NFL Draft Analyst Chris Steuber points out this weekend's top "Head 2 Head" individual matchups…
Talented Wiley To Lead Secondary
Wiley is quick-footed, he's disruptive, and he has a good football instinct. Plus, head coach Mark Dantonio has singled Wiley out for his leadership abilities, and that means a lot as the new coaching staff builds a foundation for the future.
A converted cornerback, Wiley began his college career at 185 pounds. As his body and game has matured, the talented junior has been gaining respect. Scout.com's NFL expert Tom Marino selected Wiley as one of four junior All-Americans heading into the 2007 season. In a defensive scheme that emphasizes big plays, Wiley looks to become a go-to playmaker.
1) A nose for the football.
Wiley was as active as any Spartan defender last season. He led the team in tackles (94—fifteen more than the next highest total), production points (165), and pass break-ups (10).
Without safety Eric Smith last season, Wiley took over many of the on-field communication duties for the defense. He has the chance to become a cornerstone Dantonio and staff will look to as the Spartans incorporate a new defensive scheme. Wiley's presence should help stabilize a young and learning squad.
1) Will Wiley play under control?
In a defense that will utilize many blitzing schemes, mistakes can be costly. As Wiley and other players integrate a more aggressive philosophy into their play, they run the risk of giving up big plays. Can Wiley make the necessary split-second decisions as he reads a developing offensive formation?
2) Will Wiley lift the defense, or will a struggling unit bring him down?
Wiley has had his fair share of hard-luck seasons. So far, he has responded admirably to adversity. And with another year under his belt and a coaching staff that emphasizes toughness, Wiley should be able to answer this question with confidence.
Expect another season of improvement for Wiley. If he can help the defense avoid big plays when they are most vulnerable, the unit should find some success. Look for Wiley to make an impact in the turnover battle—both through interceptions and with his ability to cause fumbles with big hits.
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