by J.T. Toth
Photo courtesy of Maize n Brew.
The NFL Draft talk never ends and we here at Draft 412 will keep you ready for the next set of gridiron stars. From today until draft night 2024 we will bring you mocks, profiles, team needs, and everything else related to the 2024 NFL Draft.
Today’s Spotlight -Michigan, Wide Receiver, Roman Wilson
Name- Roman Wilson
HT/WT- 6’0” 192 lbs.
Home – Honolulu, HI
Wilson attended Saint Louis High School in Honolulu, Hawaii and helped his team to a 38 game winning streak, including a 12-0 mark during his senior season. Wilson had a huge part in their 12-0 season, hauling in 61 catches for 1,025 yards and 11 touchdowns and shined the brightest in the biggest game, catching 8 passes for 176 yards, including an 86 yard touchdown in the state championship game. 247Sports had him rated as a four-star prospect and he was invited to play in the 2020 Polynesian Bowl All-Star Game. He attended NIKE’s The Opening Regional Camp in 2019, where he won the “Fastest Man Race” and clocked 4.37 in the 40 yard dash. He committed to play football at Michigan University during his senior season.
As a freshman in the Covid-19 shortened season, Wilson played in all 6 games and snared 9 passes for 122 yards and 1 touchdown. During his sophomore year, he appeared in 13 games, starting 5 and in a run-heavy offense was able to catch 25 passes for 420 yards and 3 touchdowns.
Last season, Wilson didn’t make quite the jump many expected. He played in 12 games, starting 4 and finished with 25 catches for 376 yards and 4 touchdowns. Michigan also used his explosiveness in the running game, where he ran 2 times for 39 yards, scoring on both plays.
This season, Wilson has been a consistent playmaker in the Michigan offense and was named a Pro Football Focus Third Team Midseason All-American. In 8 games for the Wolverines, he has 27 catches for 446 yards. He has become J.J. McCarthy’s “go to” receiver and leads the team with 10 touchdown receptions.
Roman Wilson is an electric wide receiver with game breaking speed. He has an explosiveness that can beat zones right down the middle and is effective when used as a running back during jet sweeps. Once he hits the open field, he’s a tough player to coral. He has longer arms for a 6’0” wide receiver than expected and his frame can add muscle and weight without him losing his speed. He has a quick slant ability, allowing him to zig-zag with elite foot speed to make himself almost impossible to mirror. He can line up outside or in the slot and be effective in either case, though Draft 412 thinks he may be better suited in the slot at the next level.
On the downside, Wilson struggles with drops, especially when he is working himself back to the quarterback. He catches the ball better over his shoulders than in front of his body and has a lot of double catches, usually when he is looking to make a move without securing the ball. He gets held up in press coverage and can spend too much time fighting to get off the line. Wilson’s not much of a run blocker and adds nothing to a team's run game blocking on the outside. He lacks strength after the catch and is easily brought down with an arm tackle.
Draft 412 sees a little bit of Antonio Brown in Wilson’s game. Though Wilson is taller than Brown, they both possess an uncanny cutting and wiggle ability that makes them hard to cover. Wilson has more of a vertical game than Brown, but Brown never had issues with drops. Wilson is going to be a quality wide receiver in the mid-rounds.
Explosion off line
Catching ball in front of body
Roman Wilson has the potential to be a quality slot receiver and a playmaker in the NFL. He has room to grow and become a better blocker, which will help him down the road. NFL teams will not sleep on Wilson’s big play ability
Draft 412 Draft Prediction - 4th or 5th round