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Bengals make Logan Wilson highest-drafted Cowboy who is also Wyoming native

Bengals make Logan Wilson highest-drafted Cowboy who is also Wyoming native
Logan Wilson, No. 30, became the highest drafted Wyoming Cowboy that is also a native of the state when the Cincinnati Bengals selected him 65th overall in the 2020 NFL Draft. (Photo: Troy Babbitt/University of Wyoming Athletics)

LARAMIE, Wyo. (BVM) — Logan Wilson isn’t the highest-ever NFL draft pick of a Wyoming Cowboy. That honor belongs to Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen, who was taken seventh overall two years ago.

But Allen is a Fresno, Calif. native. Wilson grew up in Casper and graduated from Natrona County High School. And when the Cincinnati Bengals selected Wilson with the first pick in the third round of the draft this past April, he became the highest pick of a Wyoming Cowboy who is also a native of the state.

Prior to becoming one of the top linebackers in the FBS, Wilson was a high school star on both sides of the ball for the Mustangs. He was a two-time all-state wide receiver and defensive back, won a pair of state championships (in 2012 and 2014) and helped Natrona to a 32-4 record over his three varsity seasons.

Wilson’s experience as a wide receiver and defensive back in high school helped him develop into an elite playmaking linebacker in college. He had 10 interceptions in his Cowboy career, two of which went for touchdowns.

“It definitely helps — especially in terms of my ball skills — playing as a receiver and then as a corner,” Wilson told Bengals.com. “Just understanding how to read a quarterback’s eyes and when to break, and things like that. I think those all helped make me into the linebacker that I am today.”

After redshirting his freshman year at UW, Wilson didn’t waste much time making an impact when he got on the field. He started every game he played for the Cowboys — 52 consecutive from the first game of his redshirt freshman season to the last game of his senior season. He was a three-time team captain and is one of only two Cowboys to hold that distinction in the modern era. He finished with 421 career tackles, which are the fourth-most in the history of the Mountain West Conference.

As a senior, Wilson was recognized as one of the nation’s best at his position. He was a first team Pro Football Focus All-American, a second team USA Today All-American and a third team Associated Press All-American. He was also one of six finalists for the Butkus award, which is bestowed upon the country’s top linebacker.

Wilson earned the attention of numerous pro scouts at the Senior Bowl and the NFL Scouting Combine. Bengals senior defensive assistant Mark Duffner was especially impressed by Wilson at the Senior Bowl.

“I wanted to kidnap him and drive him back to Cincinnati right then,” Duffner told Bengals.com. “Hard not to love a guy like that. A three-year captain. You don’t see many of those guys.”

Everyone knew the Bengals were going to take Josh Burrows with the No. 1 pick in the first round of the draft. The other rounds were more of a mystery, and Wilson was expected by some to be taken in the second, but Cincinnati couldn’t pass up Clemson standout wide receiver Tee Wiggins at No. 33 overall. Fortunately for the Bengals, Wilson was still available at the start of Round 3.

“If you walked into the first day of the draft and said, ‘Somehow, someway, we’re going to end up with Logan Wilson on our team,’ you don’t really care where you take him because you’re planning on that guy coming in and playing a big role for you,” Bengals head coach Zac Taylor told Bengals.com. “At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter what round you got him in.”

With the move to Ohio, Wilson’s home field will be outside of Wyoming for the first time in his career. But he’ll still have a chance to continue to make his home state proud.

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