Name: Mack Wilson
Position: Inside Linebacker
The thing I first noticed about Mack Wilson was how good he looked in zone coverage. Nick Saban ran a lot of cover 3 and quarters coverage with the Crimson Tide. That forced Wilson to play a lot of hook/curl zone. Any time a crosser came in to his zone he would have a good feel for him all while keeping eyes on his keys, usually the quarterback. This is a testament to how good Wilson’s vision is. I feel like reads everything extremely well in the pass game. Wilson made his presence felt in coverage snap after snap.
In the run game Wilson did a great job being patient with runs and pursuing everything inside-out. He rarely over ran plays and finished off each tackle. I noticed several “effort” players where Wilson would run the ball carrier down once the play went away. He did a nice job as the cutback player and took away the cutback lane in the zone run game.
Alabama didn’t stunt a lot. Rather than sending pressure with inside linebackers, Wilson would take a read step and read the play. They did roll him on the line of scrimmage a few times and rush, but not often. One of the best films you can watch on Wilson is against Missouri. I felt like it showcased how well he plays against the run. He does a good job taking on lead blockers, shucking the block and making a play.
I felt like Wilson struggled the most with consistency. You will watch him make great plays on film, and then a bust. He really needs to nail this down at the next level.
He needs to use his hands more in block destruction. When flowing outside he would sometimes get cut off by a tackle or tight end. I noticed a few times that he tried to flow over the top of the play rather than fight through the block and get to the ball carrier. By running over the top of the blocker he would give ground to the ball carrier.
The lack of man coverage could be a concern, but not a huge factor. This, of course, varies team to team. I know that Mike Pettine likes to use a good mixture of both, usually depending on the game time situation.
I really liked what I saw out of Wilson on film. He’s a violent linebacker who will stick his nose in on a run and make athletic plays in space in the pass game. I don’t see him ending up in Green Bay, but I’ve been surprised before. I didn’t envision the Packers drafting Oren Burks last year but low and behold it happened. The bottom line is that Wilson will make a solid 3-4 linebacker for any team around the league.