James Wilder, Jr. Visits Bucs

April 11th, 2014
james wilder, jr.

FSU fullback and Bucs legacy James Wilder, Jr. visited his dad’s old team.

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.

25 Responses to “James Wilder, Jr. Visits Bucs”

  1. RastaMon Says:

    His pop is ONE !!! of my all time Buc favorites…no thanks on Jr…

  2. Patrick Says:

    Chris Johnson would be a nice pickup as a #2 at the right price. Then we could use the draft pick towards a position of need like QB, WR or another defensive lineman.

  3. Macabee Says:

    My prediction: James Wilder, Jr. will go undrafted.

    My prognosis: If the Bucs pick him up and convince him to play middle line backer as a project, he could become a good/maybe great NFL player. Longshot if he’s made up his mind that he is going to be a RB. Can’t blame the kid, I wanted to be just like my dad too!

  4. Espo Says:

    I like a feel good story as much as the next guy but I just don’t see him contributing to this team.

  5. Orca Says:

    Patrick Says:
    April 11th, 2014 at 8:34 pm

    Chris Johnson would be a nice pickup as a #2 at the right price. Then we could use the draft pick towards a position of need like QB, WR or another defensive lineman.

    What does this have to do with James Wilder Jr.?

    And no, Chris Johnson would not be a nice pickup. Don’t need the headache.

  6. Joe Says:

    If the Bucs pick him up and convince him to play middle line backer as a project, he could become a good/maybe great NFL player.

    That’s what he should have been. Don’t know if the NFL is a place to learn how to be a middle linebacker. He hasn’t played linebacker since high school.

    Consider Joe intrigued only because he can block and catch.

  7. Oahubuc Says:

    RastaMon, I’ll do you one better: His pop IS my all time favorite Buc player and needs to be in the Ring of Honor immediately, and I’m not interested in Jr.

  8. Dougy balls Says:

    Hybrid FB in Jeff’s offense . Block and catch

  9. buccinfan Says:

    Earnest Graham?

  10. Buc Neckid Says:

    Would be a great as an Undrafted Special Teams Player / Fullback / Earnest Graham –
    Legarrette Blount type
    or as a Project LB
    He Never should have been a RB/FB at FSU
    Natural MLB
    Fast enough to be in cover/Tampa 2 Defense

  11. Joe Says:

    Earnest Graham?

    Interesting comparison.

  12. Andres Says:

    Ah hellz yeah dougie balls make him a full back that’s an idea. Jr. HAS to be a buc!

  13. CocoaBchBuc Says:

    Wow…12 whole comments and no one has tried to redirect this to a Johnny Football thread. You are having a good day Joe. lol

  14. SAMCRO Says:

    buccinfan Says:
    April 11th, 2014 at 9:53 pm
    Earnest Graham?

    Joe Says:
    April 11th, 2014 at 10:19 pm
    Earnest Graham?

    Interesting comparison.


    Why? because he could play RB and FB …Earnest G was only 5’9″

    James J.R. is 6’2″ ….they are nothing alike except maybe position.

    …probably more like Zack Crockett who played for us and was also from FLA St.

  15. Bucfan#37 Says:

    I think Wilder Jr. will be drafted. Local kid, the connection to Bucs through his dad, sort of a retro thing like Lovie. James Wilder Sr. was a heck of a good player for the Bucs. I would like to see his son catch on with the Bucs.

  16. SAMCRO Says:

    Maybe if we do draft Wilder he can play backup RB/FB and depth at strongside LB, where he would be subjected at the most to 40% of all defensive play calls. If there ever was a position for a learning curve it would be that one.

  17. Beeric Says:

    Didn’t the seahawks change one of our later round RB picks into a linebacker at some point? Learning to play LB in the NFL isn’t entirely unheard of…

  18. Oingo Boingo Says:

    Lots if value with this guy as a late pick or
    free agent. The idiots saying “no thanks”
    Need to educate themselves.

  19. biff barker Says:

    Agree, he’s going to stay a RB.

    Tedford supposedly didn’t throw to running backs much at Cal. Is having good hands highly valued?

  20. Rbucs1964 Says:

    I see the Bucs picking him in the sixth round

  21. Oil Derrick Brooks Says:

    Agree on playing LB. He’s not a bad runner at all, but, he runs upright, and gets hurt often because of it. The backfield in Tallahassee was going to be more crowded this year. He was going to have less touches. I think that’s why he turned pro. Late rounds at best for him.

  22. Jordan Says:

    Joe, you didn’t mention that James Wilder Jr. used to play offense and defense in high-school. He never left the field. This is probably the reason he excels in the blocking game.

  23. BoJim Says:

    Something to think about. Seems like he can do a lot of things well.

  24. Brandon Says:

    James Wilder is still probably my all-time favorite Buc. He is one of the top reasons I started pulling for the Bucs back in 1983 from all the way up in DC.

    His son is hurt a lot, didn’t run well at all at the Combine, and has had a few off-field concerns. Still, I love his dad and if he were there late, I wouldn’t mind bringing him in as a RB/FB.

  25. Tank4Jameis Says:

    That 7.0 ypc is even more impressive since a high percentage of his runs came in short yardage situations against stacked lines. As fun as it was to watch Alstott run for the Bucs, I’d much prefer to watch JWJ. MMA meets football.
    Sadly, I think his running style will shorten his career, and also everyone that tries to tackle him.