Wilson was selected in the first round of the 1980 NFL Draft by the Chicago Bears, and went on to a nine year career in the NFL. As a starting outside linebacker for the Bears, Wilson played on one of the most dominating defenses in football history as part of the linebacking trio with Mike Singletary and Wilber Marshall. This defense helped the Bears to win Super Bowl XX. That same year, he also made the only Pro Bowl selection of his career. He was a featured soloist of the "Shuffling Crew" in the video The Super Bowl Shuffle in 1985.Wilson played with the Bears until 1987. Injuries kept him from playing in the 1988 season. In 1989, he signed with the Los Angeles Raiders, but played only one game in the season and retired soon afterwards. He finished his 9-season career with 36 sacks, 8 fumble recoveries, 31 fumble return yards 10 interceptions, 115 return yards, and 2 touchdowns in 110 games.