Summary: Wilson was been one of the SEC’s better quarterbacks for the past few years The Arkansas program has had a lot of highs-and-lows while he was the starter, but he received good preparation for the NFL.
Wilson played as a backup to Ryan Mallett in 2010. Wilson completed 34-of-51 passes for 453 yards with four touchdowns and three interceptions. Wilson took over as the starting quarterback in 2011 after Mallet left for the NFL. The junior completed 63 percent of his passes for 3,638 yards with 24 touchdowns and six interceptions. Wilson played better as the year progressed, and the Razorbacks put together a good season. They looked to be a program on the rise and had high expectations to compete for an SEC Championship in 2012.
Former head coach Bobby Petrino sent the 2012 season down the drain with his scandal. That led to an interim coach and a program that was beset with turmoil. Wilson and other veterans tried to keep the team stable but 2012 was a nightmare season. In a shocking upset loss to Louisiana-Monroe, Wilson sustained a concussion that knocked him out for the second half of that game and Arkansas’ battle with Alabama.
Wilson had some good games, but never really got into a groove as a senior. He completed 62 percent of his passes for 3,387 yards, 21 touchdowns and 13 interceptions. At times, Wilson was forcing some throws and was pressing.
At the Senior Bowl, Wilson completed a lot of short to intermediate passes and showed some nice accuracy. However, he struggled going downfield. His arm strength looks less than ideal for the NFL. Wilson also checked in with very small hands (8 5/8), so fumbling could be an issue. Furthermore, he didn’t impress on the field at the Combine and didn’t do anything to refute the arm-strength concerns.
Wilson would be best in an NFL West Coast offense where he operates a short- and intermediate-passing game. Wilson can throw the ball accurately in a short, precision-based offense. He demonstrated really good decision-making and ball security during his junior season. That fell apart in 2012, but as a pro, Wilson projects to being a quarterback who is smart with the football. He also has some mobility to scramble and buy time or pick up some yards with his feet.
Physically, Wilson may lack the arm strength to be an impact starter in the NFL. If he continues to develop his skills, he could make up for it with intelligence, timing and anticipation. If Wilson doesn’t develop into a starter, he could be a quality backup.
In the 2013 NFL Draft, Wilson could go as high as the second round and as low as the fourth round.
Player Comparison: Kevin Kolb. Wilson and Kolb have similar skill sets. They don’t have elite arms, but each has some passing ability and can operate a West Coast offense. Kolb (6-3, 218) is similar size to Wilson. Kolb belongs as a backup quarterback in the NFL rather than a starter, and the same could be said about Wilson.
NFL Matches: Kansas City, Cleveland, Buffalo, Arizona, New York Jets, Jacksonville, Oakland
There are a lot of quarterback needy-teams that could consider Wilson. The Chiefs are said to be fans of Wilson and could target him with their third-round pick.
The new regime in Cleveland is not married to Brandon Weeden and Wilson could go to the Browns in the third round. The Cardinals may want to draft a quarterback to groom behind Carson Palmer. Wilson could be under consideration for Arizona.
Buffalo seems to be more interested in other quarterback prospects, but Wilson could be under consideration for the Bills on the second day.
The Jets need to find some competition for Mark Sanchez. Wilson has the intelligence and confidence to compete. New York could consider him. Likewise the Jaguars need a competitor to push Blaine Gabbert. Wilson could make sense for Jacksonville in the third or fourth round.
Oakland could consider Wilson in the third or fourth round as a competitor for Matt Flynn.
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