Continuing our series on NFL draft prospects for the Green Bay Packers, today we’ll highlight Florida State IDL Marvin Wilson.
Marvin Wilson – IDL, Florida State – 6’5″ 305 lbs
Wilson was one of the biggest-name interior defensive linemen in college football entering the 2020 season. His name doesn’t quite have the first-round shine it once did after positing minimal production this season, but he’s still one of the most impressive prospects for this position group in this year’s draft.
In his final season at Florida State Wilson recorded 17 total tackles with two tackles for loss in six games, with his season ending early due to a leg injury. More so than for his 2020 production, though, Wilson’s physical traits and tempting potential are why he could go off the board in the first two rounds.
The most valuable thing Wilson brings to the table is his interior pass rush ability. That’s a rare trait to find in quality defensive linemen, often limited to the great ones like Kenny Clark, Aaron Donald or Chris Jones. But when you can find a guy with that skill he’ll stick around on your roster for a while.
In this first video, you can see Wilson combine effort and fundamentals to win against the offensive line and record a sack against Louisville.
He’s tenacious getting after the quarterback. He explodes out of his stances, shows off some power to shed the blocker and never stops fighting to get to the quarterback.
Strength can also be an asset for Wilson. In the following clip, curated by film analyst Voch Lombardi on Twitter, you can see Wilson hold his ground firmly against double teams multiple times.
The first part of this video is maybe the most impressive, not only fighting through the initial traffic but then finishing the play with a physical tackle. You also see him standing his ground and ripping away from multiple blockers. You can see Lombardi’s full breakdown here.
Additionally, his motor is a plus attribute. He doesn’t give up on plays, even in long stretches where he’s not generating a ton of pressure. Wilson didn’t play especially well against Miami this season, but hustle plays like this next one grab your attention.
Wilson obviously possesses power, but he doesn’t always play like it. Where that usually impacts him negatively is in run defense. He still has the quick twitch, and we’ve already seen examples where he can hold his own, but there is a lack of consistency here. Sometimes his inability to hold his position allows offensive linemen to beat him at the point of attack. Take this next play from 2019 as an example.
Yes, Wilson is the one who makes the tackle. But watch what happens at the start of this play and why it’s a concern. He gets knocked off his base by the offensive line and actually gets caught in the air momentarily, which in many circumstances would eliminate him from the play. The Clemson player trips, though, allowing Wilson to recover. He gets the credit, but not before getting beaten at the snap.
His status entering the draft also raises question marks. Not only did he miss the latter part of Florida State’s 2020 season, but he reportedly struggled at the Senior Bowl, too. There could be any number of plausible explanations for that, but those two elements together do lead to some concern about his health, at least.
Marvin Wilson has plenty of NFL potential, and you can see why teams will be intrigued by him this year. Interior pass rush is a valuable and rare commodity, which instantly makes him an attractive prospect. Tack on his natural physical profile and he looks like a future key piece on a defensive line.
On the other hand, you have to be at least somewhat concerned about the consistency of his play strength and his ability to hold his ground against powerful NFL offensive linemen. His lesser play against the run is a demerit.
Wilson can play all over the line, so even if you don’t play him at his most natural spot he should be able to make an impact. The Packers could be enticed if his measurables grade out well, although you could also understand being skittish about another young defender who doesn’t consistently hold his own against the run.