When Martez Wilson arrived at the scouting combine in February, people knew he was an athletic freak, but few people predicted the numbers he would put up. Wilson measured in at 6036 and 250 pounds – basically the perfect size for a linebacker. He also has freakishly long arms (34 5/8 inches) and ran a 4.46 40 yard dash, recorded a 36″ vertical jump and a 10″04″ broad jump. Finally, Wilsons’ 10-yard split was clocked in at 1.59 seconds. Sounds like a top 5 pick, right? Well, unfortunately, Wilson played out of position (MLB) in Illinois’ 4-3 defense – which didn’t showcase his athletic ability. I attribute Wilson’s biggest flaw (inconsistent playing speed) possibly to lack of experience and knowledge of the game. If Wilson’s coaches say he is a hard worker, then I see this improving in time. Wilson has been projected as by many people to be a 3-4 OLB as well as a 3-4 ILB and I think he could do both very well, but he projects better as an OLB.
Very underrated run defender. One of the things Martez does best is weed through traffic to find a ball-carrier. He fills his gap quickly, sticks to his assignment and uses his tremendous short area quickness to close and make a tackle. He’s strong enough to take on blockers without being over-powered and he disengages from blocks very well. He does go into his blocks high at times, but that can be fixed with coaching. He’s also very good in pursuit from sideline to sideline.
As stated, Wilson is a much better player when he’s moving forward and side-to-side than when he’s moving backwards. Wilson was rarely asked to drop very deep into coverage, and also rarely covered anyone man-to-man so these concepts may be harder for him at the pro level. However, Wilson is still good at making a tackle in space and should excel in a system that gives him mostly zone drop backs.
Lined up at the line of scrimmage to blitz fairly often for a MLB and was very effective when doing so. Wilson is extremely explosive with good hip flexion and elite short area quickness. He’s also got very strong hands and a burst to close on the QB. Overall, I think Wilson projects as one of the best pass rushing LB’s from this class.
An aggressive tackler who rarely tackles high or whiffs. His long arms help him wrap up well and he packs a punch and drives through a player to make a tackle. He does take bad angles more often than he should which is a cause for concern – but when he is able to make a play while moving forward he rarely misses a tackle.
Good overall instincts and seems like a smart player who knows where the play is going to be, but as mentioned he does take poor angles sometimes which put him out of position to make a play. The reason for his poor angles is the inconsistency of his speed. Sometimes he just takes too long to decide where to run.
For being such a good athlete, Wilson runs as if he is stiff in the hips. I think this is almost an illusion or just his running style. When Wilson wants to get somewhere – he gets there fast. He doesn’t always play his fastest, but he’s capable of dominating at all times.
Started 25 games in his career and had a large role in the defense starting his freshman year. In 2009, suffered a herniated disk in his back which forced him to miss the rest of the year. It shouldn’t have long-term affects. He played DE for most of his HS career.
Played in 13 games as a true freshman, 11 games as a sophomore, 1 game in the 2009 season before suffering the herniated disk, and started the full season as a RS-Junior in 2010.
Sport Management major.
Awards & Honors
2007: Honorable Mention Freshman All-American.
Prospect Video Clips
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