Draft spotlight: Virginia Tech RB David Wilson

 Johnny Crawford, jcrawford@ajc.com Georgia Tech's Isaiah Johnson flies over the offensive line as he tries to tackle Virginia Tech running back David Wilson in the fourth quarter. Wilson had a career-best 175 yards rushing against the Jackets. (Johnny Crawford/Jcrawford@ajc.com)

Georgia Tech's Isaiah Johnson flies over the offensive line as he tries to tackle Virginia Tech running back David Wilson in the fourth quarter. Wilson had a career high 175 yards rushing against the Jackets. (Johnny Crawford/Jcrawford@ajc.com)

DAVID WILSON

POS: RB

School: Virginia Tech

HT: 5-10

WT: 206

Vertical: 41

40-yard dash: 4.49 at the combine. He said he was clocked at 4.35 and 4.44 at Virginia Tech’s Pro Day. He’s run as fast as a 4.29, according to Virginia Tech stats.

Hometown: Danville, Va.

Key stats: He’s a banger with some elusiveness. He broke 150 yards and gained more than 1,000 yards after contact last season.

Here’s the next installment of the DRAFT SPOTLIGHT feature, which we’ll run periodically up to the NFL draft April 26-28 in New York.

The Falcons pick with the 55th pick in the second round. They also have picks in the third, fifth, sixth and seventh rounds. The first round will be held on Thursday, rounds two and three on Friday and rounds four through seven on Saturday.

Wilson is considered the second best running back in the draft after Alabama’s Trent Richardson.

The ACC player of the year was projected as a second round pick by the NFL draft advisory board.

He rushed for 1,709 yards and nine touchdowns last season. He ran for a career-high 175 yards on 23 carries in a 37-26 victory over Georgia Tech on Nov. 10.

Running back Michael Turner is set to enter the last year of his contract. The Falcons have relied heavily on Turner and while Jacquizz Rodgers has a promising future, he’ll likely have to remain a part of a committee whenever Turner is done.

Here’s a Q&A with Wilson:

Q: Why did you leave school early?

A: Coming out of high school, I thought it’d be real easy to make the decision. But after getting to college and making friends and establishing relationships with teammates and coaches and actually having a second home now, it made it a little bit harder. But at the end of the day, I had to do what was the best for me.

Q: What’s your favorite touchdown celebration?

A: They like the rewind a lot because it was unique. But I think if anyone thinks about it long enough, they can do the rewind, so I guess I take the most pride in the backflips.

Q: How was your transition to college football?

A: Coming out of high school I thought it would be easy to do because this is what I’ve wanted to do my whole life. Since I was 6 or 7 years old, I wanted to play in the NFL, or play football at least. I’m just blessed to be here. Scouts have me ranked pretty high. It’s right in front of me just to grab it, take advantage here at the combine, just up my stock and perform at my pro day.

Q: How do you explain your ability to break tackles?

A: Coming out of high school, I was way faster than everybody, stronger than most of my tacklers. It got kind of came easy to a point. But coming to college, everybody’s good. Everybody’s an athlete, so you have to put more strategy into how you run the ball, and I think that’s where I mostly improved: strategizing and setting up my defenders so I could make them miss in the open field and break arm tackles.

Q: Would you mind playing on special teams?

A: My sophomore year, I had two key kick returns for touchdowns. Last year, I was a return man. Ever since I came to Tech I was a return man. I returned kicks in high school also. I’m very comfortable being back there catching kicks, and I think that’s an asset I bring because not all the backs in the draft return kicks.

–D. Orlando Ledbetter, The Atlanta Falcons beat blog

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68 comments Add your comment

stauff

March 22nd, 2012
4:26 am

Mike Jay

March 22nd, 2012
5:46 am

Can’t see spending a #2 on a RB. I think they take one of the best TE’s available or help in the secondary.

North GA Dawg

March 22nd, 2012
5:50 am

Hope its O. Charles!!!!

