William Jackson III rose to the ranks of elite prospects during the buildup to the 2016 NFL Draft. Wilson saw his teammate go through that process and decided that he is ready to impress evaluators with his talents. He showed them a lot in 2016, earning first-team All-American Athletic Conference honors by leading his team with five interceptions (also 54 tackles and five pass break-ups). Wilson had hoped to break out with Jackson in 2015, but he tore up his knee after an interception in the season's third game and was awarded a medical redshirt. The second-team all-state pick from Texas was a great recruiting pickup for Houston, and he showed why as a true freshman. Wilson picked off three passes and made 48 tackles that year, playing in all 13 games and starting three.
Took the ball away in high school and continued to do it in college. Averaged an interception (nine total) every 15 targets despite just one season as a full-time starter. Drapes his length over throwing windows. Has impressive burst to ball that brings him into range to make plays on the throw. Has the size and speed to stay with burners down the field. Springy leaper with catch radius to ruin the 50/50 tries. Always monitoring quarterback from off-man and zone. Will take a direct line to the ball when he decides to trigger. Has the hips and feet to mirror and match all over the field. Well-coached and experienced in a variety of techniques. Shows no fear when it's time to come get ball carriers as a tackler. Goes low and goes hard.
Has very limited experience relative to the rest of the cornerbacks in this draft. Missed most of 2015 with an ACL tear that teams will look into at the combine. Will require additional time to hone his pattern recognition and instincts down the field. Has a very thin frame with skinny legs. Lacks desired muscular definition and needs a full year of work in an NFL weight program to pack on necessary muscle. Plays a little too upright at times. Scouts believe he could struggle early inside a complicated defensive scheme.
Sources Tell Us
"He played bail coverage all game long against DeDe Westbrook so it was hard to get anything out of that. He has a lot of physical talent but I think he will struggle if you ask him to go from his conference into taking on NFL route-runners. Might have been a first-round prospect if he had gone back." -- AFC Director of College Scouting
Smooth athlete with excellent length who has a long history of making plays on the football. Wilson is fast and fluid and he's willing to do his part as a tackler, but he needs more muscle and more experience before he's ready to handle some of the physical receivers he will see in the league. Wilson's size, speed and ball skills will be coveted traits and they give him a chance to become a good NFL starter with time.