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Jets get five-technique of the future with Wilkerson

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Posted April 28, 2011 @ 11:45 p.m. ET
By Kevin Fishbain

The Jets bolstered the defensive line by selecting the versatile Muhammad Wilkerson at pick No. 30.

With lots of youth and question marks on the defensive line, the Jets needed to address the position. GM Mike Tannenbaum said improving the depth on the front seven would be a priority in this draft, and without a pass-rushing OLB worthy of the 30th pick, Wilkerson was the Jets' best option.

"I compare him to a young Trevor Pryce," said Rex Ryan. The veteran Pryce had some of his best seasons with Ryan in Baltimore, and the Jets may have found the next Trevor Pryce in Wilkerson.

Wilkerson will be able to slide in as a five-technique for the Jets and he knows how to get after the quarterback, an aspect of the defense the team wanted to improve.

The two best pass-rushing OLBs on the board, Brooks Reed and Akeem Ayers, have too many questions to be taken at No. 30. Wilkerson had 9½ sacks in his senior season and, according to PFW draft analyst Nolan Nawrocki, has "good closing burst to the quarterback."

This is the type of player that Rex Ryan should be excited about. From Nawrocki: "Can be effective attacking gaps or playing with square shoulders and has room to grow as a player once his instincts and awareness catch up with his raw talents." The defensive guru, Ryan, must be excited to develop Wilkerson as a mainstay along the Jets' D-line.

The Jets still should look into a pass-rushing improvement at outside linebacker, but there are some decent mid-round players that could wind up in the Meadowlands. But Wilkerson not only fills a need right away, but the Jets made a great value pick by plucking him at No. 30.

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