS up for a do-or-die 4th yr. I’d say trade up to draft Luck but there’s also Kellen Moore, who seems to have a stronger arm than MS but is only 6′. Sure, this is all way in the future and a bit over the top on my part, but that’s how much I doubt we’re ever going to score that many pts as long as Schotty is our OC.

  6. By GaryC on Apr 29, 2011 | Reply

    Randy, very happy with the wilkerson pick, but do you believe,or if you asked the jet brass if chicago did not take Carimi do you think the jets would have considered him with Woody being cut.Did there draft board have Carimi rated ahead of Wilkerson enough where even though it wasn’t a big need they would have took him.

  7. By GaryC on Apr 29, 2011 | Reply

    Okay we have partially fixed the front seven,now if I can come away with either Casey of Usc or McClain from South Florida in third round I will be extremely happy.Also keep eye on Dwayne Harris of east carolina, could be slot guy who returns punts and kickoffs.Acho and McPhee as the outside backers also would not disappoint me.

  8. By Alex.G on Apr 29, 2011 | Reply

    good pick for the JETS considering there spot, would love to see this guy hunt down Tom Brady and Henne .. “CAN’T WAIT”

  9. By KW65Fan on Apr 29, 2011 | Reply

    WOW…excellent pick. Rex must have been jumping up and down in the war room excited as hell. Like mr. T said…no one expected him to be there…not that he dropped because of some issues, but some crazy pics by some other teams before the Jets that were never expected. This is going to help the d-line tremendously…even loosen up more our outside rushes as he is such a force within the tackles on the o-line. Brute strength…long arms….gonna see lot of blocked passes that is for sure up themiddle if they try.

  10. By Tom Spicer on Apr 29, 2011 | Reply

    I like the pick local kid Linden New Jersey native. I read that Mel Kiper had him as his 10th best player in the entire draft & we got him at 30. Wi th Wilkerson & Ellis at the ends I think we are solid in that spot. I read Wilkerson is big & powerful, has movement skills, quickness & agility for a big man, plays on his feet, can be disruptive & work an edge & he played DE & DT.

  11. By wayne on Apr 29, 2011 | Reply

    Good fortune….Who expected four QBs early?…..Next pick should be pass rushing LB.

  12. By Tom Spicer on Apr 29, 2011 | Reply

    I was thinking about this last night if we do not resign Braylon we lost a 3rd & 5th round pick for 1 & 3/4 a year of his play. Holmes we lost a 5th round pick for 3/4 a year of his play & Cromartie we lost a 2nd round pick for 1 year of his play. Unless these guys are resign these are all BAD DEALS.

  13. By GaryC on Apr 29, 2011 | Reply

    can we send bart scott back to baltimore for a low second round pick, just wondering.

  14. By Tom Spicer on Apr 29, 2011 | Reply

    Today we dont have a 2nd round pick do you know how many good guys are still on the board that I would love to get. 1 Daqun Bowers, 2 Allen Bailey, 3 Jabaal Sheard, 4 Sam Acho, 5 Stephen Paea, 6 Christian Ballard, 7 Marvin Austin, 8 Kendrick Ellis, 9 Jerrell Powe, 10 Justin Houston, 11 Akeem Ayers, 12 Dontay Moch 13 Brooks Reed, 14 Rahim Mooore & 15 Jaiquawn Jarrett. I have to think that 1 of these 15 guys would be there when we would have picked in the 2nd round. Hopefully one of them fall to us in the 3rd round.

  15. By Anthony on Apr 29, 2011 | Reply

    I think this is a big Pick up. How him and Bowers were still on the board was pretty crazy. Some of the picks yesterday just didn’t make sense. Cam Newton number 1 really the guy really isn’t that good. I think Locker or Barret would have been a better pick up for them. But Carolina needs an Oline…to protect their QB …and running QBs usually get mopped up real quicl..Happy with Wilkerson

  16. By IRA on Apr 29, 2011 | Reply

    I think Jarrett,Ellis and Acho will be there in the 3rd.And Beal could be had in the 4th.

  17. By KW65Fan on Apr 29, 2011 | Reply

    So True Spice-Man on losing them with given up all those draft picks for short term service. If i am not mistaken, and going with the 2010 rules, Cro and Holmes will be restricted and were given 1 year tenders. Braylon is unrestricted…but then who will sign him knowing he has a suspension of at least 4 games…maybe 8 for his DUI (and second offense in Goddells eyes). There are other really good free agent receivers out there. Probably will draft one I would not be suprise with 4th or 5th round pick. May lose Brad Smith too.
    I go with resigning Eric Smith instead of Poole…but will need safety help back there and there is no one in the draft that screams “Safety Help”…especially in later rounds.

