Scouts Inc. on Gibril Wilson

May, 10, 2010
5/10/10
1:30
PM ET
The Cincinnati Bengals signed free agent Gibril Wilson last week to add to their mix of veteran safeties.

On paper, Wilson's statistics are solid. He had 93 tackles last season. But Wilson also is playing for his third team in three years.

[+] EnlargeWilson
Steve Mitchell/US PresswireGibril Wilson has had at least 92 tackles in each of the past five seasons.
What gives?

ESPN.com's AFC North blog checked in with Matt Williamson of Scouts Inc. to get some answers.

Matt, what are Gibril Wilson's strengths and weaknesses?

Williamson: He's definitely more of a strong safety. He's a liability in coverage. A couple of years ago, Wilson was really productive with the New York Giants. Then he really struggled with the Miami Dolphins. Miami played with him and Yeremiah Bell, which basically was two strong safeties, and they were really exposed in coverage. I think Wilson is a step slower than he was in his Giants days. At his best he was an in-the-box safety, and that's why he's been on the market for so long. Those guys aren't hard to find anymore, and there's not much of a market for them.

Many of the traits you describe sound similar to Bengals safety Roy Williams. Why would Cincinnati spend money in free agency to duplicate that?

Williamson: I know what you mean. I'm sure a lot of people are wondering that, unless the Bengals think Williams is on his way out. But I don't know why the Bengals went out and got Wilson. He really isn't anything special. He's been productive and he will give you some depth. But I really don't understand the signing, honestly.

Do you feel Wilson is an upgrade over Bengals' safeties Williams, Chris Crocker and Chinedum Ndukwe? Can Wilson win a starting job?

Williamson: He is similar to Roy Williams, but it's more treading water. I'd rather have Crocker and Ndukwe for sure, just because they bring more to the table in coverage. I'm not real big on Wilson. I can't say a lot of really good things about him. But the Bengals didn't spend a lot on him, and they picked him up in May after the draft. I'm sure he can help if someone goes down. But I don't think he brings a lot to the table as a starter.

James Walker | email

ESPN Miami Dolphins reporter

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