Oakland Raiders Training Camp Profile: Tyler Wilson

By Curt Popejoy
Tyler Wilson
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Every rookie wants to be a first0round pick. It’s the goal of so many young football players to find their way to the NFL. For quarterback Tyler Wilson, I doubt his plan was to end up a fourth round draft pick of the Oakland Raiders, but that’s water under the bridge now as he finds himself thrust into a quarterback competition that I believe he can win.

Wilson was projected to be a much higher pick going into the 2012 college football season, but after some injuries and a total meltdown by the Arkansas football program, his season and his draft stock sunk. But the good news in that scenario is while he wasn’t drafted as early as he’d have liked, he was drafted by a franchise that appears to be turning things around into a quarterback situation that is very workable for him — if not in the short run, but down the road.

The training camp depth chart will consist of quarterbacks Matt Flynn, Terrelle Pryor and Wilson, in some order. Flynn is an interesting case because he spent the bulk of his career backing up quarterback Aaron Rodgers, and to be honest his value was always over-inflated.

But, the Seattle Seahawks felt confident enough in Flynn to make a deal for him last season. However, those plans never came to fruition as the Seahawks drafted quarterback Russell Wilson in the third round and he quickly supplanted Flynn as the starter and the rest, as they say, is history.

Fast-forward to this training camp, and Flynn has a real shot of losing his starting job to another quarterback named Wilson. This version is similar to Russell in some key areas: strong arm, born leader and poised under duress. He’s not as mobile, but is fearless and has a very high football IQ. If Wilson can regain what he had in 2011, I have no doubt he can be an excellent starter in the NFL.

There is another quarterback in the mix, I suppose. Pryor is a fascinating case — he’s far and away the most athletic of the group, but the least talented in terms of arm talent. Any hope he has of even holding onto the backup quarterback spot will depend heavily on what direction the Raiders want to go in. If they chose to incorporate more zone read, Pryor would have an edge, but with Flynn and Wilson being more traditional quarterbacks, it look like Pryor will be relegated to third string.

Once training camp begins and these quarterbacks get the pads on, everyone will see just why so many quarterback pundits love Wilson’s game. He will absorb the offense quickly, command the respect of his teammates, and will run the offense without fear or hesitation. This Raiders team may not be his in 2013, but Flynn could just be keeping the seat warm for Wilson in 2014.

Curt covers the Pittsburgh Steelers, the NFL draft and college football for Rant Sports. Connect with Curt on Twitter @nfldraftboard.

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