Players That Bear Watching: Texas Tech edge rusher Tyree Wilson

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Currently, the Chicago Bears have the second pick in the 2023 NFL draft and a lot of defining decisions to make for its organization.

Conventional wisdom suggests Chicago will trade down in order to acquire additional draft capital. Regardless of what they do with the second pick, it’s likely the Bears will take a defensive front line player in the first round.

Fortunately for the Bears, both a high-end edge rusher (Alabama's Will Anderson Jr.) and interior defensive disruptor (Georgia's Jalen Carter) are projected within the top five, so the Bears won't necessarily reach for the kind of talent they need to focus on. But options do exist outside the top five and aplayer like Tyree Wilson has increased his value because of his ability to pressure passers from inside as well as the edge.

Name: Tyree Wilson

Position: Edge

School (Year): Texas Tech (Sr.)

Measurables: 6’6”, 275 lbs / 4.82 40-time/ 35 5/8'' arm length / 86'' wingspan

Career Notes: [2022] All-American First Team (FWAA); [2022] All-American Second Team (AP); [2022] All-Big 12 First Team (Coaches and AP); [2022] Academic All-Big 12 Second Team; [2021] Defensive MVP of the AutoZone Liberty Bowl; [2021] All-Big 12 Honorable Mention

Best Game: Although Wilson won the AutoZone Liberty Bowl’s 2021 Defensive Player of the Game, his best game was still a season away. Wilson set a personal best in tackles with 11 against North Carolina State on September 17, 2022. Texas Tech never led in this contest, trailing 20-0 before finally scoring a touchdown late in the second quarter. Wilson, however, maintained a disciplined and determined attitude, stacking six solo tackles with five assists (11 total) on the day. In addition to his team high in tackles, he also registered three and a half tackles for loss and two sacks. Unfortunately for Wilson and his Red Raider teammates, Texas Tech lost to the Wolfpack 27-14.

RELATED: 2023 NFL Mock Draft: A way for Alabama's Will Anderson to become a Bear

What they’re saying about him: For edge rushers, it’s all about physical traits and tools, and the 6-foot-6 Wilson has everything teams want in that regard. He has a high ceiling.” - ESPN analyst Mel Kiper Jr.

Skill Set: Wilson is a power rusher who displays exceptional burst and he is extremely long, possessing an overshadowing length (86-inch wingspan) that makes him difficult to contain with basic blocking schemes. Standing 6-foot-6 and 275 pounds, Wilson's size and frame contain a dense musculature primed for NFL combat. Wilson calculates angles well and plays with an acute awareness honed by experience gained from 35 college games. Exceptional body control coupled with his power helps create leveraging advantages against opponents. Deceptively quick for his size, Wilson is an extremely dangerous edge rusher who can gain the corner with speed, or win inside using power moves.

Why Chicago? Wilson is a productive edge-rushing talent with inside alignment versatility. Powerful and sturdy enough size-wise to play the three-technique on pass rushing downs, Wilson also has athleticism and agility that enables him to gain the edge past offensive linemen. Because of Wilson’s inside/outside versatility, Chicago could utilize his athleticism on stunts to generate pressure from various angles. Wilson, like a grizzly bear, moves with deceptive quickness and powerfully balanced lunges through blockers. If the Bears chose Wilson, they’d be acquiring an experienced defender who led the Big 12 in tackles for loss (14), and tallied seven sacks in back to back seasons. A brutally efficient edge defender, Wilson mixes his approach with finesse to set up opponents, then finishes them off using overwhelming power. Yes, Wilson is recovering from a broken foot (November 12, 2022), but the second-team academic All-American will be intelligent with his rehab. If the Bears trade down, Wilson size, versatility and experience might provide Chicago with a foundation piece for its defense.

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