The Philadelphia Eagles signed Iowa State cornerback Jomal Wiltz as an undrafted rookie free agent following the 2017 NFL Draft. Wiltz is competing for a spot on Philadelphia’s roster where the Eagles are currently thin. In order to learn more about the new Eagles defensive back, I reached out to SB Nation's Iowa State blog: Wide Right & Natty Lite. Cyclones writer Kevin Fitzpatrick was kind enough to answer my questions.
1. Can you sum up what his college career was like?
Wiltz played two seasons at Trinity Valley Community College before playing the final two years of his college career at Iowa State. Like many JUCO guys, he was brought in to make an instant contribution and did, playing in every game he could have as a Cyclone. According to Cyclones.com, in his two years in Ames, Wiltz tallied 90 tackles, two interceptions, 2.0 tackles for loss and 17 pass breakups.
2. What are his strengths?
A background in track & field should be a clear indicator that Wiltz possesses some quality speed. He ran a 10.69 second 100 meter dash in high school, competed for Iowa State's track team following spring football the past couple years, and ran a 4.43 second 40 yard dash at ISU's pro day in March. His quickness allowed him to be one of Iowa State's better players in pass coverage, as evidenced by him finishing 2nd on the team in pass breakups the last two seasons.
In addition to his coverage skills, he returned kickoffs as a JUCO (30.1 yards per return) and in 2015 as a Cyclone (22.6 yards per return). That's obviously another area where his speed is a huge benefit.
3. What are his weaknesses?
Wiltz doesn't possess great size at 5-foot-10, 174 pounds, so he'll need to put on some muscle mass or he'll be at the risk of getting bullied by bigger possession receivers at the professional level.
4. Are you surprised he went undrafted?
Nope, not surprised. He was one of the bright spots on Iowa State's defense the last couple years and had an outside chance of getting picked up in round 6 or 7, but the fact that he played for a losing team in college coupled with being a tad undersized are two things that usually work against you when gunning to get noticed by NFL scouts. He's certainly a solid pickup as an undrafted prospect and is one of those guys who, even if he never makes it to the top of the cornerback depth chart, can provide solid depth and some value in special teams.
5. How do you see his NFL career playing out?
My guess is he'll spend about 3-5 years bouncing around with different teams before ultimately settling on a career outside of football. His coverage abilities and speed are good enough to get him a look, but he'll have to find the perfect situation roster-wise in order to stick, and that's tough with how competitive the NFL is these days. I'd love for him to prove me wrong though!
6. What's your impression of him off the field?
We didn't hear much about Wiltz off the field when he was at Iowa State, which is usually a good thing. No significant injuries, suspensions, or behavioral issues to speak of. Thus, my impression of him is he's simply a guy who puts his head down and does his thing. That kind of attitude will hopefully lead him to be successful in Philly.