After I woke up from my short nap, I logged into the open thread to check out who impressed at the combine today (after watching all the DE/DTs earlier.)
So. Here you go, Martez Wilson's scouting report. More after the jump.
Martez Wilson is a fighting Illini, a native of Chicago. He was a track star in high school, and garnered all manner of five-star and No. 1-5 rankings coming to college, including a 1st ranking in the Midwest at his position by the Detroit News.
He suffered a herniated disc in his junior (09) campaign, during the season opener. Was forced to sit out the rest of his junior year before returning and posting career numbers as a senior. He hasn't garnered many awards (if any) that I can find, but he was on the Butkus Award (best linebacker) Watch List on 2010.
He's billed at 6'4, and around 250.
Possesses elite speed, when he kicks it into gear. A phenomenal physical specimen with vast upside.
Definitely a sideline-to-sideline player.
Huge wingspan, second only to KJ Wright at the combine.
A very fundamental tackler, is what I would label as "safe" whether it's inside or in open space.
Is a very comfortable pass rusher, uses his long arms to stay clean of blocks on the inside blitz.
Patient and competent in coverage. Average, but not terrible, instincts at all facets.
Wiry legs. Needs to bulk up his lower frame and learn to drive with his legs better.
Medical red flag.
Almost all upside, his actual laurels rank him about a 3rd-4th rounder in my books at best.
For how physically domineering he is, he doesn't play like it. No mean streak, plays timidly, avoids contact.
Has some difficulty shedding blocks when he's pressed into, can disappear for long stretches if someone can close in on him frequently.
His game speed is cause for concern. Often plays at only half-speed or at full-speed, when what's needed is somewhere in the middle.
Doesn't possess the lean I would like from an edge rushing LB, appears a little stiff when not rushing between the tackles.
FINAL THOUGHTS -
Martez Wilson is one of the most confounding prospects in this draft. For as physically dominant and as athletically gifted as he is, one would expect him to have locked up a top 5 spot by now, even over Von Miller. As elite as he is of a physical specimen, he plays with the passion more reserved for a technician.
He benefits greatly from playing behind first-rounder Corey Liuget, and yet doesn't have the statistical prowess you would expect from a 3-4 college LB who's behind a good defensive line. He projects well to either being a 3-4 OLB or as a 4-3 LB, though he can reasonably play all three positions as a 4-3. As his lower frame bulks up, I expect his speed to go down a little and I wouldn't be surprised to see him switch to SLB, but I suspect he will begin his career as a WLB in a 4-3, or as a rush OLB in a 3-4.
Some people have been speaking about Martez Wilson's viability as the 13th pick. This is absolutely a mistake. With his medical red flags and serious "project" warnings, he will not be an immediate impact starter. I wouldn't be surprised if Detroit pursued him in the second round, but I don't feel he is the best fit for this defense, as he neither holds up against the run or the pass exceptionally well, and we would be under-using his rushing talent.
I project him to get picked by the Giants or Raiders (Speed!) in the first or second round, or get some long looks from one of the 3-4 teams, especially the Patriots who excel when picking up these types of long-term projects and have the draft picks to spare on a non-starter.