AFC West: Martez Wilson

ALAMEDA, Calif. -- The line between being stung by being cut and feeling wanted by someone else is a fine one indeed.

It's also one about to be walked by new Raiders linebacker Martez Wilson, who was claimed off waivers from the New Orleans Saints on Wednesday and practiced Thursday with Oakland.

"A new beginning, that's the best way to do it," Wilson said. "You don't forget your past but you let it fuel you, to where a new beginning is about to start. Just take over and dominate."

[+] EnlargeRyan Tannehill
Crystal LoGiudice/USA TODAY SportsMartez Wilson had four tackles, including this sack of Ryan Tannehill, in four games with the Saints this season.
That path, though, won't be traversed this week. Raiders coach Dennis Allen said Wilson will not have had enough practice time to suit up against the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday.

But there is a reason the Raiders essentially chose Wilson, a third-round draft pick out of Illinois in 2011, over defensive tackle Christo Bilukidi, who was a member of Allen and general manager Reggie McKenzie's first draft class as a sixth-rounder out of Georgia State in 2012.

"There are some athletic things that (Wilson) does pretty well," said Raiders defensive coordinator Jason Tarver. "He's shown the ability to rush the passer. It's a new team for him, so all we know is what he does from this point forward.

"In the future we'd like to see what he's going to do in practice. Then we'll teach him the scheme and see what he can do."

In New Orleans, Wilson played on the outside in the Saints' 3-4 scheme. With the Raiders, who play a 4-3, he will play as a strongside linebacker.

"I can play every linebacker position there is: on the line of scrimmage, off the line of scrimmage, I can blitz, I can rush," Wilson said. "So I feel like the more I'm capable of showing ... the coaching staff that I can play and I'm very versatile with my ability, the sky's the limit."

In two-plus seasons with the Saints, Wilson had five sacks and 30 tackles, two passes defensed, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery.

Raiders cornerback Tracy Porter played with Wilson in New Orleans in 2011.

"I definitely seen flashes of his athletic ability and the potential that he had, to provide sacks for us and cause fumbles and rushes on the quarterback," Porter said. "So I know the potential that he has and I'm excited that he's here."

As is, the 6-foot-4, 252-pound Wilson.

"It's been great so far," he said. "The coaches seem very excited. The players have been very warm welcoming.

"Man, I'm just excited and ready to ball out."

Looking ahead

April, 29, 2011
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Here are some of the top players available in the second round:

Clemson defensive end Da'Quan Bowers, Texas cornerback Aaron Williams, Oregon State defensive tackle Stephen Paea, UCLA linebacker Akeem Ayers, Georgia defensive end Justin Houston, Illinois linebacker Martez Wilson, UCLA safety Rahim Moore, Arizona pass-rusher Brooks Reed, North Carolina defensive tackle Marvin Austin and quarterbacks Ryan Mallett, Andy Dalton and Colin Kaepernick.

Denver has the No. 36 and No. 46 picks. Denver coach John Fox said he could see Denver having options to moving up or down from No. 36. Among the players Denver could look at are Paea, Austin and Moore if they keep the No 36 pick.

Bowers is a wild-card. He was considered a potential pick for Denver at No. 2 before he suffered a potentially debilitating knee injury. Bowers, who led the NCAA with 15.5 sacks last season, is talented, but he is a health risk. After taking the pass-rushing Von Miller in the first round, Denver could look elsewhere at No. 36 if Bowers is there. But it could be a worthwhile risk, because of his ability.

Scouts Inc. looks at it all

April, 28, 2011
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Scouts Inc. has released its complete seven-round mock draft in an Insider piece. Let’s check it out:

Denver

Round pick Player Pos. School

1 2 Von Miller LB Texas A&M

2 36 Justin Houston DE Georgia

2 46 Kyle Rudolph TE Notre Dame

3 67 Jaiquawn Jarrett S Temple

6 186 Derrick Locke RB Kentucky

6 189 Cortez Allen CB Citadel

7 247 Pat Devlin QB Delaware

My take: It’s a strong class of players in the first four picks. Devlin is an interesting project.

