It was supposed to be a great year for the Green Bay Packers’ defensive line in 2018. With an emerging star in Kenny Clark and an established stud in Mike Daniels already on the team, the addition of Muhammad Wilkerson was supposed to make that unit one of the best in the NFL.
Unfortunately, it wasn’t meant to be.
Wilkerson broke his ankle in the third game of the season, leaving in an ambulance for emergency surgery due to his compound fracture. That cut short a rebound season for him, and now he’s looking ahead to 2019. For now, at least, he sounds like a player who’s hoping to stay in Green Bay to finish what he started last offseason and get his career back on track.
Meanwhile, one of the top prospects at that same position in this year’s NFL Draft class suffered an injury of his own this week. Mississippi State’s Jeffery Simmons, widely considered a first-round pick and thought by some as a top-ten talent, tore his ACL in training and will likely miss most if not all of his rookie year. Simmons will not attend the Scouting Combine later this month either, as a result of a violent incident with a woman during his senior year of high school. That will reduce his ability to talk to teams about his injury, putting a spotlight on the Bulldogs’ Pro Day in March.
Still, some see him as a fringe first-round prospect even with the injury, due to his talent and production. Could the Packers make a run at him, perhaps with the 30th overall pick? And will that decision depend on whether Wilkerson decides to stay in Green Bay for another year? Or does the team feel confident moving forward with Dean Lowry at that spot?
We’ll all find out in a few weeks.
Muhammad Wilkerson recounts the devastating injury that ended his season for Packers – The Athletic
Wilkerson speaks about his broken ankle and his disappointment over his 2018 season ending prematurely. It sure sounds like he's hoping to return to Green Bay in 2019, however, citing Mike Pettine and even team doctor Robert Anderson as reasons for that desire.
Mississippi St. DT Jeffery Simmons suffers torn ACL - NFL.com
If the Packers elect not to retain Wilkerson (and even if they do), Simmons could have been a tantalizing option as a 5-technique lineman. Now with his rookie season likely over before it begins, how far will he fall in the draft?
Packers get Devin White, Jeffery Simmons in latest Rotoworld mock draft | Packers Wire
Not far, apparently, at least according to one recent mock draft. Simmons is the Packers' pick at 30, after the team trades down to pick up an extra third-rounder and LSU inside linebacker Devin White.
The 6 NFL free agents who will shape the 2019 offseason - SBNation.com
Several of these players are edge rushers, though Kansas City's Dee Ford is conspicuously absent. Still, Demarcus Lawrence and Jadeveon Clowney will have massive impacts league-wide, even if they get franchise tagged.
Westminster Dog Show Title Goes To 'King,' A Wire Fox Terrier : NPR
Personally, I'm still irritated about the boxer winning the working group last night over a stunning cane corso mastiff and a great-looking rottweiler, but I'm admittedly biased towards those breeds. Good for King, who is apparently a "piece of art," according to his handler.