When the Seahawks signed ex-Saints DE Jimmy Wilkerson to the roster earlier this week, I had honestly never heard of him before. So, to help us get to know the new guy, I asked Andrew Juge of fellow Bloguin football blog Saints Nation if he wouldn’t mind sharing his opinion with us. Here’s what he had to say:
[Wilkerson]’s a veteran defensive end that’s spent some time with the Chiefs, then Bucs before joining the Saints last year. He was coming off a major knee injury with the Saints which slowed down his offseason progress, but he still managed to make the team as a reserve pass rusher. He had the flexibility to move inside on passing downs which was nice, but his play was spotty at best overall. He ended the season with 2 sacks, both being garbage sacks in meaningless situations. More often than not, he was completely neutralized in pass rushing situations, and he was up and down against the run. He does a good job absorbing contact and holding his ground, but he made mental mistakes from time to time that opened up huge rushing lanes.
Overall I wouldn’t say he’s a huge liability, he knows what he’s doing out there, but he’s by no means a stud player either. He’s a guy that can come in when your starter needs a breather, but I don’t think he’s a guy you want to count on for numerous reps. That said, last year was tough for him bouncing back from knee surgery. I remember playing him twice a year when he was in Tampa and he was scary before the injury. He seemed to have lost that initial burst, but maybe he can get it back now that he’s healthier. He had 11 sacks in 2 years with the Bucs, and many thought he was an up and coming player at that point. You guys signed him to a 1 year deal so I feel like it’s low risk, high return potential. I will say Jimmy is a good guy and a positive locker room presence, so from a character standpoint you won’t have any problems with him whatsoever.
In short, Wilkerson sounds like exactly the kind of quality d-line depth guy we all hoped to see the Seahawks pursue in free agency, and it’ll be interesting to see how he fares when he sees action this preseason. Thanks, Andrew!