Rex Ryan and Mike Tannenbaum selected Kyle Wilson, one of the country's premier cornerbacks coming out of college (Boise State), to bolster an already stout secondary with the league's best corner in Darrelle Revis, a playmaker in Antonio Cromartie and the field general Jim Leonhard.
Wilson's rookie campaign, however, was a bit underwhelming. Not in the way of Vernon Gholston, but more along the lines of a guy who needs a year or two to find his role in a defensive system that requires corners to act like Velcro.
Wilson logged some early time at nickel and periodically got decent playing time before midseason with Revis in and out with a hamstring. He showed some flashes but seemed a bit out of his league. One of Wilson's biggest issues, especially early on, was his inability to turn to the passer. No matter how good his coverage was, he continually faced the receiver and essentially had no idea when the ball was coming or where it was coming from.
Wilson couldn't make a play on the ball because he couldn't see it. His miniature stat of five passes defensed is proof enough. Four of those five were in the first five games, and the other came in a Week 17 meeting with the Bills that saw both Revis and Cromartie on the sidelines. The Jets also tried Wilson on punt return twice in 2010, where he fumbled both of his tries.
We saw in training camp that Wilson is a very smart football player. He jumped right into Revis' spot during the holdout and surprised Ryan with how vocal he was and what he could learn from an offense's pre-snap setup. But Wilson may have let his head get in the way of his rookie season.
Thinking too much, a lot of pressure in Rex's D and the lack of technique required to play a man-on-man system. Rex opted to go prominently with Drew Coleman as the extra corner late in the season.
Another year under Wilson's dreads might be enough to prove him late first-round status, but for now, it's wait and see.