Prospect Profiles: LB Martez Wilson, Illinois

Up next in our series is a linebacker who played inside at Illinois, but is going to get a lot of looks as a potential outisde linebacker in the 4-3 and possibly even 3-4 because of his height and build. Wilson has one serious knock, which might scare some teams away and that is in 2009 he missed the entire season because of a herniated disk in his neck. That could be especially troubling for the NY Giants because that’s an injury that ended Antonio Pierce’s career and has put Mathias Kiwanuka’s comback in jeoprady (not serious jeopardy, but still a possibility).

Martez’s pure talent is undeniable though. Coming into college he was rated as the #2 DE prospect in the nation by (according to Mocking Dan).


Born September 11th, 1989. Junior

Listed at 6’4 250 pounds

Projected 40 time: Somewhere between 4.55 and 4.62 are the proejcted 40 times for Martez Wilson.

Combine numbers posted when they become available.


Career: 222 tackles, 2 FF, 1 Int, 9 sacks

2010: 112tackles (46 solo), 11.5 tackles for loss,

Big Games:

vs Missouri 1 tfl, .5 sack, 11 tackles

vs Ohio State 2 TFL, 1 sack, 9 tackles

@ Michigan Stat .5 tfl, 6 tackles

Bowl game Baylor. 1 TFL, 7 tackles

Wilson was productive against good teams, which is always important.He is just doens’t make plays 4 yards down the field as he is constantly in the backfield.


against ohio state

Scouting Reports

National Football Post (rest is here)

Exhibits some unique talents when asked to blitz from the inside and has some natural pass-rush ability. Looks comfortable using his length in order to keep himself clean, is shifty when asked to work the inside move and has a real savvy as a pass rusher. Was used toward the end of the year as a rush linebacker off the edge and was extremely productive closing on the football from the backside, threatening the edge and forcing quarterbacks to step up in the pocket. Looks more comfortable rushing the passer from the inside where he can use his quickness to side step blocks, is a bit stiff and high off the edge when trying to turn the corner.

Displays above-average fluidity for a guy with his build, has the ability to open up his hips and generate a burst out of his breaks when asked to close in coverage.

Isn’t real comfortable with his footwork, seems to just bounce upright off the ball and doesn’t get much depth in his drop. However, displays a solid feel in zone coverage reading his pass keys underneath and has the ability to hold up in man as well, closing quickly on the football and driving on the throw.
Missed the 2009 season after suffering a herniated disc in his neck and will need to check out medically.

Impression: A long, V-cut linebacker who doesn’t seem to have the lower body girth to hold up inside. However, he has some range in pursuit, reads his run keys well and exhibits some pass-rush ability. Could get some long looks as a potential 3-4 rush guy as well as strong side back in a 4-3.

Positives: Very productive in 2010 (112 tackles, four sacks, three forced fumbles, one interception)… Has good size to play outside in a 3-4 scheme, a little tall and not very compact, but appears to have a good amount of bulk, is experienced playing the inside linebacker position… Has pretty good speed… Does a good job keeping playside arm free when being blocked, flows to the ball when engaged by blockers and will make plays by slipping off blockers near the ball carrier… Was a top recruit coming out of high school, second-highest rated five-star DE behind 2010 fourth-round pick Everson Griffen… Is a smart player who understands the way the game works, had to adjust to a new system in 2009 and 2010… Is a very physical player, uses body weight well when driving into blockers and making tackles in traffic… Is a good special teams performer, plays with intensity and has a lot of experience blocking punts… Appears to be a fairly versatile player, has experience at multiple linebacker positions, at defensive end, in special teams and as a situation pass rusher.

Negatives: Can over-pursue and has some trouble changing directions when facing a shifty runner or quarterback with quick feet, needs to do a better job of breaking down against targets in the open field… Was suspended in for the last game of 2008 for violation of team rules… Suffered from a herniated disk in 2009 and missed most of the season after recovering from a stab wound a year earlier, health and durability may be a substantial question mark heading into the draft… Played a lot of ILB, but appears to play too much like a 4-3 DE/3-4 OLB to be considered a viable candidate on the inside in the NFL, in which case, there will likely be a bit of a learning curve for him to adjust to the change… Will miss a lot of tackles when going full speed, does not break down well and relies too much on momentum and upper-body strength to bring down ball carriers… Does not have an overwhelming motor, and often looks timid when scraping and taking pursuit angles across the field

Big Board (2/2)- 27th

National Football Post (2/2) 72nd

FFtoolbox 68th

NFLdraftbible 51st 62nd overall

Where Mocks Have Him Falling 2nd round pick #50 San Diego Chargers 2nd round pick #61 San Diego Chargers (not a typo, have two picks in Rd 2) 1st round pick #20 Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Bartolis Final Thought

Martez Wilson is a talented player that was probably playing out of position at Illinois. Wilson had a very fine career playing inside linebacker at Illinois, but I think his best position in the N.F.L. is as an outside linebacker, where I thinkhe can excel.

I think this is a player that the Giants will consider heavily if he’s available in the second round, and theymight even consider him in the first round. To me, he is a lot like Sean Weatherspoon was last year where he rised fast towards the draft and eventually ended up going 19th overall. I’m not saying this just because I’m a Giants fan I’m saying this because he fits the mold of the players they like at the Strong Side ‘backer spot: essentially a cross between a DE and linebacker. Those kind of big hybrid linebackers they seem to be drawn too.

Wilson is very talented and productive and could be one of the surprise risers in the draft. I like his game.

Other team targets:

I think he’d fit well with the Rams who really need to upgrade their linebacker corps. 14th overall is a bit ofa reach, but if he’s available in the second round he makes a ton of sense for the Rams who are looking for more help at linebacker, and more people who can get to the Quarterback.

The Chargers seem to be a big draw for the mockers, and I can see why.  He’s a good player and in the second round, with all the talent the Chargers have they can select the best player available.

I don’t think he fits well in the Tampa 2 so even though the Buccaneers could use another linebacker, I’mnot sure he fits their system.

I think the Tennessee Titans who are looking for Keith Bullucks replacement is a very strong possibility in the second round. Wilson could do really well in Tennesee, but I’m not sure what new coach Munchak is thinking.

And the New England Patriots. The Patriots have enough talent on the inside to get by with Jerod Mayo and Brandon Spikes, but on the outside of their 3-4 Wilson could be the pass rusher they have been missing. The question is whether or not Wilson is a Rush linebacker in a 3/4. I’ve already professed that I think his best position will be as a 4-3 S.A.M. but there’s no reason to think some other team may feel he can play outside in the 3-4. With the Patriots (for now) sitting at the top of the 2nd round in the draft, they may find Wilson to their liking if available. They have enough picks in the first two rounds (something like 25 of them, I think) to just grab good football players whenever they want. Wilson fits that bill.

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Mason Foster

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Tags: 2011 NFL Draft Draft Illinois Martez Wilson NFL Draft Prospect Profiles Scouting Report

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