Heading into the offseason linebacker was the position that Bengals fans were most excited about upgrading.
They got their wish when the Bengals selected Wyoming’s Logan Wilson with the first pick of the third round.
What Wilson Brings to the Bengals
Speed: When you watch Wyoming’s defense, one thing is consistent; Wilson is always around the ball. Like Bengals 2019 third round pick Germaine Pratt, Wilson is a converted safety who provides a major speed upgrade, but he is also a fierce competitor who plays with great effort.
Tackling: Wilson is arguably the best tackler in the draft. He plays with excellent technique, bringing his hips through and keeping his feet moving on contact. This makes him a powerful and reliable tackler. He recorded over 400 tackles over his college career.
Coverage: Wilson is excellent in coverage, and not just because he is athletic. He also has a knack for reading the quarterback and making plays. Wilson had 10 interceptions in his career with the Wyoming Cowboys. The Bengals need to create more turnovers, and Wilson does just that.
Why the Bengals drafted Wilson
Need: Linebacker has been a need for the Bengals for years, but releasing veteran Preston Brown midseason sent a clear message that good enough was not going to cut it. Hopefully Wilson and Pratt will finally shore up the position long-term.
Passing Defense: When the coaching change occurred last season, the Bengals had a pretty old school linebacking corps. They were primarily run defenders whose lack of athleticism made them a liability in pass defense. In the modern NFL, your linebackers have to be effective in coverage, and Wilson is a playmaker in coverage.
Beat the Ravens: It is a passing league, but as long as Lamar Jackson is around, stopping the run will be key to winning the AFC North. To do that you need athletic linebackers who are sure tacklers and fast processors. Wilson is just what the Bengals need. He is tough enough to keep stuffing running backs up the middle, and he is also athletic enough to spy Lamar Jackson when needed.