If there’s one constant in the NFL, it’s the New York Giants keeping themselves well-stocked at the defensive tackle position. The Giants have a track record of cycling through defensive tackles that dates back a decade and a half at this point.
While the interior defensive line was the strength of the Giants’ roster in 2020, their two best players are free agents and the Giants might not have the cap room to bring either back.
But even in a vacuum, we should never rule out the Giants drafting a defensive tackle. Considering their issues generating a consistent pass rush, it wouldn’t be a big surprise to see a pass-rushing defensive tackle selected.
Florida State’s Marvin Wilson isn’t at the top of the defensive tackle depth chart, but he has the potential to give some value as an interior rusher.
Prospect: Marvin Wilson
Games Watched: vs. Boise State (2019), vs. Miami (2019), vs. Miami (2020), vs. North Carolina (2020)
Height: 6034 (6-foot-3 1⁄2 inches)
Weight: 319 pounds
Arm Length: 33 inches
Hand Size: 10 1/8 inches
Games Played: 34
Tackles For a loss: 15.0
Forced Fumbles: 2
Passes Defensed: 5
Games Played: 6
Tackles For a loss: 2.0
Forced Fumbles: 0
Passes Defensed: 0
Best: Length, quickness, upper body strength, gap shooting, pass rushing
Worst: Lower body strength, run defense
Projection: A rotational interior defensive lineman in an attacking, one-gap defense.
Florida State defensive tackle Marvin Wilson has good length, quickness, and upper body strength for the position. Wilson typically aligned at 3-technique for Florida State’s defense, though he has aligned at other techniques in different packages.
Wilson shows good quickness off the line of scrimmage, able to fire off the ball with low hips and pads. He does a good job of using his hands to keep blockers from locking in. Wilson works to place his hands on blockers’ chest plates when playing head-up on linemen, but is also able to position his hips in gaps and play with half-man leverage when shooting through gaps. He has a decent variety of pass rush moves, both using his hands to stay clean when rushing with speed, and using his length and strength as a power rusher. Wilson shows a strong burst when closing on the quarterback or ball carrier, as well as good tackling form to limit yards broken tackles or yards after contact.
He plays with a wide base in run defense, using his length and upper body strength well to stack and shed blockers. Wilson is also able to make plays off of blockers, disengaging to make tackles as runners attempt to go through his gap.
Wilson generally tracks the ball well throughout the play and shows good hustle and competitive toughness in pursuit.
While WIlson has good upper body strength, it isn’t matched with lower body strength. While he can prevent movement along the line of scrimmage, he is only able to stand up to offensive lineman when playing with good leverage. He can be moved off the line if he lets his knees straighten and hips rise.
Wilson needs some help from his coverage to help his pass rush. He tended to win his rushes at a higher rate than his stats show, largely because he won later in his reps and was forced to settle for quarterback hits or pressures. Wilson also has limited long speed, restricting his ability to pursue across the field.
Overall Grade: 6.8 - Wilson has a relatively high ceiling, but also some bust potential in the wrong situation. Teams will take a chance on his ability to produce in higher-leverage situations.
Marvin Wilson projects best as a rotational interior defensive lineman in an attacking one gap defense.
Wilson is likely best as a 3-technique in a 4-3 under defense, but also has the ability to line up as a defensive end in a one-gap 3-4 front. Wilson’s limitations as a run defender will likely limit him to being a sub-package player, and with that in mind he would likely be well-served by losing a bit of “bad” weight and playing closer to 300 pounds than 320. That would allow him to maximize his quickness and burst off the line of scrimmage as a rusher.
Wilson has the potential to be a disruptive pass rusher, particularly if he improves his ability to win quickly, or lands in a situation with good enough coverage to give him a bit more time to work. That being said, his length, short-area quickness, upper body strength, and hand usage should give him a useful player in passing situations.
While Wilson might not be an “every down” player at the NFL level, the importance of disrupting passing offenses — and how effective interior pressure can be in creating that disruption — he has definite value at the next level.