I'm going to break away for a moment in how I've been doing the rookie reviews. I have been doing them in order based on round selected, but I am going to skip Charles Clay this week in favor of Jimmy Wilson. The reason for this is to give Clay another week to be evaluated. Wilson probably won't see as much action this week because Vontae Davis has returned to the lineup, thus his evaluation is unlikely to change much after this week.
Miami may have been very fortunate in this draft to get such a skilled player who was rated much higher than the round he was selected in. As many remember, Wilson's draft stock was low due to his time in prison before he was acquitted on murder charges. If he wasn't in such a position, he could've been selected in the first three or four rounds. Instead, Miami may have found gold in the bargain bin.
Wilson wasn't expected to contribute on defense much in his first year, but injuries to Vontae Davis and the struggles of Nolan Carroll quickly changed the plan. Out of all the CBson Miami's roster, Wilson has seen the fewest snaps, but he may have been the second most effective CB, only trailing Vontae Davis. How well has Wilson done? Here are his numbers.
Wilson has played 214 defensive snaps and of those plays, he's been targeted a total of 16 times. Nine of those passes have been completions, allowing QBs to complete 56.3% of passes in his direction. That number is easily the best for Miami's CBs as Sean Smith is 2nd for Miami in allowing 61% of passes to be completed. Unfortunately, Wilson has struggled with flags and missed tackles. His two defensive penalties are second to Davis (3) even though he has the fewest snaps of any CB. He has also missed 3 tackles and 3 of his 9 completions allowed have gone for TDs. Despite his lower allowed completion %, Wilson has allowed 13.8 YPC, second highest on the team behind Carroll. It should be noted that Davis is at 13.7 and barely trails Wilson.
Despite the inconsistencies, Wilson has shown an ability he can be a potential play maker in the future. He not only has an interception, but he has 4 deflected passed. That number ties Smith even though Wilson has been the least targeted CB for Miami. 31% of the passes thrown towards him have been deflected or intercepted. That is showing a solid potential of a play making CB if he can become more consistent. Beyond the plays he's made with the ball in the air, he's also credited with two forced fumbles against the Jets, but one of them was caused by the ball bouncing off Jets LB Garrett McIntyre when he was in front of Joe McKnight on a kickoff.
Wilson has been solid against the run as well and has a single QB pressure, but has failed to register a sack. Opposing QBs have a QB Rating of 94.8 against Wilson, second worst behind Smith (101.9). The high number is attributed to the amount of TDs allowed by Wilson. If fewer of those completions would have gone for TDs, he would easily have the lowest allowed QB Rating of any CB on Miami's defense.
Wilson may only be a rookie, but he has the potential to move up the depth chart as early as next year. With Allen a free agent in 2012 and Carroll struggling, Wilson may be able to challenge for the nickel position in 2012. Don't be surprised to see him possibly push Smith as well, as Smith ranks 60th of 63 CBs that have played at least 50% of their team's snaps. Miami does need an upgrade at CB, whether it be a newcomer or by Smith simply improving, but if Miami's CBs enter 2012 without a major addition via free agency or the draft, there is a very good chance we'll see much more of Jimmy Wilson next year. For a seventh round pick, Miami has done very well getting production out of this pick. In terms of value, he may be Miami's best draft pick of 2011. There is no reason for people to be disappointed about Wilson's selection.