Sometimes, it takes a swift kick in the rear from reality to get an immature football player to see the light. Then again, there are times where the message never gets through and potential goes to waste.
Which path will Marquess Wilson, a seventh-round rookie wide receiver, take with the Chicago Bears?
We hear stories like this all the time about NFL hopefuls with spotty collegiate careers. What started out as a promising road to the pros for Wilson became a draft stock free-fall. The talented pass-catcher decided to leave Washington State after he was suspended for violating team rules. Instead of walking away like a man, though, he publicly blasted his coaches, showing any interested NFL teams just how childish Wilson could be.
Still, the Bears took a gamble on Wilson with the hope that he could put his immaturity in the rearview mirror and begin to unlock the potential that made him a star receiver for the Cougars.
Combining tremendous speed with phenomenal size and body control, Wilson comes pretty close to the prototypical NFL wide receiver. The former Cougar catches passes with ease, often going up over numerous defenders to make tough grabs. While he tended to play undisciplined in college, his natural athleticism and playmaking abilities always found a way to shine through.
Now with the Bears, Wilson has a decent chance of seeing the field this year if he can impress during training camp and the preseason. Chicago’s top target, Brandon Marshall, became a one-man show last season while the rest of the Bears’ receiving corps fell by the wayside. If players like Alshon Jeffery and Earl Bennett can’t step up their production in 2013, the rookie Wilson might get an opportunity to prove his worth.
As long as Wilson can bulk up and buckle down during training camp, the Bears got a steal in the seventh-rounder. It may take some time for him to adjust to the speed and complexity of the NFL, but the rookie has the physical tools to be a difference-maker.
It’s all just a matter of the Bears keeping him in line and out of trouble.