With the podcast, interviews and guru competition I've yet to put some thoughts down on Martez Wilson but I really wanted to jot a few things down in recognition of yet another high draft pick on defense getting kicked to the curb. By activating Ryan Griffin to the active squad as the #3 quarterback, the Saints waived linebacker Martez Wilson. Griffin was added because of the rash of injuries at quarterbacks around the league in the past week. Undoubtedly teams were sniffing around to sign Griffin and the Saints decided to make the move to promote him to the active roster to protect against losing him. That came at the expense of Wilson, a player that could never put it all together in black and gold but had freakish talent and scary athleticism.
Let's revisit the Saints' defensive draft picks in the Sean Payton era:
Roman Harper, Rob Ninkovich, Josh Lay, Usama Young, David Jones, Marvin Mitchell, Sedrick Ellis, Tracy Porter, DeMario Pressley, Malcolm Jenkins, Chip Vaughn, Stanley Arnoux, Patrick Robinson, Cameron Jordan, Martez Wilson, Johnny Patrick, Greg Romeus, Nate Bussey, Akiem Hicks, Corey White, Kenny Vaccaro, John Jenkins, Rufus Johnson.
Of this list, only 9 players remain and P-Rob is on IR and Rufus Johnson is on the practice squad. Wilson is yet another example of the poor job this scouting department has done is evaluating talent on the defensive side of the ball. But the most disappointing thing is that Wilson is still young and still has a lot of potential. We're saying it's a bust pick only because the Saints have waived him, but he could still go on to have a good career elsewhere.
Wilson's role with the Saints flat out didn't exist this season. It's too bad. It's surprising when you consider that Victor Butler and Will Smith both had season ending injuries. How could he not be a top two outside linebacker on the roster with those two suffering injuries? But the combination of scheme, an elbow injury and Wilson not putting it together has ultimately landed him off the roster.
The fact that the Saints see more long term potential in developing their undrafted 3rd string quarterback than developing the second best pass rushing linebacker on the roster is a bummer. If something happens to Junior Galette, Wilson is the only player that is anything like him. Galette will be impossible to replace without Martez Wilson.
I always liked Wilson's potential and I wish Tez the best. Hopefully he can catch on with someone else and showcase his skills. He's definitely got some. I think this move was premature by the Saints, particularly when you consider there's other guys on the roster like Keyunta Dawson the Saints could have cut to make room for Griffin. Maybe Wilson can't help now or even this year (if Galette stays healthy), but I really felt like he was still worth holding on to. This is only his third season. But the Saints felt otherwise, once again admitting to us all that they kind of suck at drafting defensive players.