With the #36 Pick in the 2011 MHR Community Mock Draft, the Denver Broncos Select DT Muhammed Wilkerson, Temple

From Front Office Exec Whidbey Bronco:  This is a pick I'm VERY happy to announce as it represents the 2nd pick in what will likely be the among the best drafts in Broncos history! The greatest need the Broncos have is in the defensive trenches. (This has been true for years now!) In this draft we're able to satisfy that need and still land a potential star in Patrick Peterson. There are several DTs in this draft that could immediately and over the long term improve our defense. The difference between the top two prospects and the next four or five are minimal. All are quite likely to make it in the NFL and any or all could turn out to be stars. The class is that strong.

    I've been hoping for the chance to draft Austin from the beginning of this draft season and would be very happy to have him with perhaps our #46 ...but with the importance of this pick and the likelihood that he continues to drop due to his coaches suspension "unrelated to the NCAA investigation of the North Carolina football team" and reported mass of 'character issues' ...the obvious choice remaining to us, still a great player -  Muhammed Wilkerson.
Height: 6-4. Weight: 308.
Combine 40 Time: 4.99.
Benchx225: 27. Vertical: 29. Arm: 35 1/4.

  Read the scouting reports, I don't feel like quoting them here. I've read over and over that the 'Big Wilk' is is a draft towards 'potential'. The more clips of this guy I watch though, the more I believe (as I do with P. Peterson), that this guy is first a SOLID ABOVE AVERAGE STARTER. Begin there, sounds REALLY good. The POTENTIAL here; is that this kid could become a STAR in this league. This kid is REALLY good. For a team with as many holes defensively as the Broncos, we can't afford misses here. Solid picks with star potential? Perfect.

OK, let me have it.

Staff Review

John Bena:  Love. This. Pick.  Personally, I don't think there is any way Wilkerson is still there, but for him to be there to take is awesome.  With Peterson at #2, that is a great start to the draft to be sure....

Kirk Davis:  Muhammad Wilkerson wasn't exactly the name I was looking for in this selection, but then again, I wouldn't choose Patrick Peterson either. My choice at this point would be Marvin Austin. Still, this pick fills a definite need. Wilkerson had a wonderful Production Ratio in college of 1.94 (Nick Fairley had a 1.50 by comparison). His Explosion Number is a touch below ideal at 61.9 and his agility could be better, but at #36 Muhammad Wilkerson is a good choice.

Troy Hufford:  Wilkerson is a great pick for the Broncos. Since we didn't nab a defensive tackle in the first round, it makes a lot of sense that we grab one with our first pick in the second round. Because he was also a basketball player out of high school, he's got some pretty good speed for a big man, not to mention his ability to jump up and deflect passes. I like this pick, a lot.

Jess Place (Jezru):  Wilkerson ain't a QB and he addresses an area of need for the defense. I like the pick.

Jeremy Bolander:  Highly productive against vastly inferior competition, Wilkerson has a lot to prove in the NFL.  The measurables are there, and he will have good positional versatility, but he may have difficulty finding a way to produce early at DT.  Compared to a prospect like Dareus, there is a significant gap, but bottom line, Wilkerson has enough ability to be a top 10 defensive tackle, if given the time to develop.  Do character concerns for Austin warrant him being passed over at this spot?  Time will tell.  Of note is that the broncos selected Patrick Peterson at #2 on the grounds that they would get a 1st round DT talent anyways, and that strategy seems to have paid off.  But the differences between a blue-chipper like Dareus and a blue-collar like Wilkerson should not be underestimated.

Scouting Reports

Dan Kadar:  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.

Walter Football:  Summary: Muhammad Wilkerson is going to draw interest because of his potential as a five-technique defensive end in a 3-4 scheme. Playing inside at tackle, he recorded an impressive 16.5 sacks over the past two seasons although the level of competition (MAC) has to be factored in. Wilkerson finds other ways to make life difficult for the opposing offense by batting down passes and occupying space against the run.

Football Experts:  Summary: Wilkerson is a fast riser on the draft boards as of late. He is a big DT who can play both the three and five techniques. He stands out when you watch film of this young man; he is a great playmaker. The main thing that I saw when I watched Wilkerson was that he has a ton of potential. He has a lot of improving to do though. I noticed multiple plays where I was frustrated in his performance, but I also witnessed a good number of plays where he wowed me. I think he needs to get stronger at the point of attack, do better against the double teams (especially if he is going to be a 3-4 DE) and not get so high when engaged with linemen. However, I see a ton of potential with this young man. I would be excited to have him on my team.

DraftGeek:  Everybody is in love with Muhammad Wilkerson, he fits every defensive scheme, is already an excellent football player, and with experience and NFL level coaching, he can be great. As mentioned Wilkerson could do well in any defensive scheme. As a 5 Technique in a 3-4 defense, he fits the bill because of his ability to control 2 gaps, eat up space, and get off his blocks and make tackles. Because of his combination of size, strength, and athletic ability he could also play both Tackle positions in a 4-3 defense. All Wilkerson's weaknesses are not physical weaknesses, but things that can be coached. Pad level, leverage, and hand placement should all be improved on when coached up by Professional D-Line coaches. The more I look at Wilkerson the more I like him, he may take some time to develop, but there is very little preventing him from being a dominant NFL Defensive Lineman

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