Martez Wilson Draft Profile
Standing at 6-4 250 pounds, Martez Wilson has slowly risen up draft boards to be considered by many as a late 1st to mid 2nd round pick. While to some that’s shocking considering no one has really heard about him, for people who have started to really watch him (like myself) its not that hard to believe. Showing himself to be a consistent tackler and solid in coverage, as well as proving to be a blitzer. Martez has shown that he has the length and athleticism not only to be a 3-4 ILB but also a 3-4 OLB. After watching film on him more the past few weeks I almost see him now as a better fit as an OLB because of his ability to hold his own in the run game as well as pass rush and cause havoc as well as play coverage responsibilities.
First lets start off with the basics on Martez, guy was on the Butkus award watch list in 2010 and has from his freshman year to now improved his game tremendously. He’s been playing in the 4-3 scheme at Illinois but many including myself have felt that he could play either the 4-3 or 3-4 schemes and be an effective player. Lets really get to Wilson’s positives. When you watch him play you notice two things instantly, good coverage skills and he’s fluid in his hips and is able to change directions. Now sometimes he will get caught out of position and make an error but honestly what player doesn’t have those mistakes? The other thing you notice is his size at 6-4 250 he’s certainly a person that can be recognized easily as the guy stands out on the field as an intimidating presence.
Aaron Aloysius has done a great job with videos of Wilson and in particular there are two that show off some great traits of Wilson
The 1st video is from this year against Ohio State where Wilson was a big factor for Illinois on D constantly forcing pressure when he blitzed and also was very solid in coverage. The 2nd game was from 2008 when Wilson was learning the nuances of the LB game in the college level and that was his freshman year. What you can see from 2008 to 2010 was that the man has made a concerted effort to be a top notch LB and that’s one of the big sticking points and things I like about Wilson. He doesn’t settle for average and instead wants to work as hard as possible and be a star in the league. For a team like us in Washington we need players like that and it would be huge to have him as an addition to the team.
While the man does have strengths and lots of them there are some negatives I’ve noticed with him. One I mentioned earlier and that was the angles he takes at times. It almost seems like he’s comfortable off the edge making plays more so than as an ILB and at times you can tell that’s the case because he’ll blow through the line untouched but then get caught taking a bad angle. When he shifts to the outside and makes a blitz or read there he looks much more comfortable and this is something has me wondering if he’s not a better fit for the 3-4 OLB position than the 3-4 ILB position for us. The other thing I’ve noticed with Wilson as well is that he also gets a little stiff in coverage, usually he’s very good and plays fluid but there were a couple of times that I’ve noticed him get stiff in his hips playing in coverage whether it be a zone coverage or even a man to man read. It’s something that has you a little bit concerned but at the same time you know that he has the athletic ability to be a force for you and be the effective LB you want. So while it is a concern, its one I almost in a sense down play when I look at the overall body of work. It’s similar to looking at a guy at the combine and seeing him run a slower 40 than expected and saying that he’s a better player at game speed than running a 40-yard dash. I know its kind of weird when you think of it that way but when I see a guy like Wilson who has the tools to be a stud OLB I in a sense overlook a little more his weaknesses because of the overall player he is.
Now it comes down to who I project him to be like and how does he fit in with the Redskins? Well first off I see him a lot like Karlos Dansby and Andrew actually brought this up and I was struggling at first to think of a comparison but after Andrew said it, it made total sense for the kind of player that Wilson is. Dansby is someone who is very versatile, being used as an ILB and OLB and creates absolute havoc on opposing offenses and Wilson would provide that to our team no question. Right now though I wouldn’t take him with our 1st rounder at #10 but if he were there in the 2nd round at #41 I would strongly consider him and easily would take him if he were the BPA on the board. Again I’m a big fan of Wilson as a prospect and if we took him and used him in a Dansby esque role then watch out for our defense because we have seen guys like Robert Henson who are able to blitz well from the inside and Riley who has played well in coverage as well as blitzing. What we have also seen from Haslett is that he values blitzing the LB’s especially the ILB’s to create extra pressure on the opposing offense and having another guy like Wilson would give Haslett many options to play with as a coordinator.