DirtyBirdDude

March 22nd, 2012
6:35 am

I want the Falcons to pick Michael Egnew in the 5th round.

ws

March 22nd, 2012
6:52 am

If he is there when falcons draft, get him. They do not have a break away running back. he could be a game changer. Quizz is not a game changer, 4.6 speed does not scare anyone. LB’s on field can run him down.
When Norwood lefted, falcons speed back was gone. Only speed back falcons have on roster is Smith, they don’t use him. All the rest are slow bruisers.

ws

March 22nd, 2012
6:59 am

I SEE ON TWEETER. THAT COMMISH GAVE FALCONS NFC SOUTH. NOT SO FAST, I SEE BUCS ADDING PLAYERS AND CAROLINA ADDING PLAYERS. I DON’T SEE WHERE THE FALCONS HAS DID ANYTHING BUT TALK. BLANKS WAS ALL MOUTH AND FALCONS HAS NOT ADDED ONE PLAYER TOO MAKE THEM A BETTER TEAM THAN LAST YEAR. THEY ARE A WEAKER TEAM AS OF NOW THAN LAST YEAR. THEY HAVE DONE ZERO. lET MCCLURE GO, WEEMS GO. HOW HAS THAN MAKE THEM BETTER? ALL THE CENTERS OUT THERE GET ONE, DON’T DEPEND ON HAWLEY. HE MIGHT BE AND ALL PRO. BUT HAVE A BACK UP PLAN.

Virginia Jim

March 22nd, 2012
7:05 am

I`m from Va-please no Va Tech players-we`ve learned our lesson!

waynester

March 22nd, 2012
7:33 am

We haven’t had the best of luck with VaTech players. If we WERE to take a RB at #55 I’d prefer Doug Martin, who many are mocking to go before this guy. If we take O Charles at #55 I’d be really disappointed(I like Egnew in the 5th, also–or Rodriguez in the 6th) and I’m a Bulldawg. Since it looks like we’re addressing the o-line through FA I hope we’ll draft some help rushing the passer….

[...] Atlanta Falcons This entry was posted in Atlanta Falcons and tagged David, draft, spotlight, Tech, Virginia, Wilson. Bookmark the permalink. ← Mock Draft 5.0 [...]

Hardy Falcon

March 22nd, 2012
8:04 am

Its a good thing DL isn’t in charge of draft picks, our team would be full of nobodies

fanATicaL

March 22nd, 2012
8:05 am

This is good value at this pick. But the decision making after this move is big. One is that one of these rb got to go. Are we upgrading between Anton Smith or Dimitri Nance .? Are they pushing Coax Rodgers at the 3-4th play option/screen. Back up option to Harr Douglas on kick/punt return responsibilities after letting Weems go to the Bears. Has anyone heard Mugheli’s status with the team? How is his health,? Also this maybe Turners 3rd season in a row dealing with a groin injury. I hope Dirk Koetter/Mike Smith got a plan. This will be a great season to make that SB push.

GDawg

March 22nd, 2012
8:08 am

@ waynester Agree with you on Doug Martin.

what,what,what??

March 22nd, 2012
8:51 am

Dave Wilson is a nice back,but seems to me there are many other needs; CB/OL/DL/LB hope draft picks aren’t wasted,and Dimitroff is on his game moreso than in the past.

Jimmy Crack

March 22nd, 2012
9:03 am

Turner takes too much time to hit the line of scrimmage against faster defenses, Jacquizz has been surprisingly unspectacular, and Snelling doesn’t get enough touches. Smith and Nance are invisible special teamers who could never crack even a backup role at RB.

Any 2nd Round RB pick will help this team immediately.

PMC

March 22nd, 2012
9:26 am

Would love to have a home run threat in he backfield. We don’t really have that on the team currently.

PMC

March 22nd, 2012
9:27 am

Jimmy Crack, how can you say Quizz has been unspectacular, he rarely got a chance to play and when his number was called he made one of the plays of the year to beat Carolina.

Sid

March 22nd, 2012
9:46 am

Hardy Falcon

March 22nd, 2012
8:04 am
Its a good thing DL isn’t in charge of draft picks, our team would be full of nobodies
*******************************************
Am I to interpret your comment to mean that David Wilson is a nobody? Man, I could only hope Wilson would be available at 55, he is going to make an NFL franchise better somewhere.

St Simons - we're on Island time

March 22nd, 2012
9:49 am

well, you guys got the Jacksonville fan base back,
’cause down here we made the decision yesterday to
move to St Louis or LA for sure.

