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Steelers 2011 NFL Draft Targets

By: Mike Vukovcan
(Photo by NFL Photos)

(Photo by NFL Photos)

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As the 2011 NFL Draft approaches, we’re going to take a look at some players that Mike Tomlin and Kevin Colbert could be targeting.

This 1st round of this year’s NFL Draft will take place on Thursday, April 28th. To get you prepared for this big day, for the next 10 days, I’ll introduce you to a player that could be getting his name called by the Steelers.

Yesterday I introduced you to Texas cornerback Aaron Williams. Today it will be Temple defensive tackle Muhammad Wilkerson.

Wilkerson is called by some one of the best players in the country that people don’t know about.

Auburn’s Nick Fairley and Alabama’s Marcell Dareus are rated as the top 2 defensive tackles in country, then Wilkerson is in a group with North Carolina’s Marvin Austin and Illinois’ Corey Luiget.

If viewed as a defensive end, Wilkerson is rated behind Cameron Jordan, J.J. Watt and possibly Cameron Heyward.

Muhammad Wilkerson, DT

*6-5, 305 lbs, he carries his size well an dcould easily add some more weight to his frame with giving up his speed or agility.

*Finished his junior season at Temple with 70 tackles, 13 tackles-for-losses and 9.5 sacks
*Hometown: Linden, NJ

Honors:*
*2010 1st-team All-MAC honoree
*Named Temple’s 2010 Defensive MVP
*Nmed to the 2010 Outland Trophy Watch List

Combine Results:
*40 yard dash: 4.96
*20 yard dash: 2.78
*Bench pressed 225 lbs 27 times
*Vertical jump: 26′
*20 yard shuttle: 4.59

Wilkerson is liked by so many teams because he offers them the versatility to play inside in the 4-3 and outside in the 3-4.

NFL Network’s Mike Mayock on Wilkerson:
“He could be a defensive tackle or defensive end. The kid is a heck of a football player. I think he would fit into the first round a year ago easily, and he might get pushed into the second round with the quality and depth of this defensive line group.”

Scouting Reports On Wilkerson:

Cbs Sports: Wilkerson’s surprising agility intrigues scouts. He’ll need to learn to use his hands to be effective at the next level and must build strength in his first couple of NFL seasons, but has the potential to grow into a prototypical 3-4 defensive end or 4-3 tackle.

NFL.com: Wilkerson’s a prototypical blend of height, bulk and speed for a defensive tackle or five-technique. Dominant against the run. Has great get off, holds up at the point of attack, shows outstanding ability to shed and very good closing burst to the ball.

Weaknesses according to NFL.com: - Hard to point out weaknesses in his game. Does no possess elite initial quickness off he ball as a pass rusher or penetrating against the run but still good in this area. Shows some nastiness on occasion but would like to see him play with a more consistent mean streak.

Overview:
Given the age of the Steelers defensive line (Brett Keisel 32, Casey Hampton 33, Aaron Smith 34, Chris Hoke 34 and Nick Eason 30), young talent is needed. Scouts say that the cornerback depth is deep so the Steelers could potentially get a solid defensive back in the 2nd round. They could bring Wilkerson along just like former 1st round pick Ziggy Hood (sit and learn for a year before getting major playing time).