Before there was Brandon Mebane, there was Josh Wilson. Wilson was my singularly favorite pick from the 2007 class. Some suggested he was a bust after playing very little in 2007, but kid came on in 2008 and now fan expectations might be outsized. The Seahawks brass and coaching staff see Wilson for what he is. A potential elite nickel corner with exceptional talents and skills for the position, but also strong depth for starting cornerback.
Or so Sunday's practice would seem to indicate. Coach Lewis likes Wilson and thinks he's a key player in Seattle's nickel defense. Wilson attracted attention, interest and even warmth from the staff. Expect a development and refinement of his nickel role from 2008. Wilson will be a deadly x-factor in intermediate zones, a steady sometimes punishing tackler and bolt of blitz that undermines the pocket and forces premature passes.
The dangerousness was on display on a tipped ball. Wilson and an unidentified DB juggled a ball between them that Wilson eventually caught. He has good ball skills and can turn and burn in space. That he's better fit for zone coverage was also noticeable. He slipped twice coming out of his breaks. Matched against T.J. Houshmandzadeh, Housh was able to get the kind of small separation but controlling body shield that would lead to an easy reception over the middle. You want Houshmandzadeh to be able to beat Wilson especially over the middle, so this is positive, but I think it's confirmation that Wilson, with his breaks, ball skills and open field tackling ability is potentially difference making nickelback, but, for now, a nickelback.