Nov 5, 2011; San Francisco CA, USA; Washington State Cougars wide receiver Marquess Wilson (86) makes a one-handed catch in front of California Golden Bears defensive back Steve Williams (back) during the third quarter at AT
There aren’t a whole lot of NFL Mock Drafts that go more then two rounds and certainly even fewer that go more than three. Therefore if a player is slotted in the 4th round or later, it’s pretty tough to assess his true value from the draft experts. So how do we assess Marquess Wilson’s talent value going into the 2013 NFL Draft since his stock has significantly dropped over the past three months?
One way is to go back to the preseason, where certain large scale draft experts like Mike Mayock, Mel Kiper and Todd McShay were putting Marquess in the late-1st to mid-2nd rounds. Another is to look at the end of the year boards, where experts had dropped him to the 3rd round via a ‘work ethic’ issue and some even dropped him below that. Never mind that Wilson was suspended and subsequently quit on his coaches and his team with just 4 weeks remaining in his college career, before throwing around what turned out to be “false accusations”. As the past months have unfolded, it’s gotten even worse for the 6’3″ 194 lbs Tulare, CA talent.
Of course the fallout at Washington State has put a damper on his stock and the inability to showcase himself at a true Pro-Day has bumped him even more. And then there’s the growing opinion that the draft is super duper deep at wide receiver, which leaves a guy like Wilson even deeper on most draft boards, where a general manager that is interested is still going to think he can get him even later. Then there’s the added fact that Wilson did well but didn’t ‘shock’ anybody at the NFL Combine. It leaves room for more needs and maybe a perceived ‘higher character’ kid if a team thinks a ‘higher talent’ guy can drop to their next pick. It seems that’s where things have been going for those paying way too much attention to all the pre-draft buzz.
But some smaller name experts still think Wilson is among the round 3 talents in this draft and they are right. Cougar fans will have a tough time justifying a high grade, just because we are a little biased to the way things ended. But it’s not as if he is the player with the worst story in the draft (Tyrone Mathieu comes to mind immediately, but there are others) and even with the issues these kids are undeniably talented. Wilson set WSU school freshman receiving records and finished high in the books for every other receiving record available at the school. Throw in that he was about to take siege on the Pac-12 books and you start to get an idea of how good the kid is. And he did most of it on a pre-Mike Leach coached team that won just 7 games in 2 seasons.
We’ve had him 4th round and lower as we continue to go through our team by team analysis of where he could end up, but I think the fact that some guys are still seeing him in the top three and the fact that there are a few other high risk/high reward character guys in this particular draft does wonders for Wilson’s early-mid round stock come NFL Draft weekend. Even though it ended badly for him here at WSU, I wish him the very best on those days and hope he goes highly in the selections. It goes like that sometimes, and he was never anything else, so he’ll always be a Cougar!