2013 NFL Draft Scouting Report: Marquess Wilson

Career Recap: Since his first day as a Cougar, Wilson has been a productive playmaker for Washington State. The big, lanky wide receiver has consistently moved the chains for Washington State. Wilson has generated a lot of yards and catches despite inconsistent play around him. He broke out across the Pac-10 as a freshman with 55 receptions for 1,006 yards and six scores.

Wilson was even better as a sophomore, being one of the most productive receivers in the nation with 82 receptions for 1,388 yards and 12 touchdowns last season. He did that despite losing starting quarterback Jeff Tuel for most of the year, and Wilson was a Second-Team All-Pac-12 selection.

Senior signal-caller Marshall Lobbestael and freshman quarterback Connor Halliday did admirable jobs filling in for Tuel in 2011, but there was a clear drop off in talent from the starter. Wilson carried the Cougars’ offense as the team didn’t have a single running back even reach 650 yards on the ground.

2012 Season Outlook: Even though Wilson has been massively productive in his first two years, there is good reason to think that he could be even better in 2012. The first reason is Tuel coming back healthy. The second reason is the arrival of head coach Mike Leach.

At Texas Tech, Leach ran a prolific aerial attack that was massively successful. The Red Raiders’ offense vaulted Michael Crabtree to the top of the nation and made him a high first-round pick. In his final two years under Leach, Crabtree totaled 231 receptions for 3,127 yards and 41 touchdowns.

Leach will definitely utilize Wilson well and build the offense around the “Tuel to Wilson” connection. It wouldn’t be surprising for Wilson to surpass 100 receptions as a junior with a huge total of yards and touchdowns.

Skill-Set Summary: Wilson is a big receiver who has outstanding hands and body control. He has good concentration that allows him to make a lot of tough catches over defensive backs. Wilson fights for the ball and is quite familiar with making contested catches. He uses his height to his advantage and is a good red-zone weapon.

For the NFL, it would be nice to see Wilson fill out his frame. That could help him turn into the impact blocker that he has the capacity to be. Wilson would be a good fit in an NFL West Coast offense. As a Z (flanker) receiver, he could really be a nice chain-mover in the short to intermediate part of the field.

The one big concern with Wilson is speed. He doesn’t seem to get lots of separation from cornerbacks. Wilson routinely makes contested catches over defensive backs, but it would be good to see him work himself more open with quickness.

Leach may be able to improve Wilson’s route running to make him more sudden in and out of breaks. If the wide out can show more foot speed and quickness that could really help his draft stock. Big receivers who aren’t fast tend to miss out on the first round.

2013 Draft Expectations: Wilson is an interesting prospect, especially if he has massive production under Leach. Right now, Wilson’s lack of speed would send him into the second day. If he shows progress under Leach, Wilson could easily push into the top 32.


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