Mel Kiper 2011 NFL Mock Draft: Chargers Fill DE Need with Muhammad Wilkerson
Mel Kiper 2011 NFL Mock Draft Has the Chargers Filling a Major Need
The San Diego Chargers' defense was not as good in 2010 as the numbers indicate. They dominated some weak teams like the San Francisco 49ers and the Matt Cassel-less Kansas City Chiefs, but they had their troubles against the better teams in the league.
One of San Diego's bigger problems is that its front seven isn't as fearsome as it once was, particularly as far as the defensive line is concerned. They could use a game-changer, and Mel Kiper thinks they'll find one.
Kiper has the Chargers drafting Temple defensive end Muhammad Wilkerson with the No. 18 pick in his latest 2011 NFL Mock Draft (must have ESPN Insider). Wilkerson's stock has soared over the last couple months, and Kiper seems to think he's for real:
I really thought Wilkerson could be a top-10 pick if he stuck around Temple for another year, but he was dominant enough in 2010 that he may have felt there was little left to prove. He can anchor, but Wilkerson is a guy who loves to pursue, and can cause problems for quarterbacks as a penetrator.
Wilkerson is the kind of guy that succeeds primarily because of his sheer strength. He has a 6-foot-4, 315-pound frame and he knows how to use it. He doesn't have much practice getting around blocks, but he will wear down opposing lineman and generally make his presence known in the trenches.
The word "raw" does come to mind when it comes to Wilkerson. But because he can immediately come into the league and be a defensive bully, the Chargers would probably be happy to wait for the other skills to arrive. For example, if Wilkerson learns how to effectively use his long arms, he is going to be a nightmare for opposing blockers.
Because Wilkerson's stock has risen so high, he could end up going higher than No. 18. For example, if Cameron Jordan comes off the board before the New England Patriots get a shot at him, they could go for Wilkerson. If that happens, I wouldn't be surprised if the Chargers addressed the other side of the line of scrimmage.
As it is, this would be a good pick.
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