Martez Wilson Scouting Report


Instincts/Recognition: Very good read and react skills against the run. Plays with his head and eyes up. Once he sees it develop, there’s no hesitation, he’s attacking it down hill. Picks up on inside and outside runs equally as well. Against the pass, he can sometimes get fooled by play fakes and misdirections. Would like to see him hold his water more in those instances. In zone coverage, he does a nice job of reading his keys and feeling receivers enter and exit his designated area. Needs to improve upon the depth of his drops. Route recognition in man coverage is average. Can sometimes get caught in no mans land. When rushing the passer, he displays good instincts. Like a defensive linemen, he gets his hands up in passing lanes, and occasionally bats down a ball or two.

Strength/Toughness: Possesses a strong and well built upper body. Has defined arms and broad shoulders. Lower body is lean. He may need to add additional girth there at the next level. Tough-minded individual. Shows no reluctance at taking on full backs or bigger offensive linemen. Is always in the mix of things, consistently seen gang tackling.

Range vs. Run: Freakish athlete with sideline-to-sideline range. Uses his speed to string plays out to the sideline, or force runners back into the fray. Has the closing speed to chase down ball carriers from the back side. Takes poor angles at times, and seems to be out of position, but has the speed to compensate. I would like to see him take better angles consistently, and not rely so much on his speed. Displays good usage of his long arms. Keeps them extended, keeping blockers off of his frame. Needs to be more violent with his hands. When blockers are successful at latching on, he struggles with shedding them. Does a good job of wading through traffic and locating the ball. Plays with aggression. Hits gaps quick and hard.

Tackling: Isn’t a “Bring the wood” type of tackler. Is more of a wrap up guy. Would like to see him translate his speed and athleticism into explosiveness when tackling. Doesn’t consistently bring his hips through tackles. All that being said, he is one of the leading tacklers in the nation. He’s a guy who will bring down the ball carrier down by an means necessary. Makes a lot of tackles that other players can’t or won’t make. Breaks down well in space, and secures tackles against smaller and shiftier backs.

3rd Down Capabilities: Versatile athlete who can play a multitude of positions on 3rd downs. He has the athleticism to drop into coverage and hold his own, and the explosiveness to rush the quarterback. Long arms play to his favor when rushing the passer. Is a complete mismatch for tight ends and running backs on the outside. Shows good lateral movement when performing inside moves. Doesn’t have the flexibility to consistently dip and run the arch, but still manages to threaten the edge and force quarterbacks to move off of their spot. Is a little raw when it comes to a rushing the passer. Needs to develop his current moves, and expand his repertoire. Is also a gifted blitzer from the inside. Does a nice job of timing his blitzes, and slipping blocks quickly. Causes a lot of problems for quarterbacks up the middle of the pocket.

Intangibles: Suspended for the 2008 season finale for violating team rules. Also in 2008, he was stabbed in the back, outside of a local bar, when coming to the aid of a friend who had been jumped. Suffered a herniated disk in his neck in 2009, and missed all but one game. Despite being 100% healthy, he wears a precautionary neck roll. Seems to have really matured over the years at the University of Illinois.

Over Stock: Martez Wilson is one of the few guys in the 2011 NFL Draft that I can call an athletic freak. His wing span is out of this world, his frame superb, and has a ton of speed to burn. His measureables are off the charts. I’m excited to see how he works out at the NFL Scouting Combine and Illinois Pro-Day. He has a unique skill set that many teams will covet come April. It’s rare for an Inside Linebacker to possess 4.5 speed, and also be able to stuff the run, and rush the passer. Wilson has a ton of upside. 3-4 teams will look to solicit his services on the outside, as an SOLB. He can be highly productive there because of his experience in coverage, quickness in change of direction and long arms. He would need to get stronger though. That positions requires a lot of stacking and shedding of Right Tackles and Tight Ends. Most draft analyst have him slated for the second round, but I think he will excel in every combine drill, and make his way into the first round. Players with his speed and versatility don’t last until the second round.

NFL Comparison: Karlos Dansby

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