  18. By GaryC on Apr 29, 2011 | Reply

    Also think the patriots helped the jets so far with what they did in first round, not to take cameron jordan or marc ingram and trading out of first round could set them up for future busts in round two.solder their pick is a developmental project and costanzo who played at boston college would have been there for them.will be interested if they take ayers as their pass rushing linebacker.as funny as it sounds with two first rounders going in and jets picking 30th, the jets seemed to come out ahead in first round.

  19. By IRA on Apr 29, 2011 | Reply

    I really see MW being a R. Seymour type of player. Rex will really mold him into a fine player. Last DL the Jets drafted from Temple i believe was Klecko. Wouldn’t that be nice if history repeats itself.
    GO JETS!!!!!

  20. By Randy Lange on Apr 29, 2011 | Reply

    In fact, Ira, Wilkerson is only the fourth player drafted by the Jets out of Temple at any position, following LB Mike Stromberg (1967, 14th round), Klecko (1977, sixth) and G Dave Yovanovits (2003, seventh).

  21. By lucius886 on Apr 29, 2011 | Reply

    great pickup for the franchise…it will be interesting to see what we can get with that late 3rd round pick…still need the OLB to boost up our pass rush but i think MW will go a long way in replacing Jenkins

  22. By scjoe on Apr 29, 2011 | Reply

    Ira, I was jumping for joy when the Ravens selected Smith. I don’t believe the Jets would have taken him if he fell, but you never know. My feeling is, if both Wilkerson and Smith were gone they may have gone to Paea out of Oregon State.I think that would have been a good pick as well. I would agree that Wilkerson is not suited to play NT, not at this point anyway, so I hope one will be available in the 3rd. If they can pick up Ellis or Powe there, they would get an A+ in my book.

  23. By Tom Spicer on Apr 29, 2011 | Reply

    Scjoe, I was thinking the same thing if they can get Ellis in the 3rd round & then a saftey like Jarrett in the 4th round I would be jumping for joy.

  24. By rob on Apr 29, 2011 | Reply

    love the pick and i think wilkerson will be playing alot of DE, hard to believe but he looks lean for 315!! i’d love to see the jets pick up an extra 3rd round pick, grab ellis from hampton, a true nose tackle, then go for a randall cobb from kentucky, a faster brad smith who i’d have to think wont be back if they keep tone @ braylon

  25. By Frank on Apr 29, 2011 | Reply

    Nothing to not like about the pick most of us assumed he was going earlier in the draft. There are still some outstanding defensive players out there and I would love to see TanWoody make an attempt to move up if a few slide to the middle of the round like Ayers, Reed or Bowers. I would trade next years 2 and our fourth or fifth this year for one of these guys.

  26. By IRA on Apr 29, 2011 | Reply

    Given this a lot of thought this afternoon. With Edwards probably not coming back i think they draft a WR with their next pick. Safety and OLB maybe after that. If they don’t draft a WR who can play right away then they will have to sign a free agent when they can. But not today or this weekend. Why? The lockout is back on according to ESPN reports for the time being. I can’t beleive it.
    randy, BTW liked Stromberg and really thought Yovanovits would be a starting OG for 5 yrs or more. Boy was i wrong about that.

  27. By rob on Apr 29, 2011 | Reply

    i think if the rules from last year stay in place then braylon will come back on a 1yr deal, i think he wants to be here more then santonio does, but tone is the team’s priority, draft another young d-lineman and it would solidify that spot for years

  28. By Jet Fan Since '64 Tom on Apr 29, 2011 | Reply

    According to Cimini, Bowers’ knee is a big problem around the league, with one team passing on him in two physicals. More of the stuff that we don’t need. Ira, I don’t see a WR at #3, the difference between a #3 and a #4 or #5 at that position is minimal, whereas we still need help at OLB and, in case anyone forgot with too-small Leonhard injured and Poole iffy, S. I wouldn’t conclude Edwards is gone or suspended and I wouldn’t rule out going after a free agent WR if he is. I don’t think the Jets have time for Sanchez to hone his skills on the David Clowneys of the world, he’s not doing so well that they can afford to slow him down by way of mediocre or untested WRs. P.S. Stromberg was a nice guy but he really lacked killer instinct at LB.

