Surely chances are hard to come by in the NFL as a seventh round pick. For Jimmy Wilson of the Dolphins, he knows a little bit about second chances. After spending two years in prison after being charged with murder of his aunt’s boyfriend, Wilson has grown up from the experience, learned from it, and turned a 5th year of eligibility at the University of Montana to being drafted and given a chance to showcase his football talents.
As a Dolphins player, Wilson has done nothing more than become the model citizen on and off the field. Wilson has made plays each and every year in uniform. On the field, Wilson has demonstrated a knack for being a special teams ace and lately a nickel corner in the slot and excelling at this role on the team. In addition, Wilson has earned the praise of his coaches, mainly defensive coordinator Kevin Coyle who called Jimmy Wilson:
“Jimmy has grown tremendously in the three years that we’ve been together,” Coyle said. “He’s probably one of the best communicators on the team. He has been able to direct the players on the field very, very well, as good as anybody we’ve had back there.”
Coach Coyle, in the interview with the Miami Herald’s Barry Jackson, didn’t hesitate to share his nickname as “Red Zone Jimmy” because he makes plays on red zone defense.
The biggest take away from the loss of Reshad Jones will be if Jimmy Wilson can more than fill in for him and take his spot.
Initially in 2010, Wilson was drafted as a safety, but at the time the Dolphins had a budding star in Yeremiah Bell. Wilson, you see, found a home on special teams and as a backup cornerback. In 2011, after two horrific games versus the Patriots and then the Browns, the Dolphins defense was in search of a playmaker at cornerback. Wilson had a mixed bag of a game with an interception in the first quarter and then had a difficult time covering Mohamed Massaquoi who scored the game-winning touchdown.
Wilson from that point forward has posted three (3) interceptions, 96 combined total tackles, and two (2) sacks. While these numbers aren’t sensational compared to Reshad Jones who was drafted a bit earlier than Wilson in 2010, a year earlier; Wilson has had to bide his time on special teams and some nickel slot coverage.
The term specialist isn’t lost on Jimmy Wilson whom has had to work hard for everything he’s earned, especially after rising up from the ashes after being incarcerated to his NFL dreams being realized. Wilson, without question exhibits toughness to the nth degree, but his play could speak for itself and lend itself to a bigger contract or a bigger role with the Dolphins or elsewhere.
For Jimmy Wilson, the sky is the limit and he has yet to show what he can do as a starter. For Dolphins fans, take the time to watch Jimmy Wilson do work in his four week tryout as starter in the NFL. Perhaps he might be the blessing in disguise for this young Dolphins secondary.