Gerris Wilkinson   LB   Georgia Tech

Strengths

Gerris is a sleeper LB in this draft.  He has good size and speed and is very smart.  He takes good angles to the ball carrier and does a solid job defending in the passing game.  He is a head up, wrap up, squeeze and drive tackler and you know how much I like guys who can tackle!  Gerris shows leadership qualities and if he's left at one position for any length of time, these qualities start to show.

 

Needs to Improve

Gerris has been moved around a lot.  I have seen him play DE, OLB and MLB.  Playing this many different positions has stunted his football growth.

 

Talent Board Round   2

If Gerris had played just one position for his college team for three years, we would all be talking about him along with the best LBís in this draft.  If he stays at a position for more than four games, this kid starts to impact at that position.  Gerris is smart, athletic and has shown that he'll do anything to help his team win.  I believe at the next level, he could play any one of the LB positions; however, my guess is that he'll impact the most quickly at the WLB position.  When Gerris starts to get comfortable at a position and starts to make plays, he shows the leadership qualities that I talked about earlier.  He is the type of kid that first needs to show impact plays on the field before he starts to lead.  If he feels that he's not playing very well, he will go into a bit of a shell.  All of this should change as he gains experience and confidence in his teammates and the position that he plays.  Iím not sure if he'll ever be that vocal a leader on the field, but I'm sure that he will be a very good player for the team that drafts him.  It will take some time for Gerris to come out of his learning shell because when he gets to the NFL, he'll once again have to learn a new position.  But he will be a big help on special teams until he becomes a starter and an impact LB.  If Gerris has some good workouts, he could move into the first day of this draft.  If not, on the second day, the team that drafts him will be getting a player with first day talent and that, my friends, is my definition of a sleeper.  An impact player from a large school thatís sitting right in front of your eyes but you donít see him.   I like to call him Gerris (Wheel) Wilkinson because he has been wheeled around to more than one position in college, but has had fun playing them all.

by Drew Boylhart

THR

January 2006