A Look Inside of Marquess Wilson
The Chicago Bears seventh-round pick Marquess Wilson was one of the more interesting prospects in this year’s draft. He is not your typical late seventh-round pick. Wilson was widely rated as one of the top-five wide outs coming into the 2012 college season. With his good size and speed, he remains the all-time leading receiver at Washington State University.
As a freshman, Wilson led all Cougars his freshman year with 1,001 yards and 55 receptions. He was third in the Pac 12 Conference behind only Junior Criner and Jeff Maehl. His sophomore year he led not only the Cougars again, but the Pac 12 with 1,280 yards and 10 touchdowns. He was also fourth in the nation, in only his second year in total receiving yards. In his final year at Washington State — a shortened season — Wilson once again led his team with 813 yards off of 52 catches and five touchdowns. He was then suspended one game before eventually leaving the team due to issues with controversial head coach Mike Leach.
Pre and Post Draft
Leading into the start of the 2012 season Wilson was touted as a top 5 receiver in the NCAA and was originally projected as a second to third-round pick. His draft stock started to plummet after the suspension, leaving his college team, and a disappointing 40-yard dash time. As day three of the draft was coming to an end, the Bears selected Wilson in the seventh-round with the 236th overall pick in the 2013 NFL draft.
Analysis of Marquess Wilson
Watching extensive films of Wilson, many things stood out that showed me he could be a star receiver in this league. His size, playing speed, and body control stood out as the three anchors that could lead Wilson to having success at the next level. At 6-foot-3 and 200 pounds, Wilson — tall and lanky — will have to grow into a large frame. Adding weight can cause issues, and one of the main concerns is how it will affect his speed. Being on a NFL team, there will be a good chance that Wilson will add the weight the proper way, which should not affect his speed, and still add strength for battles off the line of scrimmage. Wilson’s 4.45 40-combine time is not overly impressive, but his game speed is much quicker than his 40-time lead on to show. Through various film studies, Wilson is shown blowing the tops off of defenses 15-20 yards down the field on various seem and vertical routes. Wilson’s best attribute is his excellent body control, especially in mid-air. Many catches Wilson had, he showed excellent body control in the air by not only catching the ball at the highest point, but also how flexible and acrobatic he can be. He also puts himself in great positions before landing to continue the play and pick up more yards after the catch. Wilson simply moves the chains.
With Wilson’s small and lanky frame, it does not bode well for his blocking abilities. As stated before, he needs to bulk up his frame without losing speed, which will help his blocking and be more dominant off the line and into his routes. Another concern of Wilson’s is his quickness off the line. He sometimes has the tendency to get locked up at the line or “spin the tires” before he starts accelerating 5-10 yards down field.
Wilson will at the very least have the ability to be a good “chain mover” and a possible vertical threat. He excels in short to intermediate passing situations, which is why his best fit at the moment might be as the Flanker (Z receiver). If his quickness does not improve he could still be a solid #2 receiver in a west coast system like new Head Coach Marc Trestman’s, especially with the ability to contest jump balls and overpower defensive backs to get extra yardage after the catch.