Our newest scout Ray Dahlke breaks down the game of Illinois inside linebacker Martez Wilson.
6’4, 250 pounds | Inside linebacker | Illinois
Coverage: Tends to lose receivers in his zone but his burst allows him to make the tackle. Is unable to turn his hips and run with running backs and tight ends in space.
Instincts/recognition: Martez is a tough player. You can’t doubt his overall toughness. He makes plays when he’s called upon and consistently showed up on film as one of the defense’s big playmakers. He will occassionally disappear but overall shows up again and again because of his physical talent. Very big team player. He is overall a smart player but occasionally will make mental errors with his false steps but usually can make up for it on plays to the sideline because of his speed. The “lull” moments in his game can be attributed to his contration. He has the physical talent to make the plays.
Pass rush: He moved from his highly recruited position of defense end to inside linebacker and then eventually to outside linebacker towards the end of his senior season. Very comfortable coming up the middle or off the edge.
Pursuit/Lateral movement and agility: Wilson is a good, but not great athlete for his size. His speed allows him to pursue plays from the back side effectively. He lacks some balance and quick feet in traffic which causes him to get knocked off his feet. He’s tight in the hips which makes him ineffective in coverage and he can’t turn and run with tight ends down the seam. Uses speed to run from sideline to sideline tracking ball carriers.
Quickness: Is able to fly to the ball right off the snap and use his speed to make plays.
Run defense: Can hold the POA but will not always make the tackle. Biggest strong point is his ability to run sideline to sideline. He does a good job at dissecting the action in front of him quickly and using his speed to make the play. Martez is also strong so he will hold the point of attack in the middle or can set the edge on the outside.
Strength/Ability to shed blocks: Martez has the size you look for in a linebacker. He has very big in the chest but does get a little thin in the legs and may lack power in his legs which causes him to over compensate with his upper body. He missed a bunch of games in 2009 due to injury and has been dinged up through out his career including being stabbed in a bar fight. Consistently makes tackles at or near the line of scrimmage. Very powerful player that can jolt blockers and stop ball carriers. He uses his strength more than technique to drag tacklers down, but effective. Has trouble shedding players at the point of attack.
Final word: His build and skill set allow him to play multiple linebacker positions so versitility is also a big strong point. Very capable of closing quickly on receivers in the flat.
Overall foot quickness in tight areas could get him in trouble. Consistently ends up on the ground in the middle of the action and may need to work on technique. Not totally hopeless in man coverage but is too stiff to turn and run with receivers.