George Stein

March 22nd, 2012
10:04 am

David Wilson is a terrific back. I’m thrilled he won’t be at VT next year.

Bill

March 22nd, 2012
10:04 am

DOL— don’t forget to pray!

Sid

March 22nd, 2012
10:10 am

I just saw one mock had the Falcons taking Doug Martin, RB, Boise State. He gave the Dawgs fits in last years game. I would prefer Wilson over Martin if they took a RB.

mountain_jim

March 22nd, 2012
10:14 am

No to RB in 2nd.

Sid

March 22nd, 2012
10:15 am

Just saw a mock that had Wilson to the Rams at the 39th pick. This particular mock had the Birds taking Charles, TE, Dawgs @ 55, not the first time I have seen that. Its been very quiet about his DUI.

Nique

March 22nd, 2012
10:15 am

Can’t use our # 2 on a rb with the LT & DE needs we have. Either wait until next year to see what Turner still has, or try to get Johnath Stewart from the Panthers nexts year, he’s in the last year of his deal there & they can’t afford to keep 2 first round backs on their payroll as they have become a pass first team with Cam & as that roster becomes more well rounded. I think Stewart would be an ideal replacement for Turner, younger, with a 12 pound difference in size, but some would argure that Stewart is more of a thumper in some ways because he doesn’t tip toe at the line as much, and has better hands, & more break away speed.

Sid

March 22nd, 2012
10:16 am

mountain_jim

March 22nd, 2012
10:14 am
No to RB in 2nd.

**************************************************
I don’t disagree, who would you like?

Jimmy Crack

March 22nd, 2012
10:56 am

PMC, his longest run from scrimmage was 13 yards.

Pretty unspectacular.

StatesBurr

March 22nd, 2012
11:19 am

As usual boring…. just reporting someone elses interviews. No work ethic….

rivercard

March 22nd, 2012
11:35 am

If they aren’t going to address Oline thru free agency, the Falcons don’t have the luxury of drafting running backs or tight ends.

Flo=Ri-Duh

March 22nd, 2012
11:35 am

Here you go again. First Julie-O and now a RB? Without OL help you can’t run the ball or catch the deep ball. Build the OL.

Real Falcon Fanatic

March 22nd, 2012
12:00 pm

Let’s concentrate on the O-line, D-line, Linebacker, and secondary.

teamguy

March 22nd, 2012
12:06 pm

Totally unrelated but genuine question: have the Falcons decided to just let Lofton go, or are they still talking?

wayne

March 22nd, 2012
12:14 pm

Running back isn’t A priority at this time, same for T/E, Nose tackle, D/E, C/B or offensive lineman is the only picks that make sense with the defense to be run by new D-coordinator. I will defer to the experts at Flowery Branch to make the best decision.

iceBIRDcold

March 22nd, 2012
12:16 pm

Where is that Saints dude who luvs to crash our site?

We won’t hear from dem for a while……………..about a year…hahahaha

go figure

March 22nd, 2012
1:12 pm

T.D. should have taken an every down back last year,instead of drafting a 4ft 9 situational back.2 many other holes 2 fill now.On another note does anyone know what Decloud scored on his wonderlic test.He just seems mentally lost out there.

Kramer

March 22nd, 2012
1:18 pm

ws

March 22nd, 2012
6:59 am
I SEE ON TWEETER. THAT COMMISH GAVE FALCONS NFC SOUTH. NOT SO FAST, I SEE BUCS ADDING PLAYERS AND CAROLINA ADDING PLAYERS. I DON’T SEE WHERE THE FALCONS HAS DID ANYTHING BUT TALK. BLANKS WAS ALL MOUTH AND FALCONS HAS NOT ADDED ONE PLAYER TOO MAKE THEM A BETTER TEAM THAN LAST YEAR. THEY ARE A WEAKER TEAM AS OF NOW THAN LAST YEAR. THEY HAVE DONE ZERO. lET MCCLURE GO, WEEMS GO. HOW HAS THAN MAKE THEM BETTER? ALL THE CENTERS OUT THERE GET ONE, DON’T DEPEND ON HAWLEY. HE MIGHT BE AND ALL PRO. BUT HAVE A BACK UP PLAN.

