2021 NFL Draft Scouting Report: Marco Wilsonby Charlie Parent April 22, 2021 0 comments
Marco Wilson became an overnight internet sensation. But not in any good way. In Week 15, of the College football season, Wilson cost his team a shot at the college football playoff. After a stop on defense that would ensure the Florida Gators’ victory, Wilson decided to throw an LSU player’s shoe about 15 yards down the field.
LSU would take the unsportsmanlike penalty and end up kicking a game-winning field goal. Wilson became a meme around the college football world. One play doesn’t define your career, however. Wilson was a starting corner at Florida and a projected late day-two, early day-three prospect. Looking past one play, the question begs, can Wilson actually be a good NFL player?
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Name: Marco Wilson
Class: Redshirt Junior
Weight: 190 lbs
Man Coverage (3.5/10)
Well, this is a rough start. Wilson has shown no real promise in man coverage situations. He was rarely tasked with playing press coverage and when he did, it was a mess. He’s frequently getting burned in off and on man. NFL wide receivers will be licking their chops if he’s in any rotation. He shows zero capability to jam receivers and his overall hand usage is just awful. He has shown some good mirroring abilities in the short areas of the field, which is a rare plus here.
Zone Coverage (6.5/10)
This is a bit better. He’s shown good processing efforts and looks to filter guys through his zone well. Something a little interesting is he seems to check out in zone after a little bit, and be late on his guy. He’ll get out of the defensive stance after the play has developed which leads to quarterbacks targeting him. He’s shown good flashes in this area but has a long way to go compared to some other prospects.
Wilson has pretty fluid hips and is a nice mover on the field. His hips work well when making adjustments and it’s a really nice bright spot in his game. While he’s not the best in man coverage, as mentioned, he’s shown good fluidity in this area which shows there is some promise in that aspect of his play.
Ball Skills (4/10)
One word to describe this part of his play: yikes. Wilson only got his hands on three interceptions as a three-year starter at Florida. He continuously fails to make good plays on the ball, even if he’s got the route locked down. Way too many times where he’s blanketed a receiver, then just fails to locate the ball and allows a catch. He’s pretty poor at tracking the deep ball as well, and cannot make plays in that area of the field.
Wilson has shown great athleticism on film, and he’s got the pro-day measurements to back it up. He maxed out the vertical tester with a 43.5-inch jump. He followed that insane number up with 26 bench reps. To put this in perspective, corners normally average around 15-17. His bench reps are in line with offensive lineman. Was he done there? Not in the least. He recorded an 11’4″ vertical jump and a 4.34 40. Wilson has all the athleticism in the world, if he could improve his technique somehow, he will be an outstanding player.
Run Support (7/10)
Wilson was used a lot at Florida in unique defensive back blitzes. Obviously with his insane athleticism, one would expect him to have great closing speed, which he does. He comes at the ball carriers with lightning pace and can make a play on the player. Where he gets knocked here is his effort. There are several instances where he just doesn’t seem to care enough to make a play, and just hurls his body in there with no real regard for making a legit play.
Wilson is subpar here, if not a little bit lower. Effort once again is an issue, but when he really tries he can make a nice wrap tackle at times. There are a lot of misses on the tape and his technique certainly needs to be cleaned up. This throwing himself at the guy thing is really interesting and almost comedic when watching. He’s got to improve in this area, especially if teams are going to use him in blitzes.
Composure is a really big necessity for a corner, and Wilson’s is two-fold. When he gets burnt deep, you can expect a couple more routes to get open in his next few reps. When he’s beat in the initial rep, however, he does not just give up, instead, he puts on the burners to try and get back in the play. This is really nice to see from a guy with questionable effort.
Wilson can be utilized in a number of ways, but not necessarily well. Versatility isn’t just if the player has played a certain position, but also how well they have. He can blitz the passer very well, using his exceptional closing speed to make a play on the quarterback. He has some experience in the slot, but doesn’t look too comfortable there, and should stick as a boundary corner in the league.
Competitive Toughness (2.5/5)
Wilson has shown flashes of good effort but mainly does not try too hard in some reps. He doesn’t give something every down and is not a willing tackler. The only thing he does well in terms of competitive toughness is burst to the receiver after he is beaten.
As if it couldn’t get any much worse, Wilson suffered a torn ACL in his sophomore year at Florida. He’s recovered fine from it but it is something to keep tabs on as his career progresses.
That was quite the whirlwind of emotions. An athletic freak, Wilson lacks almost all the technical aspects required out of an NFL cornerback. If he can somehow learn all this technique he needs, he has an endless ceiling. If he cannot, maybe he can be a nice special team contributor because of his athleticism. One infamous play could speak to Wilson’s whole career: sloppy, and careless.
Player Grade (64.5/100): Early-seventh round
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