Power is a trait that can be hard to find in elite quantities. But when you can add that kind of power to your NFL roster, you don’t hesitate. That’s the kind of power that Texas Tech EDGE Tyree Wilson brings to the fold. And, as his 2023 NFL Draft scouting report details, it’s part of what amounts to an astronomical ceiling.
Tyree Wilson NFL Draft Profile
The Travon Walker effect is in full swing. In the 2022 NFL Draft cycle, Walker essentially came out of nowhere to become the first overall pick. Even more fascinating than his rise was his profile. Walker didn’t have elite production or anything close to it. But with elite raw power and athleticism, the ceiling he offered was simply too enticing to pass up.
Walker’s dramatic rise had analysts searching for the “next” Walker in the 2023 NFL Draft class, and Wilson was an early candidate to fill that void. Wilson has many of Walker’s hallmarks — length, power, and athleticism off the line — but he also has the production to solidify his early first-round profile.
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It took a couple of years for Wilson, a former three-star recruit for Texas A&M, to catch on. But he found his stride with the Texas Tech Red Raiders. In 2021, he amassed seven sacks and 13.5 tackles for loss. And in 2022, he duplicated that sack total while also piling up 14 TFLs and a forced fumble.
In a class that also has Alabama’s Will Anderson Jr., Wilson isn’t the bonafide EDGE1. But his rare athletic makeup and absurd power capacity have defensive coordinators salivating about what he can look like at his ultimate ceiling.
- Position: Edge Rusher
- School: Texas Tech
- Current Year: Redshirt Senior
- Height/Weight: 6’6″, 271 pounds
- Length: 35 5/8″
- Hand: 9 5/8″
Tyree Wilson Scouting Report
Wilson has been mocked as high as the top five in the 2023 NFL Draft, and in some cases, he’s seen as a candidate to unexpectedly overtake Anderson as the top EDGE on the board. Does his talent warrant such a lofty investment?
It’s nearly impossible not to be awestruck by the tools Wilson possesses. At 6’6″, 271 pounds, with arms nearly 36″ long, Wilson has an outrageously large and dense frame with a dominating wingspan. He can generate disruption on the edge, but his size also enables him to rotate inside to 3-technique and provide value there.
Size alone, of course, isn’t enough. A level of functional athleticism must also be present. Luckily for Wilson, he has that and more. The Texas Tech EDGE shows off intense acceleration capacity when he has room to open up his strides and churn his legs. Additionally, he has a high-level initial burst when he’s able to pin his ears back. His long-track explosiveness allows him to surge through gaps and pressure blockers on stunts.
For his size, Wilson has excellent explosive capacity, and he can channel that momentum into force at contact. Moreover, the Texas Tech EDGE has the explosiveness to overtake the tackle to the apex and acquire space to surge inside. He’s also flashed the ability to control his acceleration and throttle up into the apex with long, powerful strides.
With his size, you’d think bend would be an area of weakness for Wilson. It may not be a surefire strength just yet, but he does have bend capacity to further unearth. He’s shown he can tuck his hips under the apex and change directions quickly while sustaining acceleration. He has a definite degree of ankle flexion, which he can use to pry around blockers on stunts.
Wilson has shown he can reduce his surface area and splice his way around blocks. He can pinch moderately tight angles and pivot around blocks when he has enough space. With those opportunities, Wilson has proven himself to be able to corner with surprising control and quickness after piercing through gaps. Furthermore, he has the flexibility to snap his hips into place upon extending and driving his power forward.
Wilson is more of a linear athlete overall, but he does have serviceable agility and twitch. At his maximum, he’s a surprisingly fleet-footed mover, and he can quickly chop his feet to accelerate into contact as a rusher. He can also use modest lateral twitch to displace tackles and bait them into extending early. Furthermore, Wilson flashes impressive lateral agility when shading around moving blocks to invade gaps.
Wilson’s athleticism is very much a selling point, but the Texas Tech EDGE’s chief foundational trait is his otherworldly power capacity. Wilson has the elite power capacity required to obliterate a blocker’s center of gravity with ruthless extensions. He generates dominating power with full extensions and can sustain power exertion with steady leg drive.
Wilson’s hands have extreme knock-back power, and he consistently drives blockers back on initial contact. The Texas Tech EDGE can quickly extend, then reload and re-exert with violent arm movements. He’s able to bulldoze blockers with power generated by his burst and length. It’s not brash to say Wilson’s power profile is almost generational — players with this kind of force capacity don’t come around often.
Power and strength often go hand-in-hand to an extent, and it’s not a shock to see that Wilson has both in elite quantities. The Texas Tech EDGE has the raw strength to hold blocks from inside while surveying option plays, then rip himself free to commit in pursuit. As a pass rusher, he can wrench down opposing anchors and extensions with devastating force. Additionally, he can lock his anchor into place and steamroll linemen into the pocket with overwhelming strength.
