The 2013 NFL Draft is loaded with solid safety talent. Most experts seem to think that Texas safety Kenny Vaccaro is the best safety available with Florida safety Matt Elam, Florida International safety Jonathan Cyprien and LSU safety Eric Reid close behind him.
However, a safety that nobody seems to be talking about is Georgia Southern safety J.J. Wilcox.
Wilcox is a freak of an athlete that has changed positions in college not once, but twice. Wilcox started out as a wide receiver at GSU and then moved to slot receiver. However, this past season, his senior year, Wilcox again switched positions, this time to safety.
Usually when a player only plays one year at a position he intends to play at the professional level it raises red flags. However, with Wilcox the transition has been flawless. If you don’t believe me take a look at his Youtube highlights, they don’t disappoint.
Wilcox measures at 6-1, he ran a 4.51 40-yard-dash at the NFL Combine, and though that isn’t the fastest 40-time for a safety, Wilcox has deceptive speed. Wilcox also was a returner at GSU, which would add to his value with the Packers as they’re trying to fade Randall Cobb out of the return game.
In his senior season, Wilcox started 13 of 14 games and tallied 88 tackles, three passes defensed and two interceptions. Wilcox is very reliable in man-to-man coverage, which would free up Dom Capers to use more of his exotic blitz packages with a safety who has the ability to cover a slot receiver one-on-one.
Wilcox does have a few weaknesses besides his inexperience. He gets tied up with blockers too often allowing some big run plays to occur. Wilcox would be a work in progress, but it all depends on where the Packers could potentially snatch him up in the draft.
ESPN’s Mel Kiper has the Packers taking Wilcox in the second round (No. 55 overall) which is the highest I have personally seen him go. He is projected as a 2-4 round pick by NFL.com, which would be a perfect place for him to go.
I can see Wilcox in Green and Gold, but unlike Kiper, I would rather see him in the third round rather than the second.