Most of the rookies from this year’s draft class have flashed at times during training camp so far. One of the guys that has gone under the radar a little bit is defensive end E.J. Wilson.
The North Carolina product was Seattle’s second pick in the fourth round taken with the 127th overall pick.
Wilson was kind of a sleeper who the Seahawks kept under the radar in terms of their interest in him. But so far he seems to be a nice fit for the new defensive scheme.
With Lawrence Jackson out with a hamstring issue, Wilson has been playing 5-technique with the second unit and kicking down to 3-technique during passing situations. And he’s also shown some pass-rushing ability during camp.
“I am getting more comfortable,” he said. “I pretty much have the same role that I had in college, playing the left side of strong side in college and then going inside when they need some pass rush. Coach Quinn has really helped me out a lot in bringing me along in the process, so I’m really enjoying my time in camp so far.”
Rob Rang, senior analyst with NFLDraftScout.com, said Wilson was a player he underrated during the draft process.
“He’s a player that quite frankly I didn’t grade as high as I probably should have,” Rang said. “North Carolina was so gifted on the defensive side of the ball that I actually got to watch a lot of North Carolina tape, and E.J. Wilson was a very stout run defender, and showed a little pas-rush burst.”
Wilson said it took a few days to get used to the higher intensity level from OTA’s to training camp, but he’s starting to get used to the rhythm and pace of practice.
“The intensity level is a lot different,” he said. “I mean it’s grind time right now. It’ real football. OTA’s we were just trying to get acclimated, getting used to the system and getting familiar with the plays. But now it’s time to go out and execute, be physical and everything and just show up every day.”
Even with the step up on competition, Wilson believes he will make the adjustment and continue to play better as the season progresses.
“It feels the same when I started out in college as a freshman,” Wilson said. “And then eventually as I got more time I began to dominate more and it started to become easier, so hopefully that’s the same progression I’ll make up here.
“It does give me a lot of confidence because I kind of had a rough time getting used to things in OTAs. But now we’ve got the pads on, so I’m building on confidence, getting in the backfield and making some plays and showing up on film more, so that’s really helping my confidence.