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Jets Top 25 No 16-------


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JETS TOP 25: No. 16 Muhammad Wilkerson

9:50 AM, July 4, 2012 ι By BRIAN COSTELLO

As the Jets enter the quiet part of the summer between the spring program and training camp, I am going to examine the roster and give you my top 25 players on the Jets roster. Each weekday we will reveal another person on the list, leading right into training camp. I am not including rookies on this list because I do not feel it is possible to fully evaluate them before they play a game. Hope you enjoy.


Position: Defensive End

Age: 22

How acquired: Selected in the first round of the 2011 Draft

Contract status: 3 years, $5.6 million remaining

How he did in 2011: First-round picks almost always draw a lot of scrutiny in their rookie seasons, but Wilkerson was under the radar for most of his rookie year.

The big man from Temple did pretty well. He lacked consistency, but that is to be expected from a rookie. In the end, he finished with 35 tackles and three sacks. Wilkerson appeared to get better as the season went on, which is encouraging for the Jets.

Wilkerson started from Day 1, which is a tough task. He fit in with a veteran defense despite not having an offseason to work with them.

He went from playing around 50 percent of the defensive snaps early in the year to close to 80 percent against the Giants in the penultimate game of the season.

Wilkerson showed strength against the run. His pass-rushing skills need some work, but he was drafted more to be a run-stopper.

Outlook for 2012: The coaches could not stop talking about Wilkerson this spring. The question is whether that is offseason bluster or there is truth in it. Rex Ryan talked about Wilkerson every chance he got, pumping up his first-round pick from a year ago.

The Jets have high hopes for Wilkerson this season. They believe the addition of Quinton Coples, this year’s first-round pick, will allow them to play more four-man fronts with Wilkerson and Coples as their defensive ends. Wilkerson has long arms that allow him to bat down a lot of passes, something he did to Mark Sanchez several times during OTAs and mini-camp.

Wilkerson is being viewed as one of the building blocks of the Jets defense now. This is his first offseason to work with the coaches since last year’s lockout prevented him from doing it then.

Everyone around the Jets feels Wilkerson is a player on the rise. It’s time to see if that spring talk can translate into results on the field.

Read more: http://www.nypost.com/p/blogs/jetsblog/jets_top_no_muhammad_wilkerson_hxtftPT2c3XIXBQwt0KBkP#ixzz1zgjNTBrm

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