Law Nation Film Study: Damien Wilson


Productive, volume tackler over his two years as a Gopher ‘backer. Stays committed to the chase when ball spills wide. Shows a feel for blocks coming at him from an angle. Lines up the defense. Drops into zone coverage and spies the quarterback, mirroring the quarterback’s eyes and cutting off the passing lane.

Production and level of play fell off over his final four games against better competition, including Ohio State and Wisconsin. Allows himself to be cut-blocked on the second level. Lacks natural instincts from inside the box. Over-runs his run fit and can be easily pinned. Vacated his run responsibility, leading to long TDs from Ohio State’s J.T. Barrett and Wisconsin’s Melvin Gordon. Too often waits for blockers rather than beating them to the spot.

Fills the stat sheet, but is missing traits associated with becoming a starting linebacker in the NFL. He is an average athlete with average speed and loses leverage in his run responsibilities. He’s a willing chaser and he’s around the action, so a move to the WILL outside ‘backer spot might make the most sense in order to limit his liability against downhill rushing attacks.

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