Martez Wilson in draft; Is he a better pro?

CHAMPAIGN IL - OCTOBER 02: Terrelle Pryor #2 of the Ohio State Buckeyes is brought down by Martez Wilson #2 of the Illinois Fighting Illini at Memorial Stadium on October 2 2010 in Champaign Illinois. Ohio State defeated Illinois 24-13. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

Joe Schad of ESPN is reporting that Illinois junior middle linebacker Martez Wilson has entered the 2011 NFL Draft. Wilson will earn his degree following this semester.

Wilson finished the season leading the Illini with 112 tackles. That went along with 11.5 tackles for loss, four sacks, three forced fumbles and five passes defended.

Some, including me, believe that Wilson has been playing out of position on the inside. A quick look at his 6-foot-4, 250-pound frame and he looks like a player who should be rushing the passer. He has the physical attributes – quick first step, power, length – to be a 3-4 outside linebacker.

Because of that, Wilson could be a player who ends up being a better pro player than he was in college (not that he was bad for Illinois).

Wilson was rated by Scout.com as the No. 2 defensive end in the nation coming out of high school. While defensive end may not be the best position for him in the NFL, getting after the passer may be a big part of his professional career path.

"I know I can get better but I'm ready to make this move," Wilson said. "I can play inside or outside. I will be a versatile NFL player."

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