Winning two straight Arkansas state titles to finish his high school career was simply a harbinger of Wilsons future success in Fayetteville. He bided his time his first three seasons behind current New England Patriots backup Ryan Mallett before spreading his wings as a starter in 2011. Wilson threw a total of 109 passes over his first three seasons with the Razorbacks, more than a third of which came when stepping in for an injured Mallett against eventual BCS champion Auburn in 2010. He caught scouts attention by completing 25 of 34 passes for 323 yards and four touchdowns that day - in less than three quarters of action.
He followed up that success as a junior, earning a team captaincy and starting all 13 games and leading the team to a school-tying 11 wins. Wilson earned first-team All-SEC accolades and was a finalist for the Manning and Unitas Golden Arm Awards with 3,638 passing yards and 24 touchdowns (against just six interceptions). Among the highlights from 2011 were the second-half comeback he led against Texas A&M at Cowboys Stadium (510 passing yards, three touchdowns) and Offensive MVP performance at the Cotton Bowl (20-31, 216 yards, two TDs).
After Bobby Petrinos firing and the departure of three extremely talented receivers, Wilson didnt look as strong as he did the year prior. The Razorbacks finished with a 4-8 record, and Wilson completed 62.1 percent of his passes for 3,387 yards, 21 touchdowns and 13 interceptions.
Good size and overall strength for a pocket passer. Tough player who bounces up after hits. Steps up into the pocket and stands tall to deliver the ball under duress - which is just part of outstanding leadership qualities. Arm strength is very impressive in the intermediate game. Shows ability to hit stationery targets and the anticipation to lead receivers in stride and wait patiently for them to get open. Looks at multiple targets before checking down to underneath option. Quicker feet than anticipated, can get first downs on the run when defenses are in man or in deep zones. Can sling the ball into the flat from awkward release points.
Delivery a bit longer than scouts like, his windup allows some alert defensive backs into plays downfield. While he has impressive intermediate arm strength, Wilson frequently floats or underthrows balls on deeper patterns due to a tendency to drop his elbow. Not a quick-twitch athlete; footwork coming out from under center is uneven, pro pass rushers will get him on first contact and disciplined linebackers will prevent his longer runs. Holds ball low in the pocket, vulnerable to strip-sacks. Will trust his arm and his receivers too much, throwing passes into traffic downfield.
After he looked like a superstar in the making after his 2011 campaign, Wilson was unable to improve upon his junior season for a myriad of reasons, including the loss of his head coach, the departure of his three favorite receivers, and a sub-par offensive line. Wilson spent much of the year under duress, but showed impressive toughness in consistently staring down the barrel to deliver throws while getting hit, and bouncing up right after.
While scouts will want to see more from Wilson in the vertical passing game, its tough to ignore his overall skill set. In addition to these quarterbacking skills, Wilsons a proven leader and it has been reported that he comes off as quite charming in interviews with teams. When these facts are combined with the number of quarterback-needy teams in the draft, its very likely that Wilson will ultimately be a top-15 pick.