James Wilder, Jr. Visits BucsApril 11th, 2014
Joe’s a little late on this (no, a lot late) but it’s been a busy day away from the bustling JoeBucsFan.com headquarters.
This morning, Florida State all-purpose back James Wilder, Jr. announced on Twitter he was visiting the Bucs.
Joe has nothing more to add about the visit specifics than that. But Joe did spend some time with Wilder at the NFL Scouting combine six weeks ago. Wilder, the son of stud Bucs running back of the creamsicle days, James Wilder, might be a nice pick-up on the third day of the draft or, if he gets through the draft untouched, signed as an undrafted free agent.
The thing Joe enjoys about Wilder is that he can do just about everything. He can run inside as a fullback. He can run outside if needed. He can block, and enjoys blasting blitzing linebackers. Also, Wilder has pretty good hands as a pass catcher out of the backfield.
In other words, he is just about an every down back. Versatile. And he told Joe that should serve him well in the NFL.
“Definitely, definitely, being able to run, run block, pass block and being great to be able to catch out of the backfield as well, it definitely helps me out,” said Wilder, who is 6-2, 230. “You have guys who maybe can’t block because of their size or guys who can’t catch. Me being versatile, being able to do all of them [skills], it definitely has given me an advantage.”
Wilder battled injuries his final season at FSU, which is why his numbers are down. While he had but 563 yards as the Seminoles won the national title, Wilder racked up an impressive seven yards a carry. Not shabby at all.
Since FSU the past two years put, and will put, so many defensive players into the league, Wilder said going up against that talent has prepared him as best he could be for the NFL.
“We have a lot of great players, even from my freshman year, who were entering the draft from the defensive side of the ball,” Wilder said. “And [Florida State] coach [Jimbo] Fisher is the type of guy who likes to see people compete. He’s the guy who has us going ones-on-ones [first team offense vs. first team defense] all the time. So going against those guys definitely helped me out instead of just going against the scout teams or just going through the motions. Being able to compete against guys who are in the league now definitely gave me an edge.”
Bucs general manager Jason Licht loves to talk value in players. If he was ever looking to add to the already crowded Bucs backfield, Wilder wouldn’t be a bad addition, late.
To hear Wilder’s entire interview with reporters at the NFL Combine, click the orange button below, thanks to Joe’s friends at WDAE-AM 620.