Playing for the “Greatest Team in America”, as once quoted by the famous Erk Russell, J.J. Wilcox has done everything he can do to put himself in prime position to be the first Georgia Southern Eagle drafted since David Young, who was taken in the 6th round by the Jacksonville Jaguars in 2003. Although famous Eagles Tracy Ham and Adrian Peterson garner the Georgia Southern legendary status, Wilcox has a chance to really make his mark like no other Eagle before him this April in the draft and when he gets on the field in the NFL.
Standing at a height of 6’0 and weighing in at 213 pounds, Wilcox is a strong safety that is converted from receiver, where he played his previous three seasons at Georgia Southern. He was also a returner during his collegiate career. Even though he played just one full season at safety, he has demonstrated all the skills and talents that made him a great safety his senior year and can make him become a big time safety in the future. Wilcox was invited to the Senior Bowl and the NFL Scouting Combine where he attracted the attention of every NFL scout. At the Combine, Wilcox ran a 4.57 in the 40 yard dash, a pretty solid time for a strong safety. He accomplished 17 reps on the bench, showed off his jumping ability with a 35 inch vertical leap, and displayed his explosion with a 124 inch broad jump. In the 3 cone drill he posted a time of 7.02 seconds and displayed is top quality quickness in the 20 yard shuttle, having one of the top safety times at 4.09 seconds. Georgia Southern’s pro day was yesterday, March 15th, where he was just measured and weighed and did not participate in drills. I mean I don’t blame him, he can’t really help himself anymore than he already has. He’s already put his best foot forward.
Wilcox displays ideal strength on tackles and fighting off blocks to make the play. He lacks the overall top speed that scouts salivate over, but he has very good range and can track the ball in the air with the best of them. He demonstrates good instincts to sniff plays out and put himself in the right position to make the play. With his experience from playing on offense, he shows off great ball skills and with being an experienced return man, he is very dangerous when he gets his hands on the ball. These qualities really make him an all around defender, a ball hawk if I may. He also posses nice leaping ability and body control when making plays on the ball or making tackles. He is a raw talent because he has only played one season at safety but he has tremendous upside.
A 3rd-4th round pick and a future NFL starter, Wilcox will be a great pick by anyone. A coach-able player, and a very versatile one, he will make an immediate impact on special teams and when he earns his chance, he will not relinquish his starting spot. So go out there and GATA Wilcox, you will be great, and soon be a legend among the Eagle Nation.