Junior linebacker Martez Wilson declared for the 2011 NFL Draft after a season where he opened NFL Scouts' eyes with his solid play in a conference long known for producing great linebackers. Wilson has been mentioned as a possible draft pick for the Baltimore Ravens in April, but is right now thought of as a second round pick. The Ravens will be looking for the heir apparent at inside linebacker for All-Pro Ray Lewis, who will be entering his 16th NFL season and while he is still playing at an amazingly high level, the time wil come soon when he will no longer be entering M&T Bank Stadium, picking up a piece of turf and declaring this "my house!"
While most Ravens fans rue the day that this becomes reality, the player that could possibly be the next great inside linebacker in Baltimore is Illinois' Martez Wilson. Wilson is a big kid at 6'4" and 250 pounds, and is rated by NFL Draft Scout as the best inside linebacker in this year's draft class. He led the Illini in tackles and was fourth in the Big Ten, earning 1st team All-Big Ten honors this past season.
Wilson's only injury was a herniated disk in his neck that required surgery in his junior season. He was granted a medical hardship waiver which is why he was considered a junior heading into the draft. Check out his profile on the school's official site here.
See the rankings for the linebackers, as well as all the positions, on the National Football Post. Interesting that Wilson is listed and ranked as an outside linebacker there.