17. New England Patriots- Muhammad Wilkerson, Temple Owls
The New England Patriots received this pick from the Richard Seymour trade with the Oakland Raiders in 2009, and now are looking for it pay dividends by making a great pick. The Pats also have the 28th pick overall and could make some nice improvements with their two first rounders, starting with defensive end Muhammad Wilkerson from Temple.
At 6'4" 315 pounds Wilkerson is built to be a dominating presence on the D line, and has above average speed and shows a pretty quick burst off the line. He's great at shedding blockers and standing up offensive lineman, and if he puts some more muscle on, which he undoubtedly will once in the NFL, he'll bring an outstanding mix of strength and speed to the Patriots. With guys like Ty Warren and his hip injury last year and Mike Wright missing significant time with a neck injury, the D Line is a place that the Pats could use a youthful presence right now, and this 5 technique DE will immediately become their biggest body at DE.
Here's what NFL Networks Mike Mayock had to say about the big fella:
"He could be a defensive tackle or a defensive end, the kid is a heck of a football player. He might be there in the second round, but to me he's a first-round player.
The DE position is certainly stacked with talent in this year's draft, and at this point the 'big board' has a few other DE's out there like Aldon Smith or Cameron Jordan for the taking. But I think Wilkerson is the right fit for New England because he's coachable, hasn't shown to be injury prone, his ridiculous size and great work ethic, and will bring some more vitality to a mainly veteran core of D lineman for the Pats. I think Bill Belichick would love to have a guy like Wilkerson on his squad.