2011 NFL Mock Draft: San Diego Chargers Nab Muhammad Wilkerson at No. 18
2011 NFL Mock Draft Has the Chargers Getting the DE They Need
The numbers tell us that the San Diego Chargers were pretty decent on defense last year. They allowed just 20.1 points per game, and they led the league by allowing just 271.6 yards per game.
This is a little misleading. While San Diego’s defense wasn’t horrible in 2010, it also wasn’t quite on the same level as elite defenses like Pittsburgh or Green Bay. The Chargers played six games against AFC West opponents that were pretty mediocre offensively, and they also got to beat up on some pretty weak NFC West teams.
When the Chargers are on the clock with the No. 18 pick in this year’s draft, there are two positions they’re going to look to fill: defensive end and outside linebacker. Between the two, a good OLB is going to be hard to find, but the Chargers won’t have to reach for somebody like Akeem Ayers if a defensive end like Muhammad Wilkerson is available. They’ll jump on him in a heartbeat.
As I’m sure most people are well aware, Wilkerson’s stock has fairly skyrocketed since the end of the 2010 season. The Temple standout is coming off a season in which he recorded 13 tackles for loss and 9.5 sacks, and his game tape shows that this is no accident. He’s as good a power rusher as you’re going to find, and he has pretty good closing speed for a guy who goes 6’4” and 315 pounds.
Wilkerson is probably better rushing the passer than he is stuffing the run, which is something that he’s going to need to work on if he is going to thrive in a division that features two of the best rushing attacks in the NFL in Oakland and Kansas City. Nevertheless, the tools are there, making this is a great value pick for the Bolts.
|1. Carolina Panthers: Cam Newton, QB |
2. Denver Broncos: Von Miller, OLB
3. Buffalo Bills: Marcell Dareus, DT
4. Cincinnati Bengals: A.J. Green, WR
|17. New England Patriots: Cameron Jordan, DE|
18. San Diego Chargers: Muhammad Wilkerson
19. New York Giants: Anthony Castonzo, OT
20. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Adrian Clayborn, DE
|5. Arizona Cardinals: Blaine Gabbert, QB |
6. Cleveland Browns: Da'Quan Bowers, DE
7. San Francisco 49ers: Patrick Peterson, CB
8. Tennessee Titans: Nick Fairley, DT
|21. Kansas City Chiefs: Akeem Ayers, OLB|
22. Indianapolis Colts: Nate Solder, OT
23. Philadelphia Eagles: Jimmy Smith, CB
24. New Orleans Saints: Brooks Reed, OLB
|9. Dallas Cowboys: Tyron Smith, OT |
10. Washington Redskins: Julio Jones, WR
11. Houston Texans: Prince Amukamara, CB
12. Minnesota Vikings: Robert Quinn, DE
|25. Seattle Seahawks: Jake Locker, QB|
26. Baltimore Ravens: Mike Pouncey, OG
27. Atlanta Falcons: Ryan Kerrigan, DE
28. New England Patriots: Justin Houston, OLB
|13. Detroit Lions: Aldon Smith, DE |
14. St. Louis Rams: Corey Liuget, DT
15. Miami Dolphins: Mark Ingram, RB
16. Jacksonville Jaguars: J.J. Watt, DE
|29. Chicago Bears: Gabe Carimi, OT|
30. New York Jets: Phil Taylor, DT
31. Pittsburgh Steelers: Aaron Williams, CB
32. Green Bay Packers: Derek Sherrod, OT
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