The 6-foot-4½, 305-pound Wilkerson had 9½ sacks last year for the Owls, and should immediately help the Jets, who have made it to the AFC championship game the last two seasons.
Despite Jets fans at the draft site at Radio City Music Hall chanting "We Want Bowers!" — for Clemson defensive end Da'Quan Bowers — New York went with a local kid who can also help against the run. Wilkerson is from Linden, N.J.
While Ryan's defense has ranked among the top teams in overall defense the last two seasons, it has lacked a consistent pass-rushing force — something they hope Wilkerson will provide.