Marquess Wilson and the NFL: Arizona Cardinals


Marquess’ first two seasons at Washington State were undeniable and he looked destined to be at least a high day 2 pick going into 2012. But his final season was one of ups and downs before walking away from his team with just 3 games remaining. The character questions are there and on top of that there is an inconsistency concern going into April’s NFL Draft.

In 2012 MQW only caught more than 5 passes in a game twice, against Oregon (12 for 182, 1 td) and Utah (9 for 100). Also, he only caught passes for more than 100 yards 3 times (adding a 110 yard, 2 td performance vs UNLV). In the early stages of the season, some of this was attributed to penalties calling back several big gains and at least 3 touchdowns if memory serves. But more often times it was a pure lack of concentration that kept Wilson from big numbers in games, as he dropped several passes that were destined for big yards. 

Regardless, Marquess Wilson is a natural big play talent who could really excel in the NFL if put into the right situation with a coach, receiving mentor and quarterback who will teach him all about being a professional and work ethic at his position. We’re examining his chances, team by team on making the roster as is with no agenda towards who the team would take otherwise at the wide receiver position. 


Aug. 27, 2011; Glendale, AZ, USA; Detailed view of an Arizona Cardinals helmet and team logo against the San Diego Chargers during a preseason game at University of Phoenix Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Stacked Against the Pick:

The Cardinals have 6 receivers on their current roster and 4 of them make it really hard for Wilson to fit in, in the Desert. When AZ takes shots down the field, Fitz and Michael Floyd of course as bigger and stronger guys would be the targets, but also with Early Doucet and Andre Roberts as the speed guys Marquess just doesn’t seem to be an immediate fit in the offense.

All four of those guys are used to staying on the field and as long as they don’t get injured I can’t see the Cards taking them off for an inconsistent player. Very little chance Marquess gets a whole lot of chances in the offense and that’s something that he may need to survive.

The Perfect Storm:

On the other hand, he could possibly make it as a late rounder here, replacing a guy like 2nd year WR LaRon Byrd out of the “U”. Clearly, Byrd was another big, tall receiver that the Cardinals were looking to add but he only caught one pass for 8 yards in 4 games and seems like an expendable asset. Wilson nearly tripled Byrd’s college production and is immediately more sexy in terms of opportunity to your quarterback.

Another plus here for Wilson is that Arizona is not going to look at any receivers early in this draft unless a guy falls way too far, so he could be a project player that they bring in with the hopes of developing fast and lining up as better speed across from Fitz in certain packages. Floyd’s not going anywhere, but since the Pro Bowler on the other side is so great over the middle, it might also be something for them to consider to get a taller, faster, more productive receiver who can allow Fitz into the slot for more matchup bonuses against defenses that are all geared to taking him away.

If he were to develop slower, Larry is getting up there (10th season in 1013) and Wilson could eventually become a great option to help extend his career by allowing Fitz to sit some snaps out.

Likelihood of Getting Drafted by AZ: