NFL defenses are all about attitude, so it is good to have players with big personalities make up their ranks.
For the Detroit Lions this past year, safety
“He’s an energetic guy with a great personality and he’s obviously a very good football player,” said Lions secondary coach Tim Walton. “I have had a lot of fun with him this week. He’s very energetic, he’s fun on the field – keeps your group laughing.”
Wilson is entering this year’s NFL Draft out of Boise State, finishing his career with 11 interceptions including eight over the past two seasons.
He considers himself a versatile player having played at the right and left cornerback positions, nickel and safety.
“I know all the positions in the defensive backfield,” he said. “I think they’re all pretty similar and I have fun playing all of them.”
One coach who has become quite familiar with Wilson is Lions wide receivers coach Shawn Jefferson.
As someone who has been watching his unit go up against Wilson all week, Jefferson says the 5-10, 190-pound cornerback has shown a lot of talent.
“I think he’s going to be a really good player at the next level,” said Jefferson. “He’s not the tallest of corners, but he has good-sized arms so he can reach out and touch a receiver and he has the initial quickness to stay with receivers in the break route and the hips to sync and to be with them as they come out of their breaks.”
Though there won’t be press coverage in this weekend’s Senior Bowl (defenses have to be in Cover-1 or Cover-3), the presence of live tackling will give these coaches an added dimension when it comes to evaluation.
Cornerbacks like Wilson will be seen in that live environment, but it could provide even more dramatic insight into the talent levels of the safeties.
“The safety will be able to tackle live and you’ll be able to see who can get guys on the ground during the game,” said Walton. “Then, even with the corners, you can see if they can stay on their feet and things like that.
“They’ll be able to go to the ground being live like that with the corners also. So that is when you’re going to get a chance to see how they really respond on gameday.”