With the NFL Draft this Thursday, there is talk that Temple University defensive tackle Muhammad Wilkerson could be selected in the mid-to-late first round. That means that likely by the end of Thursday we should know his new NFL Team. Marc Londo of the Philadelphia Examiner wrote up an NFL Draft Prospect report on Wilkerson, and stated, â€œHe plays with high motor and has very good balance for a big man, with an impressive ability to quickly change direction. His superior strength, power and athleticism at the point of attack makes him a force to be reckoned with.â€
At 6-4 and 315 pounds with 35 Â¼ inch arms, Wilkerson has great size. He ran a 4.96 forty at the Combine and has shown the ability to play inside in a 4-3, or defensive end in a 3-4 system. Wilkerson has been know for his athleticism since coming out of Linden High School in New Jersey, where he was known for his skills on the the basketball court. Scouts, Inc. had him rated as the 173rd-best power forward in the country. After a year of prep school at Hargrave Military Academy , the 6-4, 315 pound joined Temple as a three-star defensive lineman, where he ended up being the best defensive player Temple fans have seen in decades. This was shown by his accomplishments where he was named to the 2010 All-MAC first team honoree. In 2010, Wilkerson finisished with 70 tackles, 9.5 sacks and 13 tackles for loss last year, this includes the game against Kent State , where he dominated the line with 6 tackles and 3 sacks for a loss of 21 yards, earning him the MAC Defensive Player of the Week honors. His final stats for his three year Temple career, 144 tackles, 17.5 sacks and 26 tackles for loss. His versatility as an athlete is precisely why he should fare well at the next level. Heâ€™s able to handle the double team very well and can get into the backfield. Beyond that, he has made the plays when Temple has needed them. As an early entry into the draft, he still has rough areas in his game that need to be worked out. However, that could also be considered part of his upside. Heâ€™s been very effective with a relatively limited skill-set. With further instruction from NFL coaches, he can be a difference maker for any franchise that drafts him. Since becoming an Owl, Wilkerson has worked hard to become a leader among his teammates. He is diligent and expects the same of those around him. His lead-by-example work ethic has been instrumental in the growth of the Temple football program. It is his maturity that I feel gives him an edge on many other defensive line prospects in the top portion of the draft. Good luck to Wilkerson on Thursday. SU will tweet as soon as he is drafted.