Mock Draft Spotlight: Temple DL Muhammad Wilkerson

Once a sleeper, Wilkerson’s athleticism has boosted his stock in the scouting process.

Posted by Ryan Mink on Monday, April 18th, 2011 at 5:23 pm | Categories: 2011 NFL Draft, Mock Draft Spotlight, Ryan Mink

It wasn’t too long ago when Muhammad Wilkerson couldn’t be seen in first-round mock drafts.
 
Now, with a little more than a week remaining until selection day, Wilkerson is one of the hottest prospects.
 
NFL.com’s Bucky Brooks has Wilkerson heading to Baltimore at No. 26 in his latest mock draft. ESPN’s Mel Kiper has Wilkerson at No. 12 overall on his big board.
 
While he’s a somewhat raw underclassmen who played just two years at Temple, a school that doesn’t face the toughest competition, Wilkerson is intriguing because of his potential.
 
“Continues gains, scheme-flexible, disruptive, strong penetrator,” Kiper wrote. “Ideal 3-4 DE. Thought he could be top-10 pick next year; in the mix for 2011.”
 
The 6-foot-4, 315-pound junior was a coveted football and basketball prospect coming out of high school. He led his AAU basketball team to the national tournament as a power forward.
 
That athleticism is evident on the field. He has standout quickness and agility off the snap, which led him quite frequently into the opponent’s backfield. His speed and length allow him to chase down ball carriers from behind.
 
Wilkerson made 70 tackles, including 13 for loss, and 9.5 sacks in 2010 and was a first-team All-MAC selection.

Draft Profile: DT Muhammad Wilkerson, Temple
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But since he came out of school a year early and played in a less competitive conference than many of his first-round peers, there are also questions.
 
“When I watch Muhammad Wilkerson, I don’t see a lot of plays,” NFL Network’s Charlie Casserly said. “[He's] an underachiever.”
 
Wilkerson told the National Football Post that he visited the Ravens’ training facility in late March. He reportedly met with Head Coach John Harbaugh, General Manager Ozzie Newsome and Defensive Line Coach Clarence Brooks.
 
The Ravens have Haloti Ngata entrenched on the defensive line along with fellow veteran Kelly Gregg. They drafted Terrence Cody last year, but have room for competition behind veteran defensive end Cory Redding, who will be entering the final year of his contract.
 
"It was a great visit and I would love to play for them," Wilkerson said.
 
"You never know what’s going to happen. Nobody really knows where they’re going to go. Wherever I go, they’re going to get a talented guy and a hard worker who’s ready to learn and help the team win."

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