Last season, Matt Flynn watched a rookie named Russell Wilson steal what was supposed to be his chance to prove that he could handle the pressure of being a starting quarterback in the NFL. This season, there’s a chance that he could again lose his job to a rookie by the name of Tyler Wilson.
When the Oakland Raiders first acquired Flynn, it was assumed that he would be the starter. But when Wilson – a fringe first-round talent in some books – was drafted, doubt surfaced.
Now, heading into OTAs, it’ll be interesting to see how the quarterback competition plays out. While Wilson is far from a finished product capable of leading a successful offense, Flynn hasn’t had done much more to prove his worthiness.
Wilson’s first step towards winning the starting gig is getting past Terrelle Pryor, the Raiders’ No. 2 quarterback in 2012.
A raw passer with plenty of athleticism, Pryor has some appeal as a read-option quarterback. During two starts in 2012, he showed some promise as a starting signal caller, using his scrambling abilities to keep plays alive. Even the whole “throwing” aspect of his game wasn’t as bad as some expected.
If Wilson can beat out Pryor, there’s a good chance that the Raiders will unload the former supplemental draft pick one way or another. That would leave just Wilson and Flynn to fight for the final billing as the starting quarterback. With the way that 2012 went for Flynn, it’s not out of the question for the rookie to come out on top.
Schematically, Wilson is an intriguing fit for the Raiders. His skill set matches the run-based offense that Oakland has implemented in recent years. He does a terrific job in play action and is also capable of making plays with his feet – not in a Pryor or RG3 way, though. Far from an accurate passer, Wilson displays outstanding arm strength that could help take advantage of the Raiders’ speedy receivers such as Denarius Moore and Jacoby Ford.
Truth be told, Wilson would be better off sitting for a year or two and working on the numerous unpolished aspects of his game. Unfortunately, considering how devoid of talent the Raiders roster is, it’s not like fielding a rookie would do too much harm to the overall quality of their starting lineup.
It could, however, do harm to Wilson, whose ego is already frail after a disastrous senior season at Arkansas. But it’s not like the Raiders are a franchise known for making smart, logical personnel decisions. There’s a reason GM Reggie McKenzie is already on the hot seat.
It’s not ideal, but there is a real possibility that the rookie starts in 2013. Flynn lost what was supposed to be a sure thing once to a Wilson…