Every year in training camp some unknown name (or a more well-known underachiever) shows up and wows everyone. Buzz forms. Speculation begins. Shrines are made. Future touchdowns are counted.
Almost every time it all falls apart when the lights come on. Even the pretend lights of preseason cast too harsh a glare for training camp heroes to stand. They wither away, never to be heard from again. And we're left with nothing more than fond recollections where we tell diehard fans from casual fans by seeing how someone reacts when we yell "Bobby Sippio!"
With that in mind, one would assume that any sane, rational fan would completely ignore training camp hype and hold off on trying to figure out what a team "has" in an unknown player. And one would be correct. Of course, that's really boring. And fortunately for me, I'm not a sane, rational fan. I'm a guy with a quota to fill and a burning desire to uncover all things Chiefs. So let's talk about Albert Wilson.
Wilson is a pretty unheralded rookie WR the Chiefs picked up as an undrafted player in May. Wilson played for Georgia State University, hardly a place known as a hotbed of NFL talent (in fact, I think their program started about five minutes ago). Wilson had a decent enough combine, but nothing special. His college stats are pretty impressive, though. His production increased each year he was in school, culminating in a 71-catch, 1,177 yard, eight touchdown senior season.He also tacked on 251 rushing yards on 24 attempts in 2013, along with a touchdown.
One fun stat? Wilson's 23 receiving touchdowns in college AVERAGED 44.6 yards. He had 21 plays of 50 yards or longer. Fun with stats, no?
While Wilson might be looked at as a "little guy" receiver (he measured in at the combine at 5'9), he's not built like your traditional tiny speedster. He weighed in at 202 pounds. Compare that to, say, De'Anthony Thomas, who (per the combine) stands the same 5'9 but weighs 174 pounds. That's a pretty significant difference. Like, more than 25 pounds (MATH!!!!!).
So now we know Wilson was productive in college. We know he's a thick guy for his height. And we know (per roughly every training camp report so far) that he's been tearing it up in practices, even earning some reps with the first team (granted, it took a Junior Hemingway injury to make that happen Take from that what you will).
What we DON'T know is what his college tape looks like. And I have to tell you, after a quick search it doesn't seem like there's much available. All I could find was one video, focusing on Wilson when Georgia State went up against Troy. While not much of value can come from an incredibly small sample size, that's never stopped us from over-analyzing before. So let's watch together and figure out some takeaways, shall we?
Let's be real ... there's not a whole lot one can take from observing a single game of action. With that in mind, I decided to mix things up a bit. Mrs. MNchiefsfan sat down with me and made some observations of her own. I think we all know that many women view sports ... differently. Mrs. MNchiefsfan is no exception. Her comments were made as we progressed through the video.
Deep football thoughts on Albert Wilson with Mrs. MNchiefsfan
"I don't think he's very aggressive." (This is after one play. I have a feeling this isn't going to go well for Wilson.)
"I think he really likes to watch football." (Ouch. That feels like a really, really, really hot burn. I'm not sure why.)
"So ... he can basically run straight." (After a pretty impressive reception on a go route. This may have been a mistake. I'm really sorry about this, Albert Wilson. I had no idea my wife was such a harsh critic. At least of people besides, you know, me.)
"You know how I don't like to turn left? He seems to hate the left side."
(This is actually a true statement by Mrs. MNchiefsfan. She hates turning left in any kind of vehicle. She's not at Zoolander Level or anything ... she CAN turn left. She just really doesn't like to. I feel as though this may be the kind of thing she doesn't want me writing about. Only one way to find out, right?)
"What I don't like about him is that it seems like ... you know when you're in track and you're supposed to run through the finish line? I feel like he doesn't run past the line. He thinks the play is going to end and he just kind of stops. Maybe he's saving up his energy to run straight." (My wife definitely has a future as some kind of "burn analyst." That's a thing, right? If it's not, it should be. Again, Albert Wilson, I'm really sorry).
"I think he could be good in a year. He's really fast. He wasn't as impressive as that Thomas guy you showed me, though." (That was her last thought, a marked change for the positive. Also, apparently DAT has a fan in my wife. Stay away from my wife, De'Anthony Thomas!)
So ... her take was not completely positive. Me, I have some thoughts of my own.
Deeper football thoughts on Albert Wilson
Wilson can definitely get separation. The aforementioned go route can be found at the 30 second mark. It's tough to see because the ball is thrown so short (forcing Wilson to basically stop), but Wilson seemed to have three yards of separation by the time the ball was halfway to him. A better throw and that's a touchdown.
And you see that speed time and again. Wilson definitely has that "burst" when accelerating. At least (as my wife so astutely pointed out) when he's running a straight line. Another example is at the 7:53 mark. Or, you could just click this GIF Draft Breakdown so helpfully provided.
Any guy who can take a glimpse of daylight on a slant and turn it into a touchdown has my attention. Time after time Wilson proves too fast for any individual CB.
On the negative side, I can kind of see where she's coming from regarding his route running. It definitely seemed like he didn't run it out when the play wasn't going his way some of the time. He has two catchable drops in that game where he was clearly thinking about turning and running prior to gathering the ball in.
The interesting thing is that Wilson seems to have very strong hands. He makes some contested catches that show he can make tough catches. One such example is at the 5:38 mark. There are a ton of different angles that are shown, but my favorite is this one ... Tough catch.
So what do we know that we didn't know before starting this? Well, we know my wife is definitely someone I don't want critiquing my work performance. And we know that Albert Wilson is fast. Beyond that? No idea. But I sure hope that his ability to separate translates at this level. Because that's one skill that trumps almost any other skill at wide receiver.