Tyler Wilson is quickly becoming a fan favorite amongst Raider Nation and that is even before the fans have gotten the chance to see him on the field wearing the Silver and Black. He was a highly touted college QB at Arkansas before a subpar senior season sent him tumbling down the draft boards.
There was a lot happening for Tyler last year though with a new system being installed and his favorite targets either moving on or not being able to stay healthy. When the analysts talked of Wilson they showed an understanding of the moving parts that he had to deal with last season in Arkansas and said that they expect him to be closer to the player he was the year before when he excelled over the season he just had where he struggled.
After his long wait in the draft where he saw round after round pass him by without his being picked he finally had his name called. He was drafted in the 4th round and was designated to play for the greatest franchise in professional sports, the Oakland Raiders. He has already started to put his name on the map and has many fans of the Raiders already chomping at the bit to see him in action.
With Matt Flynn as the current starter according to the Raiders head coach Dennis Allen it leaves Tyler fighting with other fan favorite Terrelle Pryor for the back up job. Not so fast says some though as Flynn has yet to win the hearts of many in Raider Nation after being a career back up so far. The lack of faith in Matt has Tyler Wilson becoming an even more intriguing prospect.
Then came OTA's and reports by some writers in attendance that Wilson not only looked good, he looks like he could compete with Flynn for the starting job. Tyler's big arm is impressive and it has some salivating at the thought that another rookie mid round pick named Wilson could pull a fast one on Matt Flynn and take the starting job out from underneath him. Its not just his name being Wilson making people wonder of course, Tyler is undoubtedly talented and now has a chip on his shoulder after feeling as though he should have been drafted earlier.
His fall in the draft from where he thought he was going to go reminds me of somebody else that I got to watch very closely here in Green Bay, Wisconsin. One Mr. Aaron Rodgers. There was a time where it seemed as though Rodgers was destined to go number 1 overall to the 49ers but instead dropped all the way down to the 20's where the Packers snatched him up.
Now that is not a drop to the 4th round but it is one that has fueled Rodgers desire to prove his doubters wrong ever since. Raiders fans watching that draft will always remember that Oakland traded to the pick ahead of where Rodgers went to draft CB Fabian Washington, not exactly the best pick the Raiders could have made now that we have the benefit of hindsight. It has certainly worked out well for Rodgers since then though, that is for sure.
Now Tyler Wilson has that same type of chip on his shoulder after his fall from grace in the draft. That type of chip can be the best thing that ever happened to a player, just ask the before mentioned Aaron Rodgers. I am not comparing Wilson's game to Rodgers by any means, but that type of motivation is now something that both of them share. Hopefully Tyler's fall will help him as much as Rodgers fall had helped him.
There is something else that Aaron Rodgers went through that could greatly benefit Tyler Wilson though. Sitting on the bench and learning the game from the sidelines. In today's NFL rookie QB's are being looked at more and more as day one starters, and with many of them flourishing how could you blame them. The thing that goes forgotten is that starting from day 1 is not the only way that a successful franchise QB is made. The other way is giving them the time to learn and develop their game before being thrust into the action.
Everybody gets excited about a rookie QB coming in and showing that they have some legitimate talent. We get impatient in wanting to see them in action. Lately it hasn't mattered for the rookies being thrown into the fray but that doesn't mean that it will be that way for everyone. Tyler might be able to be yet another rookie coming in and playing well, but that doesn't mean the Raiders should definitely put him in as a first year signal caller even if he appears capable.
I would rather see Wilson sit for a year or two and learn the NFL game first before being forced into action, even if he is talented enough to handle it. If he is talented enough to handle starting right away then he is also talented enough to learn while not playing. Being the guy holding the clipboard and talking to the starter about everything that is going on is a valuable learning tool.
Aaron Rodgers had the luxury of learning from the sideline and I promise you that he would not be the QB that he is today had he not. It is not able to be proven unless somebody out there has a time machine but I watched Aaron play when he was a rookie. He was not the player yet that he would become. He became that player by biding his time and learning from the sideline. He was truly ready by the time he got on the field and has flourished into a probable Hall of Famer since then.
I know the argument that is going to come up from this comparison is that Rodgers got to learn from Brett Favre, and Matt Flynn is no Brett Favre. This is true and Brett was undeniably a big help in Aaron Rodgers learning to play the position, but Rodgers was a big help in Matt Flynn learning the position as well. Flynn came from a very good QB system in Green Bay where he learned from Rodgers and coach Mike McCarthy and he has plenty of knowledge that he can help pass onto Wilson.
Flynn has to perform well to prove worthy of being a tutor for Wilson, and he may very well turn out to be a great QB himself when given the opportunity. If he plays well below what Wilson or Terrelle Pryor plays then he doesn't deserve to be the starter, but if the play is even then Flynn should start and be a veteran presence for the younger QB's behind him. Tyler can learn a lot from waiting for his opportunity, it should not be given to him yet unless he proves too far superior to deny his chance to get on the field. He can still be the QB of the Future even if he doesn't play his rookie season.