The operational area is where Wilson stands to improve. Even after the 2022 season, he can still become more consistent with his leverage management and hand usage. But he’s already shown promise in both areas.
Wilson is tall and can struggle with leverage, but he improved at getting his base under him across the 2021-2022 stretch. He does have the ability to sink his pads and drive power forward. Additionally, he can actively acquire leverage, load up his base, and forklift linemen with raw power exerted on the torso. He can also get skinny to squeeze through gaps as a stunting lineman and use his length to pry through.
Expanding on Wilson’s operational traits, his hand usage is visibly trending up as well. Especially in 2022, Wilson flashed improvement when bringing a consistent pass-rush plan and stacking successive moves. He became visibly more patient and reactive down the stretch and even showed that he could flash his hands to bait linemen and rip down extensions while swerving around the edge.
Wilson has shown he has the capacity to stack successive moves and build off of his initial power exertions. His power moves — such as bull-rushes, long-arms, and forklifts — can be devastating, but Wilson was also able to win with combos like push-pull-arm-over, rip-swim, and dip-and-rip. He can attack the opponent’s torso with extensions, then wrench hands off his frame and swim inside, flashing excellent timing with his violent hands.
Wilson has shown he can win with various mixes of finesse and power, but power will always be his primary trait as a pass rusher. He can effectively long-arm blockers and re-establish his anchor while driving his legs forward. He can also violently swat down levers with swipes and cross-chops and surge around blockers. And when infiltrating the pocket, he actively uses his length to reach and wrap around passers.
The Texas Tech defender is a high-motor rusher who consistently draws double- and triple-teams and still fights to break through. He’s a relentless rusher with undaunted energy and zeal on the attack, and that motor, combined with his power, gives blockers plenty to deal with on a down-to-down basis.
In pursuit, Wilson has the play strength and wide reach to easily make solo tackles, engulfing ball carriers with his wingspan. The Red Raider EDGE also brings solid range in pursuit with his long strides, and he has enough burst and speed to close gaps on runners as they turn upfield. In a similar vein, he’s shown he can identify RBs sneaking into the flats and run them down.
Wilson’s Areas for Improvement
At times, Wilson can be a bit late timing the snap, although he improved his timing and explosiveness channeling in 2022. Even so, Wilson can’t always sustain acceleration while pinching tight angles, as his tall frame can be hard to shrink. His hips do show slight stiffness at times, and Wilson can be locked up at the apex as a result. He has definite bend capacity, but he’s not elite there.
Wilson sometimes experiences a delay when he needs to change directions. He isn’t always able to halt his momentum or control his mass and doesn’t bring elite lateral mobility.
His frame is tall and slightly high-hipped, which leads him to come into blocks too tall, limiting his ability to drive power forward with maximum efficiency. Similarly, Wilson sometimes drifts too far upright when approaching blocks, hindering his ability to drive.
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Wilson can be more consistent in sinking his pads, activating his lower body, and magnifying power. He improved here in 2022, but he still too often neutralizes his base early in reps by aligning upright into contact.
Moreover, Wilson doesn’t consistently stack counters off extensions. His hands are heavy but can be faster and more violent at times. He can also better load up his arms to maximize power exertion and energy efficiency. Wilson can be heavily reliant on two-hand extensions and isn’t always quick to adapt when his rushes stall out.
Among other things, Wilson sometimes appears uncontrolled and can channel his traits more efficiently, both heading into contact and working around the edge. He occasionally fades out at the tail end of reps and doesn’t have elite range or functional athleticism in space.
Current Draft Projection for Texas Tech EDGE Tyree Wilson
Wilson has the tools to buoy a blue-chip ceiling, and his grade reflects that. In the 2023 NFL Draft, he’s a borderline top-ten prospect on my board who’s deserving of early first-round capital. He’s not EDGE1 — that honor goes to Anderson. But Wilson is in the tier just beyond, and he’s a worthy investment with his high-upside profile.
Wilson is still far from a finished product. At his size, he can still be more consistent with his leverage acquisition and management, and his hand usage also remains a work in progress. That said, Wilson is trending up in both areas, and as long as he can keep driving his power effectively and keep employing hand combinations with greater speed and consistency, he has game-wrecking potential.
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Wilson’s game revolves around a domineering physical profile that features hyper-elite size, length, and power output. That overwhelming power gives Wilson a consistent edge in contact situations. But beyond that, Wilson also has stellar explosive capacity, violent hands, a relentless motor, surprising bend and ankle flexion, and the strength to hold the edge in run defense.
With his burst, power, play strength, and aggression, Wilson has enormous upside in 3- and 4-point stances, and he can even generate speed-to-power in 2-point stances from wider alignments. He can be a multi-phase destroyer at defensive end with vast alignment versatility, and his physical build grants him a blue-chip ceiling.