GreenAndWhiteReport.com: He wasn't the most highly recruited player out of high school, so Kyle Wilson ended up calling Boise State home. What did you see of him on the blue turf?
DM: Looking back, it's pretty amazing how many schools did in fact pass up on Kyle. He's from Piscataway and played his high school ball right in the backyard of Rutgers University. Moreover, he played with Malcolm Jenkins, so you know there were plenty of coaches coming to look at the secondary and for none of them to pick up on the fact that, "hey…the other guy is pretty good too" still surprises me.
To get to Boise, his brother Gerry went into a self-recruiting promotional mode and sent tape to over 50 schools before setting on the Broncos.
As for what I saw of him as a collegian? The first thing that caught my eye was his competitive nature. The kid is a fighter…a battler and he plays like it. He may not be big, but he plays big and he's pretty fearless. He's a great athlete with the type of speed, fluid hips and short-area quickness that are musts to be a cornerback in the NFL. Plus, how can you not notice his big-play ability? He returned three punts for touchdowns as a junior which will make a lot of people notice.
GreenAndWhiteReport.com: How do you think Wilson fits into Rex Ryan's 3-4 scheme? DM: I think he'll fit very well in Rex Ryan's defense in terms of his play as well as his attitude. His demeanor reminds me a lot of Darrelle Revis' - confident, but not cocky. Kyle carries himself like he knows he's good but doesn't throw it in your face. But he has enough swagger to hang with Rex and company.
As far as his skills are concerned, everyone knows how much Ryan loves cornerbacks. Many people had the Jets pegged for an outside linebacker or defensive end in the first round as their need for a pass rusher was no secret. But even with Sergio Kindle on the board, I believe they made the right move. Wilson was the best player on the board and the Jets will maximize his ability. New York is great spot for him.
With Revis and Antonio Cromartie on board there is no pressure for him to start in year one, but he will have the opportunity to compete for playing time. You could make the argument that if the Jets had a third cornerback like Kyle Wilson in the AFC Championship Game they would have been playing in the Super Bowl instead of the Colts. Rex also does a great job of fitting the scheme to the player's skills and not the other way around. He asks his players to do what they do well and puts them in position to succeed.
Ryan will love Wilson's aggressiveness and ability as a lockdown cover man. Even though he may not start much as a rookie, don't be surprised if Wilson finds himself on the field more often than not.
What part of Wilson's game needs to improve to get ready for September? Like most rookies he will need to adjust to the speed of the game and would benefit from getting a little stronger. But for the most part I believe he's NFL ready. It's the little things like not giving away tendencies and having a better understanding of the NFL-type routes—ones he didn't see too often at the college level—that he needs to work on.
Even more important than what he needs to work on, I'm confident that Kyle is going to do whatever it takes to make himself the best he can be by opening day. He's not afraid to put in the work and from what I hear he's spending some time with Revis, which is wise. In my opinion Wilson is the real deal and will be ready to be major contributor for the Jets come September. Snagging him with the 30th pick was one of the best value picks in the entire NFL Draft.
A little about our interview guest: Daniel Mogollon is in his fourth year with the NFL Draft Bible covering college football and the NFL Draft. You can read more from Mogollon at www.nfldraftbible.com. Be sure to check out his preseason positional rankings for 2012, as Mogollon breaks down the top juniors around the country by position. Link: http://www.nfldraftbible.com/NFL-Insider-Insider-info/2012-draft-watch-preseason-positional-rankings.html
Kristian R. Dyer can be reached for questions, comments and crude remarks at KristianRDyer@yahoo.com