A couple of weeks ago I wrote the case for Geno Smith as the Kansas City Chiefs No. 1 overall pick in the 2013 NFL Draft. I added a few GIFs in the post thanks to Clay Wendler and it went over pretty well. Some like Geno, some don't, but we all agree that a new QB is in the plans for next season.
Smith is still my top choice of quarterbacks in the Draft. But that doesn't mean that he's the only guy that I like.
The case for Tyler Wilson in 2013
When talking about Wilson's season at Arkansas this past year it's safe to say he's dealt with a certain type of adversity. The controversy surrounding former Arkansas head coach Bobby Petrino and his dismissal from the University would be enough to determine what kind of person you're dealing with in Wilson.
Read about some of the things that Wilson did to keep that team together in the fallout of the Petrino controversy.
There have been multiple occasions in the past couple of weeks when Wilson stood up in front of the team and spoke at times when the floor would normally have belonged to Bobby Petrino. One of those came at the edge of the tunnel before the Razorbacks ran onto the field. What did he tell his teammates?
"Let's continue to roll the ball down the hill."
This is one small example of many leadership qualities shown by Wilson in the time right after the Petrino scandal broke. Obviously the season didn't go the way that Arkansas had hoped but that wasn't totally on Tyler Wilson.
More: Latest mock draft.
Coming into the season Wilson had to deal with losing his top two targets from 2011, Jairus Wright and Joe Adams, who both went to the NFL. Then the whole mess in losing Bobby Petrino AND having to deal with John L. Smith. Fair to say it was going to be an uphill battle for Wilson either way this season.
I went back and watched eight games from Tyler Wilson from the past two seasons. I watched every throw.
1. You won't find a tougher quarterback in the country than Tyler Wilson. Period. He consistently would hang in the pocket and take highlight-reel-type hits while delivering the ball down the field. The leadership and toughness aspect of Wilson's game is important. He grades out well in those areas and those who know him very highly of his football IQ. He's a student of the game and 'gets it' for lack of a better way to explain.
This toughness does come with a cost though, and the two reported concussions (one of which kept him out of the Alabama game this season) are something that will be brought up as we get closer to the Draft.
2. His arm-strength is unquestioned. He has a dynamic arm and is every bit of a 'gunslinger'. The Brett Favre comparisons are apt in this case because he believes he can make every throw out there at any time.
Since this is the Show Me State, let me show you what Wilson can do.
Tyler Wilson Vs. Tulsa.
This play will tell you a lot about Tyler Wilson. He will hang in the pocket and deliver a strike downfield -- even if it means he's going to get crushed. These are the types of throws that endear yourself to your teammates, coaches and scouts. You can't watch this play and not believe in the guy under center for your team.
It's 3rd-and-3 with eight minutes left in the game when you're up by four. This ball traveled ~ 35 yards in the air, on a line, with an absolute hammer of a hit on the end. This is a game-winning type throw.
Tyler Wilson Vs. LSU
This was Wilson's bread and butter at Arkansas. The shallow cross. It didn't matter if it was Jairus Wright ('11) or Cobi Hamilton ('12), this was their go-to play. Wilson became very good at throwing this pass from all different angles and with all kinds of footwork. It did lead to inconsistencies with accuracy on these passes but it was still their go-to play.
This exemplifies the functional arm-strength that Wilson possesses. It's one thing to just be able to throw a ball far on a deep fly-route -- that's important, don't get me wrong -- but functional arm-strength is getting the ball to a spot quickly enough to avoid the defensive back or getting it to the receiver with enough room to make a move.
The ball gets there fast enough so Hamilton has space to make a move on the defensive back and pick up extra yardage.
Tyler Wilson Vs. Mississippi State
This play gives you an example of Wilson extending a play and delivering a strike. As you know this is something we RARELY saw over the past few seasons in Kansas City. Progressions, awareness, athleticism, arm-strength, it's all on display right here.
This is your long touchdown pass. Wilson does have the ability to put some touch on his passes. It's not something I saw often but this is a good example of putting it up and letting his receiver go and make a play.
Toughness and arm-strength are the two takeaways here.
One question is Wilson's "corkscrew" delivery and action he makes with his lower-half. It's not much different than what you see from pitchers as they close off their front-half to create 'torque' and power before exploding open. This creates a lot of his power but it's also very hard to replicate play after play, which leads to accuracy problems. There's no doubt he's working on it but it's one thing mechanically that kind of jumps out about Wilson.
This post is more about what Wilson can do rather than what he can't do. We'll get into what they don't do well more as the Draft approaches.
I'd be happy if Tyler Wilson becomes a member of the Kansas City Chiefs. I have my preferences as we all do but the Chiefs need to get better at the position and there's a lot to like about Tyler Wilson. The toughness and leadership he's demonstrated during his time at Arkansas is something you want around your team. He has the kind of dynamic arm that allows him to make passes that NO other quarterback in this draft can make. Something he tries to prove it too often.
Add him to the short list of guys that could be starting for Kansas City next season.