INDIANAPOLIS — The NFL Combine was rocked early on Wednesday morning with the news that top prospect Jalen Carter is facing an arrest warrant for his role in a fatal street racing crash in Georgia last January.
Carter has been mentioned as one of the Chicago Bears’ top draft prospects since the team secured the No. 1 overall pick in the draft. But the McCaskey family is famous for shying away from players with legal troubles and character concerns, so the potential of Carter being selected by the Bears is very much in doubt.
Without Carter potentially off the team’s draft board, the Bears could feel better about trading down a little lower in the first round, where they could still draft a difference-maker for the defensive line.
Enter Texas Tech standout Tyree Wilson, who met with the media in Indy on Wednesday and has a profile that matches what Bears GM Ryan Poles likes to see in prospects.
The three traits Poles is looking for are:
“That’s what we are looking for. Guys that can get after the quarterback but also play the run as well and be disruptive,” Poles said on Tuesday.
Poles is not the only person in charge with a set of requirements for defensive linemen.
Bears head coach Matt Eberflus also has a few items on his wishlist.
The very first item, regardless of position, is pretty straightforward.
“They have to love the game,” Eberflus said.
Eberflus gave some specifics into what intangibles edge rushers must have within his defense. He mentioned the ability to “turn the corner” and get their entire body pointing toward the quarterback.
“Obviously, you gotta have great athleticism, and also a great get-off,” Eberflus told reporters Tuesday at the NFL Combine.
This is where Tyree Wilson comes in
What stood out about Wilson when he stepped up to the podium was how tall he is at 6-foot-6 and 280 pounds.
His 86-inch wingspan is also very impressive.
So, Wilson has the size and length that the Bears want at the position, but does he love the game?
You bet he does. In fact, that’s the one thing he wants teams to know about him this week.
“I’m passionate about football and I’ll take the organization to another level,” Wilson said on Wednesday.
The Red Raider also went on to explain that his passion is apparent when you turn on the film and by the way he plays. He added an example about his hustle and chasing down plays from the backside.
Good thing Wilson said his love of football is felt on film because that’s exactly where Coach Eberflus is looking to find it.
“And how do they show [the love of the game]? It’s what they show on tape,” Eberflus said. “And the passion that they have, the competes that they have on the field is the most important thing.”
Wilson is widely considered as one of the top three EDGE defenders in the draft class. There are multiple reasons why he could be a top-10, top-5, or even a top-3 pick in April.
One of those reasons is his ability to change games by being a disruptive force at getting after quarterbacks and stuffing the run.
He also has the versatility to win along the edge or inside and believes that he is just a player that can dominate on the field, every week.
“I have power and speed and can win outside and inside,” Wilson said.
When it comes to players he tries to model his game after, Wilson mentioned J.J. Watt because of his ability to win no matter his alignment and Myles Garrett.
Make no mistake about it, Wilson has all of the tools to become a dominant force in the NFL like his two role models.
In fact, Wilson checks every box that the Bears are looking for in edge defenders.
- Violence ☑️
- Length ☑️
- Tenacity ☑️
- Get After QBs ☑️
- Play the Run ☑️
- Athleticism ☑️
- Turn the Corner ☑️
- Get-Off ☑️
- Most importantly: Love of the Game ☑️
The Bears are obviously interested, as Wilson has met with the team twice. And to sweeten the pot, Wilson believes they would be a good fit.
Poles and Eberflus shouldn’t overthink this. If they’re able to trade down and still select Wilson in the top 10 of the 2023 NFL Draft, he would be worth the investment.
He’s exactly the sort of player worth spending a high draft pick on.
Get more information on Tyree Wilson and other NFL prospects by accessing our Offseason Database — an exclusive perk for CHGO Diehards!