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NFL Draft’s Potential Patriots: Temple DT Muhammad Wilkerson

02.14.11 at 7:36 am ET
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WEEI.com will continue to offer daily insight and analysis regarding options that may be available to the Patriots when it comes to the 2011 NFL draft.

Muhammad Wilkerson

Position: Defensive Tackle

School: Temple

Height: 6-foot-5

Weight: 305 pounds

Achievements: First team All-MAC (2009)

What he brings: With ideal size and ability as both a pass-rusher and run-stopper, Wilkerson is an ideal five-technique prospect. He played 11 games as a junior, racking up 68 tackles, 10 sacks, and a forced fumble in his final year as an Owl. The New Jersey native had steady enough production in his sophomore and junior campaigns that his stock probably wouldn’€™t get past being a late first-rounder at best, and given the Patriots’€™ plethora of picks in the first two rounds, they could stand to use Carolina’€™s pick on him to solidify a position that was in flux a season ago.

Where the Patriots could get him: No. 33 or 60.

Notes: Defensive line was a need that went unaddressed in the first six rounds of the last year draft, and though Gerard Warren did a nice job with Ty Warren out for the season, the former Warren is a free agent and the team needs another solid five-technique even with Ty Warren back. The team couldn’€™t exactly be blamed for ignoring the five-technique prospects early on in the 2010 draft, as the class was so thin at the position that they likely would have had to reach to snag a 3-4 end. Jared Odrick, the five-technique prospect out of Penn whom the Pats passed on to take Devin McCourty, played in just one game last season. He sustained an injury in Week 1 against the Bills and ended up breaking his foot while working his way back in practice and ended up missing the rest of the season. The Patriots haven’€™t taken a 3-4 defensive end in the first two rounds since Marquise Hill in 2004.

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