Peanut butter and jelly. Peanut butter and chocolate. Cincinnati Bengals and third-round linebackers.
The Bengals have once again selected another linebacker during the latter part of day two of the NFL Draft. Former Wyoming linebacker Logan Wilson is a very talented player with good athleticism, production, and tape from his years playing in the Mountain West. With his athleticism and production the Bengals likely expect some immediate contributions from the Senior Bowl linebacker. With that in mind, let’s take a look at five things to know about the Bengals’ new linebacker.
1. Wilson was a finalist for the Butkus Award
Wilson was the only finalist for the Butkus award that wasn’t from a Power 5 school. Every other finalist for the award for top linebacker in the country was from a bigger school so that’s extra impressive how he was recognized. It takes even more talent than usual to be recognized coming from a smaller school and Wilson showed it on the field. He was very productive during his time at Wyoming and was a role model for the entire team.
2. He was the first of three Senior Bowl players the Bengals drafted
Logan Wilson was the first player that the Bengals took from the Senior Bowl, which they coached in this year. Many assumed they would use the extra scouting opportunity to take some talented players, especially with the offseason affected by the shutdowns due to Coronavirus. While they passed on a couple of possible Senior Bowl picks at the top of the second round, they didn’t do the same 32 picks later. Wilson played against their staff in the game, but they did get to see up close and personal.
3. Wilson was originally recruited as a safety
The Bengals seem to have a thing for players recruited as safeties that switch positions. Sam Hubbard did it first, and Wilson followed a similar path. The transformation was not as drastic for Wilson, who came into Wyoming at 205 pounds and measured in at the Combine at 241 pounds. However, this shows that they believed in his cover skills coming out and you can see his natural ability to play the ball in his play at linebacker. Which, speaking of that:
4. He was more productive in coverage than you think
Most linebackers in college have very little expectation of helping out in college, which was not the case for Wilson. In his senior season, Wilson came away with seven passes defensed and four interceptions, and turned one of those interceptions into a touchdown. He has the athleticism and the experience to be able to hold steady in coverage immediately in the pros. He did all of that with 105 total tackles and 8.5 tackles for loss.
5. He is the second player from his hometown that has been recently drafted
Not many NFL players have come from Natrona County, Wyoming, but in the past three years, two former residents have become top 75 picks. Both Wilson and former Florida Gator Taven Bryan were top draft picks to come from the rural region in the middle of the state. While Bryan has not yet had the impact of a first-round pick, he will have plenty of opportunity with the departures along the Jaguars defensive line. Wilson will also have a chance to prove his worth really soon.