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Reaction To Wilkerson Selection

A few selected quotes from New York Jets GM Mike Tannenbaum, head coach Rex Ryan, and the newest member of the Jets, Muhammad Wilkerson --

MIKE TANNENBAUM:  He was a guy that we had identified for a while.  The thinking was that he is going to come in and give us definite versatility on the defensive line.  (He is) 6’4", 315 (pounds).  He had earned a single-digit at Temple, which means he had a very successful offseason.  He’s a local guy.  It’s interesting, I had a really good talk with Al Golden, who coached him at Temple.  Al was at Virginia with D’Brickashaw (Ferguson).  I thought they had a lot of similar attributes in terms of work ethic and demeanor.  I think he’s one of those players that, in Rex’s defense, is going to do whatever it takes to be successful.  In building our team, something Rex and I talked about the last two years was we feel like depth at the defensive line position was something that was a concern.  To get someone of his ability, we’re really excited about that.

REX RYAN: I don’t see him as a nose tackle, but I see where this young man can play defensive end in our system and tackle, as well.  I see him as a possible three-down contributor for us, but we’ll see.  He’s going to have to come in here and earn his reps and everything else.  We think he’s going to be an outstanding player for us.

You love to have a pass rusher whether it comes from the outside or inside.  This young man can certainly do it.  Mike (Tannenbaum and Joey Clinkscales) already talked about his pass rush numbers.  I think he had nine-and-a-half sacks this year so obviously he has a lot of production.  You look at that as an interior pass rusher and that is hard to do.  Clearly, we’re excited about it.  He has a huge wing span.  I think his arms are 35 ¼ inches long.  That’s up there.  That’s D’Brickashaw (Ferguson) type arms.  We’re excited about that.  From an inside pass rusher, that’s really what you look for.  We compared him to a young Trevor Pryce when he came out of Clemson.

MUHAMMAD WILKERSON: I thought it was going to happen. I had a great visit when I went to visit the Jets and did the workout for them and when that 30th pick came around, I just had that feeling that they were going to pick me up.

I can move along the line (and) play any position (on the) defensive line. That’s a credit to Temple playing in a 4-3 and a 3-4. It helped me out and I can fit in with whatever they need to be done at any position.

That’s a tremendous defense that they have over there and I’m glad to be a part of it. I think I can come in and help the defense be even more destructive than it is.