2011 NFL Draft: Philadelphia Eagles Targeting Temple's Muhammad Wilkerson?

Jason KarlAnalyst IIIMarch 20, 2011

PHILADELPHIA, PA - JANUARY 09:  Head coach Andy Reid of the Philadelphia Eagles looks on against the Green Bay Packers during the 2011 NFC wild card playoff game at Lincoln Financial Field on January 9, 2011 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images)
Chris Trotman/Getty Images

According to a report, close to 25 teams showed up to watch Temple defensive tackle Muhammad Wilkerson at his pro day.

One of those teams was the Philadelphia Eagles. Coach Andy Reid, general manager Howie Roseman, defensive line coach Jim Washburn and a number of scouts attended the pro day.

While it is not unusual for a coach to attend a pro day, Reid usually does not go to many.

Roseman told a reporter that the front office loves drafting athletic defensive linemen.

Washburn was even seen conversing with Wilkerson, the Mid-American Conference Defensive Player of the Year. 

"That would be a fantastic thing, to stay in Philly," Wilkerson said at the end of his workout. "I had plenty of fun times there at the Linc. If I got a chance to play for the Eagles, that would be a great thing."

Wilkerson was a standout at the 2011 NFL Scouting Combine, coming at 6'4'', 315 pounds while still running a 4.99 in the 40-yard dash. He bench-pressed 27 times and has 35 1/4'' arms. Wilkerson has been quickly rising up many draft boards.

In his junior season, the 21-year-old Wilkerson recorded 68 tackles (43 solo) and 10 sacks, an astounding number for a defensive tackle, even if it was against inferior competition.


My Take

If the Eagles feel the athletic Wilkerson is the best player available at pick 23, he will be the pick. It is interesting that the Eagles sent many of their top officials to watch Wilkerson.

Even though I am a "best player available" guy, I am looking forward to seeing what Jim Washburn will do with an underachiever like Brodrick Bunkley. With huge needs at corner and the offensive line, I feel the Eagles would be wise upgrading those positions first, especially with the slew of talent available there in the draft.

The Eagles have a crowded group at defensive tackle with Bunkley, Antonio Dixon, Mike Patterson and Trevor Laws. How much of an upgrade would Wilkerson be?

If the Eagles were to spend a first-round pick on a defensive lineman, I would prefer it to be on a defensive end, as there is uncertainty about Brandon Graham coming back from his injury.