I thought kids in 4th grade were not allowed on blogs for adults. I guess I was wrong.

mountain_jim

March 22nd, 2012
1:39 pm

Sid

March 22nd, 2012
10:16 am
mountain_jim

March 22nd, 2012
10:14 am
No to RB in 2nd.

**************************************************
I don’t disagree, who would you like?

———————-
I agree with Wayne:
wayne

March 22nd, 2012
12:14 pm
Running back isn’t A priority at this time, same for T/E, Nose tackle, D/E, C/B or offensive lineman is the only picks that make sense with the defense to be run by new D-coordinator. I will defer to the experts at Flowery Branch to make the best decision.

Left Coast Dawg

March 22nd, 2012
1:50 pm

St Simons – we’re on Island time

March 22nd, 2012
9:49 am
well, you guys got the Jacksonville fan base back,
’cause down here we made the decision yesterday to
move to St Louis or LA for sure.

@ St. Simon’s – can you validate this comment with a link or something? I’m in LA and haven’t heard a peep. I pulled up the Florida Times Union and can’t find an article either.

Fact or Fiction??

elvis the falcon fan

March 22nd, 2012
1:55 pm

Well, if it makes sense to take Wilson in the draft, bet the ranch that TD wont do it. i am quickly losing confidence in TD and Smitty and the whole “process” thing is starting to wear a little thin. We have not made any moves in the off season that will make us better on either side of the ball.
8-8 or 7-9 maybe worse for the next season. If Ryan goes down we have no solid proven back-up. We do not have a “game changer” on defense nor on special teams.

St Simons - we're on Island time

March 22nd, 2012
2:01 pm

Left Coast – I am saying, that by refusing to sign the only product that would fill up our stadium yesterday (tebow), that the Jags have guaranteed themselves a move – by their own very publicly stated standard – “fill the stadium and we’ll stay” right out of the org’s own mouth – by refusing to the ONE thing that would save them in Jax, they have guaranteed themselves a move in 48 months when the stadium lease is up. Stupid, stupid mgt (if they wanted to stay). I think they want to leave.

I personally think the Rams are going back to LA, and the Jags are going to St Louis, since Khan is from that area.

St Simons - we're on Island time

March 22nd, 2012
2:06 pm

to clarify, I am NO fan of Tebow, but I am a fan of NFL football in my city

Just Saying

March 22nd, 2012
2:41 pm

This guy is way better than Doug Martin, faced better competition in college. If they are obsessed with taking a player at a position that they don’t need he would be my choice. Personally DE is the way to go and I like Vinny Curry

Left Coast Dawg

March 22nd, 2012
2:43 pm

Thanks St. Simons. I used to hold Jaguars season tickets when I worked in Jacksonville several years ago and would love if they moved to LA, where I recently relocated. Not that I’m a Jaguars fan but to have a chance to renew season tickets in LA where I’m sure an NFL franchise will be welcomed with open arms.

Super g

March 22nd, 2012
4:24 pm

We don’t need running backs.

PMC

March 22nd, 2012
4:33 pm

The purpose of this blog is to get people to view and discuss. DLED is profiling guys who could be around at 55.

There really is no telling what Dimitroff will do in the draft, he drafted a freaking punter for gosh sakes.

[...] Atlanta Journal Constitution (blog) [...]

Samuel

March 22nd, 2012
5:21 pm

If you are going to let Michael Turner go after this year. Then it might work-out if you draft this guy.But on the same hand, How come Snelling wouldn’t be considered a featured back.? He’d have to be a little disgruntled. Besides you could use the pick for a defensive guy who could come right in an contribute.

Don't mess with Goodell

March 22nd, 2012
5:25 pm

He’ll get your lying, cheating a$$es and show you who’s boss. Better enjoy that privilege, it’s not a right, of being in the NFL.
You can Roger that.

Roger that

March 22nd, 2012
5:27 pm

Jets are officially the lunatics of the league now. Is Al Davis back and running that team?

NY lawyers not so smart afterall

March 22nd, 2012
5:30 pm

I find it funny that it was NY lawyers that originally missed the wording on tebows contract.
They wanted to get tebow in a NY minute.

Birrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrd Man

March 22nd, 2012
5:33 pm

I thought we were boycotting Va. Tech players.