Football NFL

Tyree Wilson: 2023’s Big Boom or Bust Defender

This is going down as one of the more fun Draft classes where there are plenty of players with 2 stories houses (high ceilings and low floors) getting a lot of hype, one of the biggest examples of this, is Texas Tech’s 6’7 275lb Edge Rusher Tyree Wilson. He’s huge, he has a quick first step he’s strong and if you look at the numbers he looks to be one of, If not, the best pass rusher in the entire nation. So what are the issues with him that make him such a boom or bust prospect? First a statistical profile so you get an idea of his Game

• 74.9 PFF Grade

• 79.4 Pass rushing grade (87.5 on TPS)

• 72.8 Run Stopping grade

• 50 Pressures (19.2 Pressure%)

• 28 True Pass set pressures (27.5% Pressure%)

• 22% pass rush win rate (35.5% on TPS)

• 52 Total Tackles (7 missed tackles)

• 32 stops (5.9% Stop Rate)

To start with the positives Tyree Wilson was made in a lab. At 6’7 275 he’s almost as big as a Defensive lineman and he has the longest wingspan in this draft class. To go along with that, Wilson is also a great athlete for someone of his frame. He’s the quickest player of his size other than maybe Myles Murphy. He primarily plays edge but he can also line up in the B gap and play IDL, and he has the ability to stick into the A gap as well but he doesn’t do it a lot. Wilson’s best asset is his pass rushing ability, he has longer arms than a lot of tackles and combined with his quickness it’s hard for tackles to keep up with him (he had 50 pressures this year for a reason). The best chance a tackle has with Wilson is to get their hands on him first and anchor down because he isn’t strong enough to overpower tackles. He has the tools to be one of the best pass rushers in the league and be a strong multi positional defender that Defensive Coordinators can have fun with.

For the strengths I only talked about his ability as a pass rusher. That’s because he doesn’t have many strengths as a run stopper, in fact, if he wasn’t so bad in the run game (at least compared to his peers) he’d be in the running for the best overall prospect in the class. Tyree Wilson isn’t very strong for his size so he’s not great at getting off of base blocks. I like his ability to get off of reaches (it’s definitely his Best trait when it comes to run defense). Now when it comes to squeezing down blocks Tyree Wilson is frustratingly bad at it. Tyree will always take a step forward no matter what the blocker does. This makes it easier to fight based and especially reach blocks, but it makes squeezing down blocks impossible and it opens up windows on plays where a guard pulls towards Wilson. On zone plays or RPOs where there isn’t a pull Wilson can occasionally use his quickness to catch the running back as he’s hitting a hole and preventing a big play but Wilson also likes to arm tackle on these type of come from behind plays which leads to him having a pretty high missed tackle rate (14.5% missed tackle rate in his career and 11.9% on the season). Wilson also loves to fly up field which is the biggest no no for an edge rusher/contain player (which is what the edge player is unless there’s some type of oppo stunt). I think he was an above average run stopper in college this year but he has some bad habits that will make him a very rough run defender in the NFL (at least early on) he’s already 23 years old and he’s coming off of a broken foot that he’s still recovering from.

Overall with Wilson I like his ceiling as a pass rusher but I think he has a lot of question marks as a run stopper that could prevent him from being a top tier edge rusher. He gets a Mid Round 1 Grade from me. For these articles I will give player grades and comps (I’ll try with comps they prolly won’t be perfect please don’t crucify me for it).

Player Grades

• Speed Rushing: 10/10

• Power Rushing: 8/10

• Pass rushing: 9.5/10

• Base Block defense: 7.5/10

• Reach Block Defense: 9/10

• Down Block defense: 3/10

• Run Run Stopping: 6/10

• Athleticism/Frame: 8.5/10

• Strength: 7.5/10

• Versatility: 9/10

• Overall Grade: 8.1/10

Player Comparisons

Ceiling: Trey Hendrickson

50/50: Marcus Davenport

Floor: James Houston IV

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