Illinois inside linebacker Martez Wilson brings sheer athleticism and a high level of production to the 2011 NFL Draft. The junior 'backer was granted a year of redshirt medical hardship in 2009.
Wilson returned in 2010 to post 111 total tackles, 4.0 sacks, two forced fumbles and an interception.
- Extremely athletic
- Size (6-foot-3 7/8, 250 pounds)
- Fantastic closing and reaction speed
- Slices into the backfield
- Cognizant pass defender - reroutes receivers
Runs well with tight ends
Top ILB in the draft
- Plugs the hole - a gap tackler
- Capable blitzer
- Speed (4.49 40-yard dash) and quickness
- Rebounded nicely from missing almost all of the 2009 season; also came back from a stabbing incident in 2008
- Wingspan - records a lot of shoestring tackles
- Not very instinctual and relies too much on raw athleticism
- Missed all but one game in 2009 (herniated disc in his neck)
- Overly aggressive trying to jump a play - a product of his lack of recognition
- Stack and shed needs work
- Could improve his flexibility
Expected draft placement
Wilson could sneak into the late first round, but he is probably a high choice in the second stanza. His skill set best fits a 3-4 inside linebacker role, and that limits the number of teams that could be interested in him.
If the Green Bay Packers (No. 32) and A.J. Hawk part ways, Wilson could have a landing spot in the first round. The Pittsburgh Steelers (No. 31) could also be in the mix.
Second-round teams that may have the most interest in his services include the Buffalo Bills (No. 34), Dallas Cowboys (No. 40), Washington Redskins (No. 41) and Houston Texans (No. 42). Don't discredit the San Diego Chargers making a move up to acquire him, and the San Francisco 49ers could also enter the fray.
About Cory J. Bonini
Cory is KFFL's General Manager. In late 2002, he joined the KFFL staff as a research analyst and has been involved in fantasy sports since 1996. A member of the Fantasy Sports Trade Association, as well as Fantasy Sports Writers Association, Bonini has been featured in print, on radio and on scores of websites. Bonini co-hosted Big Lead Sports on SiriusXM Fantasy Sports Radio from 2011 to 2012.
Bonini was recognized with the 2010 Best Article in Print Award from the FSWA and was a finalist for the same award in 2011. In '11, he finished first overall in the FSWA NFL experts challenge that featured 60 of the industry's best competitors.
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