  29. By IRA on Apr 29, 2011 | Reply

    Tom, You just never know. I agree there isn’t much difference in those middle rds with WR’s and probably most players. But if a WR is sitting there and they have him rated higher on their board than any other player and he looks like a good fit for them i can see them taking a WR. I think all teams go by their board like the Giants did last night in most cases. We all know they need help at several spots and WR is probably going to be one of them.

  30. By Tom Spicer on Apr 29, 2011 | Reply

    Tom 64, I could not agree more if the Jets really want to see if Mark is the QB for the next 5 to 10 years than they have to have good WR’S for him to throw to. I do not want to see Cotchery & Stuckey type of situation like he had for the first 4 games of his rookie year. No offense to Cotchery but him as a #1 & a scrub as a number to NO THANKS!

  31. By Steve on Apr 29, 2011 | Reply

    Randy or Eric, being that the Jet’s do not have a second round pick, if there is a player that they really wanted, can they trade their lower round picks to a team in the second round to get that player? Or, are they totally out of the second round?

  32. By Randy Lange on Apr 29, 2011 | Reply

    Steve, yes, the Jets could package draft picks and trade with another team to move into Round 2. But it would be costly. By one draft trade chart, the Jets would need to bundle their remaining choices in Rounds 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7 this year, plus perhaps their No. 4 next year, just to get back to No. 61 overall, which was their pick until they sent it to San Diego to complete the Antonio Cromartie trade.

  33. By GaryC on Apr 29, 2011 | Reply

    boy with everyone looking now for a receiver it sure would have been nice to have that #2 pick and select rudolph to team with keller in case edwards or holmes flies the coop.well at least it looks like the jets with wilkerson are looking at kids that have high character and we can be free of these mercenary signings that believe me do not lead to championships.

  34. By Steve on Apr 29, 2011 | Reply

    Thanks Randy for your response… You’re right though, the cost would not be worth it.

  35. By Jet Fan Since '64 Tom on Apr 29, 2011 | Reply

    Looks like we gotta resign Cromartie now and maybe move him to S, giving Wilson a full shot at CB, because a lot of the guys we liked on D are just flyin’ off the board…

  36. By GaryC on Apr 29, 2011 | Reply

    just saw that mcclain of south florida was picked in top of third round. like I said he would be picked before ellis of hampton.

  37. By scjoe on Apr 29, 2011 | Reply

    64tom, that is the result of not having a #2, there is nothing you can do but sit there and watch player after player flying off the board until your pick finally comes around at the bottom of round #3. Pleas Mr T. No more trading draft picks, at least not for players in the final year of their contract.

  38. By Jet Fan Since '64 Tom on Apr 29, 2011 | Reply

    You might’ve spoken too soon about the character issues, GaryC, considering some of the problems Ellis has had, but I’m not complaining. We’ve needed a guy like him for a very long time and if Rex and the staff think he deserves a shot, I’m not questioning it. Actually, it’s a little surprising that we haven’t had a draft like this yet under Rex, considering how old we are in the front 7. Makes me wonder if the Conner pick was really necessary last yr but maybe there were no outstanding D guys left by then. We’ve certainly gotten some outstanding D guys this yr! And to you Woodhead worshippers, if he’s so great why did NE take two RBs?

  39. By Jet Fan Since '64 Tom on Apr 30, 2011 | Reply

    Spicer, I agree with you about Sanchez and WRs and it looks like only 1 or 2 of your 15 or so guys was in fact available at 94, but Ellis was one of them. scjoe, Spicer also makes a good point about us getting six picks this yr and having all of ‘em for next yr. My personal feeling is that #6 and #7 aren’t too different from UFA’s but it’s nice to have them and be able to sign them rather than try to make do with 3 or 4 picks as we did for 2 yrs. One of the things I like best about going for a lot of D this draft, and at new positions, is that it shows that we believe — or are going to have to believe — in the guys we picked the last couple of yrs. Just LT and SG at RB, for instance, won’t be enough without McKnight and Conner.

  40. By Mike Jet Vet on Apr 30, 2011 | Reply

    Edge rusher with # 30– N-T at #94 glad Rex and mike let the DB’s alone this draft been saying all along it can only be D-Linemen 1st few picks there was no greater need on this team …Now we can flex some with the next 4 picks I believe Safety will be next ..Go Jets

  41. By jay boss on Apr 30, 2011 | Reply

    WOW we needed a pass rusher badly and this could be our chance at getting that explosive guy on the line great pick suprisingly he fell to us

  42. By russ on May 1, 2011 | Reply

    getting DL re done was just what we needed…Good draft

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