Yesterday, Martin took a look at WR Chris Givens, who declared for the NFL draft despite having a year left that he could have spent at Wake Forest. Givens should be the highest player drafted for the Deacs when the Draft rolls around, but I believe Kyle Wilber may have the most successful tenure in the NFL.
The players started arriving in Indianapolis today and will get everything measured, as well as have some interviews with NFL programs. All of the drills and workouts will take place from Friday to Tuesday (and take place in waves), and the schedule can be seen here.
Today we will take a look at hybrid OLB/DE Kyle Wilber. Wilber put in five great years on the Wake Forest campus and did several different things that were asked of him as the Deacs moved from a 4-3 defense to a 3-4 over his junior and senior years.
Teams that run the 3-4 will favor Wilber due to his versatility and outstanding footwork that allows him to use his long arms to wrap up the ball handler. His skills lend himself to more of an OLB than a DE because of his "sub-par" strength, but I think his workmanlike attitude and relentless pressure will allow him to succeed wherever he is drafted.
Find more about Wilber after the jump...
Name: Kyle Wilber
2011 Season Stats: 70 tackles, 3.5 sacks, 11.5 TFL, 3 FF and a blocked kick
Kyle Wilber was grabbed by Coach Jim Grobe and his staff out of Apopka High School where he was the 37th-rated defensive end in the country by Rivals. He was also rated as the 89th best player in the state of Florida in his class. He chose Wake Forest over offers from Central Florida, Colorado State, Kentucky, Mississippi, Nebraska and Wisconsin.
Not only did Wilber excel on the football field in high school, he was also on the school wrestling and weightlifting teams. His superb academic record made Wake Forest a feasible option for him, and he double-majored in Sociology and Communication while in Winston-Salem. His intelligence on and off the field will be an asset for the team that drafts Mr. Wilber.
Once Kyle got on campus. he took the normal Jim Grobe route, which is to redshirt your first year on campus. He sat out his true freshman season of 2007. His RS-Fr year was the first of four consecutive years starting for the Demon Deacon defense after taking over for Anthony Davis six games through the year. He was the youngest starter on the team, but showed great resolve to have a sensational final seven games of the season that included a fumble recovery for a TD against Boston College, as well as sacks against Duke, Virginia and Boston College.
In his sophomore year Kyle, suffered a setback as he broke his leg against Stanford. This was a huge blow for the Deacs because in the season opener against Baylor, Wilber had a blocked kick, a sack, and a fumble recovery. He would sit out the next seven games before returning for the final three games.
His junior and senior seasons were very interesting, as he was asked to convert from a defensive end to an outside linebacker to fit the new 3-4 scheme. In the long run (see now), this probably worked out greatly in Wilber's favor because of how well he is suited for the OLB position in the NFL as opposed to the defensive end position.
As Wilber prepared for the NFL Combine and the subsequent NFL draft he participated in the East-West Shrine Bowl where he had "mixed reviews" according to NFLDraftScout.com. Most GMs would like to see his strength improve as time goes on so he can be utilized in several different spots on defense. Agility, relentless attitude and footwork are pros for Wilber, where strength is the primary knock on him.
I expect him to impress scouts, particularly in the interviews and the tests before the on-field workouts begin. If he can improve his strength and put up some gaudy numbers this weekend, then I think he could jump up on a few of the Big Boards out there.
Wilber is ranked 17th out of 228 OLB's according to NDS.com again and is projected to land in the fourth or fifth round.