LARAMIE – Having been back in Wyoming for less than a week, Logan Wilson found himself surprisingly out of breath.
The former University of Wyoming linebacker – of All-Mountain West and All-American fame, and a likely 2020 NFL draft pick – performed at the Cowboys Pro Day on March 10, just days before sports were effectively shut down around the country due to the threat of COVID-19. Following a standout performance at the NFL Combine in late February where he ran an impressive 4.63-second 40-yard dash, Wilson opted to perform mainly field drills in Laramie with fellow linebacker and draft hopeful Cassh Maluia.
Wilson had been training in California prior to returning to UW and, when he got back to Laramie, he admitted Pro Day was more of a workout than he had imagined. Even after living his whole life at elevation and the past five years at 7,220 feet, a couple months away from home for the Casper product took its toll.
“I need to get used to that again,” Wilson said. “I thought I was going to pass out.”
Wilson had a storied career that saw him collect 421 tackles, ranking fourth in UW history. The 2019 Butkus Award finalist has seen his draft stock rise since the start of his senior season.
Seen somewhat as a fringe prospect prior to 2019, Wilson put himself on the board with 105 tackles and four interceptions as a redshirt senior, displaying the type of playmaking NFL clubs covet. The team captain was the heart and soul of a stout Cowboys defense that surrendered just 17.8 points per game last season. Wilson also played in the prestigious Senior Bowl in January, where he logged two tackles.
“He had good tape and he was able to play out in space. He’s smart, but it was going to be important that he would run well,” UW coach Craig Bohl said. “(Scouts) are doing their due diligence and homework, and that’s usually an indication when a guy’s moving up. They’re digging a little bit more to make sure they got the right guy.”
One of the questions on Wilson going into the combine was his speed and athleticism; his subsequent performance alleviated such questions. Among combine participants, his numbers ranked quite solidly:
Bench press: 21 reps (tied for fifth among 27 linebackers that participated)
Vertical jump: 32 inches (tied for 23rd among 31 linebackers that participated)
Broad jump: 10 feet, 1 inch (tied for 15th among 31 linebackers that participated)
3-cone drill: 7.07 seconds (ninth among 18 linebackers that participated)
20-yard shuttle: 4.27 seconds (tied for seventh among 19 linebackers that participated)
“I thought I accomplished what I wanted to at the combine. I talked it over with my agent and my trainer, and didn’t think I needed to redo anything like that (at Pro Day),” Wilson said. “I wanted to excel in the position drills, mainly.
“They put us through some different position drills than we did at the combine. I wanted to show that I was still able to do those.”
Wilson’s draft stock is trending upward, with Sports Illustrated projecting him to go to the New England Patriots in the third round. Scott Wright, a well-known NFL draft analyst who runs NFLDraftCountdown.com, shared his thoughts with WyoSports on the former Cowboy.
Wright said he projects Wilson as a second-or third-round selection.
“When talking about prospects who’ve seen their NFL draft stock rise the most in the last six months, Wyoming linebacker Logan Wilson would be near the top of the list,” Wright told WyoSports. “There is plenty to like about Wilson, starting with a four-year track record of high-level production. An active, aggressive ‘backer, Wilson shows terrific instincts and is a reliable tackler with a motor that is always running.”
Wilson’s versatility works in his favor.
“As a former defensive back, Wilson has the ability to match up and drop into coverage, which is so important in this pass-happy day and age,” Wright said. “As an added bonus, Wilson is capable of playing inside or outside linebacker and can offer value by contributing on special teams. After entering his senior season with a late round grade, it now looks like Wilson could be a Day 2 pick.
“To put that into perspective, less than five inside linebackers are selected in the Top 100 overall, so securing one of those coveted slots is quite an accomplishment.”
The status of the NFL draft itself is up in the air due to COVID-19. With the recent declaration that gatherings of more than 10 people are prohibited indefinitely, the fanfare that generally accompanies the event is unlikely to be allowed by the time the draft rolls around in Las Vegas from April 23-25.
After Pro Day, Wilson said he was planning on going to Las Vegas for the event, though not to the actual draft itself. Given the current state of things, those plans could be on hold, too. Regardless of where he ends up watching the most important three days of his life, Wilson feels he’s made his case to the NFL as a prospect.
Does he think he’s done all he can to raise his stock over the last few months?
“Yeah,” Wilson said confidently. “Yeah, I do.”