It’s NFL Draft Week! Along with the rest of the teams in the league, the New Orleans Saints are hoping to strike gold with a pool of promising draft prospects. The Saints have extra picks in the first, third, and fifth rounds, which gives them the potential to find some potential starters and depth for the 2015 squad, and more importantly years to come.
Our series that focuses on the biggest draft misses under Sean Payton is coming to a close this week, and we’re inside the top five players. Today’s feature is on a player that everyone certainly can agree belongs in the top, and that’s linebacker Martez Wilson.
Martez Wilson, Linebacker
2011 Draft, 3rd Round, #72 Overall – Illinois
Martez Wilson was a promising find in the third round of the 2011 draft, as many draft boards had placed him as one of the top inside linebacker prospects coming out of Illinois. Had it not been for an injury, Wilson may have went higher in the draft as a first or second round pick. There was a lot of anticipation for Wilson, as his NFL comparison was Karlos Dansby. NFL Draft Scout rated him as the top inside linebacker prospect of 129 linebackers. He was simply supposed to be ‘the next big thing’.
Wilson would be third player drafted by the New Orleans Saints in 2011 behind Cam Jordan and Mark Ingram. As a rookie, Wilson would see action in thirteen games. He improved in 2012, appearing in all sixteen games, and was due to take on a larger role when Rob Ryan entered the picture in 2013. However, there were reports that Wilson didn’t know the 3-4 defense, and it ultimately led to him being released early in the 2014 season on October 22, 2013 after playing in the first four games.
Wilson would be claimed off of waivers by the Oakland Raiders a day later, and released less than a month after. The Dallas Cowboys would pick him up a week later, and Wilson appeared in two games. Ultimately, Martez Wilson was waived on August 25, 2014 by the Cowboys, and hasn’t been heard from since.
Just listen to what Mike Mayock had to say about Wilson, and then you can really scratch your head.
Some players the Saints could have drafted in that Round: RB Stevan Ridley (#73), DT Jurrell Casey (#77)
Stay tuned as we count down the biggest busts and misses leading up to the NFL Draft!
- No. 10, Khairi Fortt (2014)
- No. 9, Antonio Pittman (2007)
- No. 8, Al Woods (2010)
- No. 7, Chip Vaughn and Stanley Arnoux (2009)
- No. 6, Andy Alleman (2007)
- No. 5, Johnny Patrick (2011)
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