7 Senior Bowl prospects the Lions should watch on defense

Marvin Wilson, Florida State Seminoles (Photo by Don Juan Moore/Getty Images)
Marvin Wilson, Florida State Seminoles (Photo by Don Juan Moore/Getty Images) /
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Marvin Wilson, Florida State Seminoles
Marvin Wilson, Florida State Seminoles (Photo by Don Juan Moore/Getty Images) /

Marvin Wilson, DT – Florida State

On the topic of untapped potential comes a defensive tackle many keen draft fans might know – Marvin Wilson from Florida State. Coming into the 2020 season, you could find Wilson in the top 10 of mock drafts, and had he declared last year he could have been a first-round pick.

However, his 2020 season fell flat and he now finds his draft stock in limbo. A favorite of the analytics community, Wilson had Austin Gayle of Pro Football Focus saying he could be even better than Derrick Bown after achieving elite grades in the 2018 and 2019 seasons.

Listed at 6-foot-5 and 305 pounds, Wilson was the country’s top defensive tackle recruit and a five-star prospect out of Texas in 2017. He was 20 pounds heavier coming out of high school, and he definitely looks bigger than his listed weight. This is in part because he is very top-heavy which has its own strengths and weaknesses.

Wilson doesn’t have the first step like Onwuzurike and relies on his strength to win. His bull rush is punishing, but he does also show a variety of different moves also to win inside and I’d expect a few highlight wins in one-on-ones this week. His hands may be his best asset, and he shows serious power when he lands blows on blockers.

In 2020, Wilson did look a little labored and that worries me given the step-up in athleticism he would see at the next level. However, given he was shut down for the season – a potential business decision – it will be interesting to learn whether he was hindered with an injury and is now back at full health.

What I really want to see is how Wilson stacks up against the top offensive line in Mobile. Wilson disappeared especially against better competition, and how he performs vs your Deonte Brown’s and Liam Eichenberg’s should be telling. A big week could certainly move him back up the board but right now he is hovering between day two and day three.

For the Lions, Wilson took snaps at 0T, 1T, and 3T and can play all of them. If they decide that John Penisini doesn’t fit the new defense, someone like Wilson is certainly a more aggressive impact player versus the pass. If he is around on day three, I’d gamble on the talent.