Matt Jones is the online sports editor for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette and Northwest Arkansas Newspapers. He and his wife live in Fayetteville.
Wilson's draft stock uncertain as Gruden appearance nears
Former Arkansas quarterback Tyler Wilson (right) talks with ESPN 'Monday Night Football' announcer Jon Gruden.
FAYETTEVILLE Former Arkansas quarterback Tyler Wilson will be featured during a 30-minute edition of the 'Gruden QB Camp' on Monday, April 8 at 8:30 p.m. on ESPN2.
Wilson, who started the last two seasons for the Razorbacks, is one of nine quarterbacks this year who will be on the program, which features ESPN 'Monday Night Football' analyst Jon Gruden. Three additional players - South Carolina running back Marcus Lattimore, Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te'o and Texas A&M offensive tackle Luke Jockel - will also be featured, marking the first time the popular show has included non-quarterbacks.
The program debuts tonight featuring West Virginia quarterback Geno Smith and continues Saturday with an episode on Southern Cal quarterback Matt Barkley. Wilson's appearance is part of back-to-back showings next Monday, following a 30-minute segment with Te'o.
Wilson is the second Arkansas quarterback to make an appearance on the show after Ryan Mallett appeared on there two years ago. Mallett is currently a backup for New England after being selected by the Patriots in the third round of the 2011 NFL Draft.
- 1st 14% 173 votes
- 2nd 49% 595 votes
- 3rd 28% 350 votes
- 4th 5% 64 votes
- 5th or later 2% 31 votes
1213 total votes.
Opinions differ on where Wilson will wind up in the draft later this month. Longtime ESPN draft analyst Mel Kiper said in a conference call earlier this week Wilson was the "forgotten man" among quarterbacks in the draft.
"It’s amazing," Kiper said. "He went into the year, you thought maybe late first round, early second round, then all of a sudden kind of the wheels came off of the program. You think about with (Bobby) Petrino gone and obviously a lot of changes, three receivers moved on to the NFL, you had the injury with (Chris) Gragg at tight end, the offensive line issues continued. All of a sudden then you had (Knile) Davis didn’t play as well as you thought he would.
"Tyler Wilson had the injury early on. The Alabama game, which you thought was going to be a key game for him, injured."
The concussion Wilson suffered in the second quarter of a game against ULM was the only medical concern by NFL teams, he said last month. He passed for 3,321 yards and 21 touchdowns last season in 11 games, but also threw 13 interceptions.
Kiper said Wilson's hand size was a deterrent for teams during the NFL Combine in Indianapolis earlier this year and believes the Greenwood native will be taken in the third or fourth round of the draft.
"But he’s a tough kid," Kiper said. "He looks down that gun barrel, he makes some very difficult throws. He’s the kind of kid if he slides, becomes a value pick, a nice pick, and if he gets into the fourth round mix, which he could, third, fourth round mix, then there’s a kid who at one point if things would have fallen right could have been a first round pick and I don’t think anybody could have argued with it."
Wilson threw 62 passes at Arkansas' Pro Day last month in Fayetteville, the week before recording the show with Gruden.
“He always makes it interesting and fun," Wilson said before leaving for Tampa, Fla. "I have to be on my toes and be ready for anything he throws at me."
Wilson likely won't win the ratings competition with his appearance. Monday's airing of 'Gruden QB Camp' will go head-to-head with CBS' airing of the NCAA Tournament Championship Game, which tips off at 8:18 p.m.
The show will re-air multiple times prior to the draft, which begins April 25.