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 Post subject: Lawrence Wilson, OLB, Connecticut
PostPosted: Tue Apr 05, 2011 4:06 pm 
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Joined: Thu Dec 23, 2004 3:03 pm
Posts: 26076
Location: North Carolina
LAWRENCE WILSON
6-1/229
Connecticut Senior
40: 4.68

PROS:

Has good speed and flashes the range to make plays sideline to sideline. Has good closing burst in space and pursuit and can make the stop in the open field. Wraps up the ballcarrier at the point of attack. Occasionally will deliver blow to ballcarrier in the hole and willing to fill. Has the speed to run with backs in man coverage and shows decent backpedal when making his drops in zone. Comfortable keeping things in front of him. Shows nice downhill and upfield burst to shoot gaps and make plays in the backfield and potential as a blitzer.

CONS:

Undersized and not a strong tackler. Tackles high at times and struggles to reliably bring down ballcarrier at the point of attack. Loses battles in the hole and gets caught out of position too often there. Struggles to take on blocks and tries to run around them. Gets caught in traffic too much. Lacks instincts and slow to react to the ball and locate it. Needs to take better angles when filtering through traffic and not reliable when it comes to making plays in space. Bites on play fakes and gets caught looking in the backfield, giving up easy play. Has just average hips and struggles to cover receivers down the field. Light and gets redirected too easily by blockers and backs when blitzing up. Won't set the edge against the outside run.

OVERVIEW:

Wilson was a productive player at UConn, who was a four-year starter and their leading tackler the past two years. But while he's fast and active in pursuit, he doesn't show the instincts, awareness, or size you want to be more than an average run defender. He started 3 years at weakside linebacker, before moving to MLB this past year due to the shoddy play of Greg Lloyd at the beginning of the year. For his career, he had 50 starts, 449 tackles, 35.5 tackles for loss, 9.5 sacks, 5 interceptions, 10 breakups, 6 forced fumbles, and 6 recoveries.

NFL FORECAST:

Wilson if he can bulk up might make a decent weakside linebacker at the next level. I don't like his instincts, but they are acceptable for the next level. If he can get bigger and stronger, he should become a better defender at the poitn of attack and a more reliable tackler. He's a guy that can run and hit. He doesn't have great speed, but shows enough potential there that he can be developed into a serviceable cover guy, particularly when he's covering backs and receivers on the outside. BUt he's a project that I suspect will have to stick early on special teams to get the necessary development time to become a reliable backup and potentially starter. I think he has enough physical tools that he can become a starter, but if he ever does, he'll probably be a below average one rather than a reliable playmaker like he was in college. More than likely, he projects as a capable reserve OLB with some versatility to fill in a pinch at MLB.

ATL FORECAST:

Wilson currently doesn't offer a ton of upside or difference as a reserve prospect as someone like Robert James. If he can stick early on special teams and over the course of a year or two add some much needed muscle to his frame, he can be developed into a capable backup. But he has limited upside to be a starter in Atlanta, and even down the road would just be a stopgap guy that could get by for a few weeks in the starting lineup, but would be exposed over the course of the season. More than likely he's a career backup that unless he shines on special teams will have a tough time getting a second contract in Atlanta.

VALUE:

Wilson is worth a look in the late rounds because he does possess mild upside as a starter, but he's worth a sixth or seventh round pick at best for a team looking for depth.

SKILLS
1-poor, 2-weak, 3-above average, 4-very good, 5-elite

Speed: 4.0
Tackling: 2.5
Coverage: 2.5
Point of Attack: 2.0
Instincts: 2.0
Pass Rush: 2.5

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