Muhammad Wilkerson NFL Draft scouting report

Muhammad Wilkerson
6'5, 305 pounds | Defensive tackle | Temple

Pass rush:
For a defensive tackle, Wilkerson is a good pass rusher with good feet and a solid first step. Wilkerson does a really nice job turning his hips to make himself skinny to shoot gaps easier. Isn't always consistent with his pass rush due to some technical issues. Once Wilkerson learns to play with his natural length advantages, his pass rush should get better. Has flashed a decent rip and club move.

Pursuit: Shows good but not great effort pursuing the ball carrier. Has good speed and athleticism for a defensive lineman, but didn't always seem to play up to it on the backside. Is good tracking the ball in or out of the box. Makes most of his plays inside the tackle box, though.

Quickness: Isn't overly explosive off the snap, which is what puts him behind players like Nick Fairley and Corey Liuget. Is much quicker with his hands than his legs. Closes impressively.

Run defend: Against single blockers, Wilkerson is dangerous against the run. He maintains his area nicely and can close well. Has enough natural strength to maintain leverage, but will get knocked around some by double teams.

Strength: While Wilkerson isn't necessarily a bull rusher, he's powerful enough at the point of attack to not be pushed around. Has a frame that can add a lot more mass that will improve him here.

Tackling: Is mostly a collide and drag down tackler. Although Wilkerson closes on the ball well, he could do better wrapping up and driving through the ball carrier.

Technique: Has long arms, but doesn't always do a good enough job extending to keep offensive linemen out of his pads. Does a pretty nice job of sinking and keeping a low center of gravity in run support. Uses good technique with his feet, which he shows on an impressive sidestep move.

Final word: Wilkerson started his final two years of college at defensive tackle for Temple. In that time, he was one of the Mid-American Conference's top players. As a junior, he finished with 70 tackles with 13 tackles for loss and 9.5 sacks. In 2009, he had 61 tackles, 10.5 tackles for a loss and seven sacks. It should be noted, though, that the MAC is one of the weakest conferences in the nation.

Still, Wilkerson flashes a lot of potential. He projects nicely as a 3-4 end because of a long, projectable frame. While Wilkerson has solid strength right now, he should only get more powerful. Think of how the Steelers have slowly brought Ziggy Hood along while he gets more physically dominant. It might be the same career path for Wilkerson.

He could also do well in a gap-shooting system as a one-technique. He has a good sidestep move to get through gaps and into the backfield. His technique is still developing though. Either in a 3-4 or 4-3, Wilkerson is one of the best defensive linemen in this year's class. A junior early entrant, his game is ready for the NFL.
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