On April 2, 2013, the Oakland Raiders traded with the Seattle Seahawks for Quarterback Matt Flynn. This move sent the disgruntled Carson Palmer eastward to the Arizona Cardinals. For all intents and purposes, it looked like the Raiders were set at quarterback. However, in the 4th round of the 2013 NFL Draft, the Raiders surprised everyone with the acquisition of the 112th pick overall, Quarterback Tyler Wilson.
I, like many Raiders Fans, flocked to the computer to find out who this kid was. As I began to read about Tyler Wilson’s College Accolades, a thought crossed my mind. What if he is the real deal? As underrated as the Oakland Raiders are this year, it would not surprise me if this is to be our quarterback of the future. Why not, it has been so long since we have had “The Guy” at quarterback. With the many successes of rookie quarterback’s coming out of colleges that run professional football programs, I wouldn’t be surprised if this kid is the real deal. Let me introduce you to Tyler Wilson, and you can form your own opinion about who he could become.
Born James Tyler Wilson, he grew up in Greenwood, Arkansas, and played football at Greenwood High School. During his Junior and Senior years, he produced rather impressive numbers (294 completions for 4,222 yards, 50 touchdowns, and a passer rating of 67.7% his Junior year, and 294 completions for 3,939 yards, 43 touchdowns, and a passer rating of 62.0% his Senior year).
Tyler Wilson chose to attend the University of Arkansas, and he was named the starting quarterback on August 25, 2011. His 2011 campaign as quarterback was by far his best year as a starter. He had 277 passing completions for 3,638 yards, 24 touchdowns, four rushing touchdowns, and a passer rating of 148.4. In the 2011 Cotton Bowl, Wilson was 20-of-31 passing for 216 yards and two touchdowns, while leading his team to a 29-16 victory over No. 11 ranked Kansas State. This performance earned him the game’s Most Valuable Player (MVP) honor. At the end of the 2011 season, Wilson was coveted as one of the top quarterbacks in the nation.
In 2012, the Arkansas Razorbacks fired Head Coach Bobby Petrino following an incident involving a motorcycle crash and an adulterous scandal. This meant the hiring of a new head coach and a brand new system for Tyler Wilson to learn for the 2012 season. Furthermore, Wilson lost many of his key players that he looked to on offense. However, he was able to put up decent numbers during a losing season (249 passes completed for 3,387 yards, 21 touchdowns, and a passer rating of 143.8).
More impressive are the 29 Arkansas Razorbacks records that Tyler Wilson holds. Some of the Records include; Passing Yards-Career (7,765, 2008-2012), Completions-Career (593, 2008-2012), Completion Percentage-Career (62.6, 2008-2012), 350 Yard+ Passing Games-Career (7, 2008-2012), and Consecutive Pass Attempts without an Interception (184, 2011).
As I watch the video feeds of Tyler Wilson throwing the ball during Rookie Camp, OTA’s, and Mandatory Mini-Camp, I notice a quarterback that has a very strong and accurate arm. His footwork is top-notch, and he appears to have great vision. His quick release is reminiscent of current quarterbacks such as, Payton Manning, Tom Brady, and Drew Brees. I’m not saying that he will become those quarterbacks, but they are the type of player that every team hopes to have at the quarterback position. Wilson appears to have the mechanics necessary to be a good quarterback. According to coaches and players for the Oakland Raiders, Wilson commands the huddle during practice and drills. This team needs a leader.
Currently, Matt Flynn holds the starting position. Tyler Wilson has already pushed past Terrell Pryor for the #2 spot. Flynn better up his game, or he will be unseated by another Wilson. Raider Nation is in for quite a Training Camp battle at quarterback.