“Wilson’s had a really good camp,” Zimmer said last week. “He’s smart, he’s obviously got good athletic ability, he understands the system really well.
“I’m always looking at ways to try to get him more involved in some of the packages because I like everything that he’s doing,” Zimmer added.
Anthony Barr and Eric Kendricks are the unquestioned starters under Zimmer, as the two are in for almost every situation, especially when the Vikings go to a nickel defense.
Fellow linebacker Ben Gedeon has been the starter in the base package with three linebackers, but that hasn’t stopped Zimmer from being creative in trying to get multiple linebackers on the field at the same time.
“They’re different in some of the things,” Zimmer said of Wilson and Gedeon. “They both have strengths and weaknesses, but [Wilson has] had a good camp.”
Gedeon recorded 54 tackles and three pass breakups in 2018 when he started eight of 15 games played but could be described as more of a run stopper. Wilson totaled 38 tackles, 2.0 sacks and five tackles for loss in starting four of the 12 games he played.
The 24-year-old said he’s playing faster due to his comfort level of being in the same system for the third straight season. Of course, that doesn’t mean Wilson has stayed complacent, as he’s added to his plate each year he’s been in Purple.
“I’ve been put at different positions, which has helped a lot,” Wilson said. “I understand the whole defense and where I have to be on my Ps and Qs or where I can be aggressive. We have different communications, but yeah, I feel a lot more comfortable.
“Sometimes I have to play ’backer, and sometimes I have to play dime, and sometimes I have to play Sam (strongside linebacker), and sometimes I have to play Will (weakside linebacker). Just to be able to know each position helps to know the whole defense,” Wilson added. “Whenever my number is called, for whatever position it is, I have to be ready. Whenever I’m in there, if the play is there to be made, I’m going to be there to make it.”