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What To Expect From C.J. Wilson In His Second Season

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DE C.J. Wilson could end up becoming a starter for the Green Bay Packers in his second season. That's certainly not what I expected back in April 2010, when they made him a seventh round draft choice. He certainly deserves an opportunity based on a strong 2010 season from start to finish. He didn't get a lot of opportunities, his only significant playing time was during the October 24th game against the Vikings, when the Packers were down to only a couple of healthy lineman, and for the next couple games thereafter while DE Cullen Jenkins and DE Ryan Pickett returned from injuries. And his greatest asset might be his health because it's a concern for a couple other lineman.

He'd certainly take a back seat if Jenkins is re-signed, but his departure is almost assured due to an expected high price tag and the team's complete lack of negotiations prior to the lockout. His fellow 2nd year player, Mike Neal, is coming back from rotator cuff surgery. DE Howard Green played at defensive end last season, but at 350 lbs. he may not have as much versatility to offer. DE Jarius Wynn is another option, but the Packers initially released Wynn and kept Wilson for the start of the 2010 season. I do expect DE Justin Harrell to return, even if he hasn't heard anything from the team, just because it probably wouldn't hurt their salary cap or pocket book at this point to give him one last chance. Rookie 7th round DE Lawrence Guy might offer some competition too.

With the various looks defensive coordinator Dom Capers brings on defense, he's likely to use a rotation on the defensive line. He often pulls a defensive end to bring in an extra defensive back anyway. In the lightest pencil, I've gotten Wilson written down as the starter, but even then his playing time might be more comparable to a part-time player vs. an every down defender.