The biggest knock on first-round pick Muhammad Wilkerson is that he dominated at a lower level of competition. The Temple football program, which plays in the MAC conference, has come a long way, but it's a long way from the SEC or Big 10. Consider: Five of his 16 sacks over the last two seasons came against Kent State.
Here's a breakdown of Wilkerson's sack production over the last two seasons:
2010 Season (Sack total: 9.5 sacks)
Miami (Ohio) ... one sack
Kent State ... three sacks
Buffalo ... 2.5 sacks
Army ... one sack
Central Michigan ... two sacks
2009 Season (Seven sacks)
Kent State ... two sacks
Miami (Ohio) ... two sacks
Ball State ... 1.5 sacks
Villanova ... one sack
Rex Ryan was asked about the competition issue, and he said, "He went up against Penn State. You watch that game and you have no conerns." For the record, Wilkerson recorded nine tackles and one forced fumble against Penn State last season, with only one tackle and one batted pass against the Nittany Lions in 2009.
MORE ON DA'QUAN BOWERS: A lot of fans at the draft were disappointed the Jets didn't pick DE Da'Quan Bowers, who slipped out of the first round because of a bad knee. As I wrote Thursday night, there is major concern around the league about his surgically repaired knee, which may require microfracture surgery. I spoke to an official from another team Friday morning, and he said his team doctors rejected Bowers -- twice.
WILKERSON'S STOCK: Spoke to an opposing scout who said his team had a late first-round grade on Wilkerson and was prepared to trade up into the top portion of Round 2 if he slipped. The general consensus, I think, is that the Jets got good value at 30 ... Know this: Two players coveted by the Jets were scooped up in the picks preceeding them -- NT Phil Taylor (21st to the Browns, in a trade-up) and DE Cameron Jordan (24th to the Saints).
LABOR UPDATE: On Thursday, Ryan sent an e-mail to all Jets players, informing them the team is planning to open its off-season program on Monday. Some players, including WR Jerricho Cotchery, were planning to show up Friday to begin workouts and rehab at the team's facility. Ryan, in his e-mail, told the players they needed to bring proof of insurance if they decided to work out Friday.
DAY 2 PREVIEW: The Jets don't have a second-round pick; it was traded to the Chargers last offseason for CB Antonio Cromartie. A lot of fans tweeted me, wondering if the Jets could trade into the second round. The answer is, not unless they're willing to give up their entire draft. That would be the cost, based on the point-value chart. In the third round, the Jets will be looking at outside linebacker, safety and wide receiver. Will they pick another Temple player? S Jaiquawn Jarrett, from Brooklyn, N.Y., is regarded as a third-round prospect.