Martez Wilson NFL Draft Scouting Report

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - FEBRUARY 28: Martez Wilson of Illinois works out during the 2011 NFL Scouting Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium on February 28, 2011 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)

Martez Wilson
6'4, 250 pounds | Linebacker | Illinois

Coverage:
The ability to hold up in zone and man to man coverage is apparent when watching Wilson.  His athletic ability and fluid hips allow him to turn and run with tight ends and running backs.  In zone coverage, he keeps his pad level low and eyes in the backfield while feeling the routes develop around him.  Wilson possesses a good short area burst that permits him to click and close on the football.  He also has good ball skills showing the ability to come up with tough interceptions.

Instincts: Wilson has a good nose for the football.  He shows the ability to quickly decipher his keys react to the play.  Wilson's good awareness allows him to quickly identify the ball carrier and work his way to the football.  He shows good patience on misdirection and counter running plays.

Pass rush: Timing and quick twitch athleticism are major factors in Wilson's ability to create pressure.  He does a nice job timing his rush off the edge and shows an explosive 2nd gear that allows him to close on the quarterback.  Wilson's quickness means that there is potential for him to develop as a natural pass rusher.  However, he wasn't asked to put his hand in the dirt while at Illinois.  Overall, his explosiveness and savvy give Wilson a lot of potential as a rushing linebacker.

Pursuit: Wilson is able to remain clean while he pursues the ball carrier.  His suddenness and balance allow him to avoid potential blockers.  He routinely takes proper angles and has speed to keep from being out paced to the edge.

Quickness: Being able to get up to full speed in a hurry is one of Wilson's major assets.  That quick twitch ability comes in handy in all aspects of the game.  Wilson possesses a good 2nd gear which allows him to chase down the ball carrier.  His explosion off the football gives him the ability to effectively rush the passer.

Run defense: When attacking the line, Wilson plays with good leverage and technique.  He keeps his pad level low and anchors on contact while using his hands to lock out and shed.  Wilson's strong base helps him hold strong at the point of attack.  His strong anchor coupled with his awareness permits him to make plays on the football.

Strength: Wilson plays with good balance which enhances his strength.  His low pad level allows him to properly explode in to the offensive line and deliver a jolt.  That jolt is apparent when he meets linemen or full backs in the hole.  Wilson's heavy hands allow him to control and shed blocks quickly.

Tackling: Solid technique and explosiveness is what makes Wilson a thunderous tackler.  He keeps his pad level low and rolls his hips in to the ball carrier. Wilson does a good job keeping himself under control giving him the ability to react to cuts and shifty runners.

Games Viewed: Penn State, Missouri, Ohio State, Michigan, Michigan '08

Final word: Wilson's combine performance put him on the map for some evaluators.  However, his play on the field is what speaks volumes about this playmaking ability.  He shows good explosiveness and instincts that have him as a fringe 1st round prospect.  Wilson has the versatility to play any linebacker position and the potential to develop into a rush 3-4 linebacker.  His versatility and athleticism will make him an attractive prospect come April.  The one criticism I have with Wilson's game is that he gives inconsistent effort.  At times, he appeared hesitant and unwilling to chase down the play.

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