Wilson is an interesting player to cover. Starting two seasons for the Razorbacks, Wilson accounted for 44 touchdowns and 18 interceptions in the 2011-2012 seasons.
Under Bobby Petrino‘s coaching in 2011, Wilson had a stellar season (24 touchdowns, six interceptions) which landed him with first-team all SEC honors, a first for the school at the position. He was also a Davey O’Brien Award semifinalist, a Manning Award finalist and a Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award finalist.
With that performance, Wilson owns numerous Arkansas passing records, including: the school record for completions in a game with 32, passing yards in a game at 510, consecutive completions with 19, pass completions in a season with 227 and pass attempts without an interception with 184.
However, his 2012 numbers got slightly worse with the degradation of the Arkansas football team upon Petrino’s abrupt dismissal. Despite a 4-8 season, Wilson still provided good numbers. He put up 21 touchdowns, but saw his interception number double to 13.
Strengths: He is tough, as stated by numerous draft analysts. He has the ability to stand strong in the pocket, read the pass rush and successfully go through progressions. He has a very adequate arm with lots of zip. Very accurate on intermediate throws.
Though not being a fast quarterback by any standards, tape reveals that Wilson has a natural ability to read and escape the pocket, elude defenders and stop and throw the ball on a dime. This ability will translate well to questionable offensive line performance, like seen on the Raiders in 2012.
Weaknesses: The most abundantly clear weakness Wilson possesses is that he tends to under-throw or throw behind the receiver when sending the ball deep down the field. Another knock is that he arm-throws the ball too often. When he does so, he doesn’t set his feet and throws an inaccurate ball. His risk taking quality can be a blessing and a curse. People like Carson Palmer made their name off of risk-taking ability, throwing into tight holes. If accurate, its golden. If not, it’s scrutiny.
Above all, Wilson’s strongest quality might be his leadership — something that I’m sure was a large selling point to G.M. Reggie McKenzie. With the Arkansas program falling apart in 2012, Wilson asserted his leadership during a 52-0 drubbing from Alabama saying, “There’s been a lot of people jump off the bandwagon. It’s my responsibility as a leader to keep everybody in this organization in that locker room together. I’m going to make sure of it going forward.”
Some analysts believe Wilson could start for Oakland in 2013. If so, it would require an outstanding performance in training-camp and the preseason. Personally, I think Wilson needs to progress from his arm-slinging habits and gain power to throw farther downfield. His football instincts are there, all he needs is time and understanding.
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