San Diego

Round pick Player Pos. School

1 18 Muhammad Wilkerson DL Temple

2 50 Martez Wilson LB Illinois

2 61 Kelvin Sheppard LB LSU

3 82 Greg Salas WR Hawaii

3 89 Kendrick Ellis DT Hampton

6 183 Pierre Allen DE Nebraska

6 201 Anthony Gaitor CB Florida Int.

7 234 Joe Torchia WR Virginia

My take: The first five picks are very strong. The Chargers would instantly get better on defense and Salas is an intriguing receiver.

Kansas City

Round pick Player Pos. School

1 21 Nate Solder OT Colorado

2 55 Titus Young WR Boise State

3 86 Akeem Dent LB Georgia

4 118 Chris Carter LB Fresno State

5 135 Andrew Jackson OG Fresno State

5 140 Ian Williams DT Notre Dame

6 199 Julius Thomas TE Portland State

7 223 Shaun Chapas FB Georgia

My take: Young, Dent and Cart are all interesting value picks at their respective spots.

Oakland

Round pick Player Pos. School

2 48 Johnny Patrick CB Louisville

3 81 Joseph Lefeged S Rutgers

4 113 David Arkin OG Missouri State

5 148 Jordan Cameron LB USC

6 181 Aldrick Robinson WR SMU

7 219 Nathan Enderle QB Idaho

7 241 Michael Smith OT Nebraska

My take: The focus on DBs and the offensive line early is smart. Enderle would be a terrific choice in the last round.
Todd McShay has presented his latest mock NFL draft. Insider

Let’s take a look at his AFC West choices:

No. 2, Denver

Von Miller, LB, Texas A&M

My thoughts: Miller has been doing all the right things in his workouts to move up the draft board. I think Denver has a greater needs on the defensive line, but Miller would make this defense better. I could see it happening. On McShay’s board, Alabama defensive tackle Marcell Dareus goes to Carolina with the No. 1 pick. He will be a serious option for Denver at No. 2 if he’s available. Mel Kiper just released his newest big board in an Insider piece. He has Auburn defensive tackle Nick Fairley as the No. 2 player on his board behind LSU cornerback Patrick Peterson. Dareus is No. 3 and Miller is No. 4. All of these players would make sense for Denver. I think Denver would also be interested in trading down a few spots and hope to get one of these players or Clemson defensive end Da’Quan Bowers. He is now No. 6 on Kiper’s list.

No. 18, San Diego

Muhammad Wilkerson, DE, Temple

My thoughts: This is interesting. McShay was raving about Wilkerson when I talked to him at the combine last month. He thinks Wilkerson is a big-time player. He would fill a need for San Diego. But I’d be tempted to take a more established player like Cal pass-rusher Cameron Jordan if he is on the board. Two years ago, San Diego took Larry English from a small school and is still waiting for him to develop. That may be a bit unfair to Wilkerson, but it is something to consider.

No. 21, Kansas City

Gabe Carimi, OT, Wisconsin

My thoughts: I think Kansas City will first look at pass-rushers. Guys like UCLA’s Akeem Ayers and Georgia’s Justin Houston will be of interest. But Carimi is also a pick that makes sense. He’d be an upgrade over Barry Richardson at right tackle and give the offensive line an infusion of youth. It’s not a terrible idea.

UPDATE: McShay also mocked the second round. Here are his AFC West choices:

36. Denver Broncos: DT Jurrell Casey, USC

46. Denver Broncos: DS Rahim Moore, UCLA

48. Oakland Raiders: CB Curtis Brown, Texas

50. San Diego Chargers: OLB Martez Wilson, Illinois

55. Kansas City Chiefs: WR Tandon Doss, Indiana

61. San Diego Chargers: ILB Quan Sturdivant, North Carolina

Weigh in on McShay’s AFC West choices in the comments section below.

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