A transfer from North Carolina St. over the summer, he has outstanding football intelligence as he picked up the Wisconsin offense in a short time and was the opening-day starter. However, at his height teams will have concerns whether or not he can see to make the throws at the next level.
He is a mechanical mover who has strong technique and leadership qualities. If Wilson were three inches taller there would be debate at the top of the draft as to where he fits in, but look for teams to take a flier on him in late rounds to see if he can develop and outplay his size.
He is a born signal caller who shows command of the offense. He has the arm strength to make the deep throws and the touch to put it on a receiver in stride. He is effective when scrambling and is a classic play extender.
A year later he exploded onto the ACC scene, earning First Team honors and the conference's Rookie of the Year with 2,343 yards and a stunning 17-1 touchdown to interception ratio.
Though he dropped to second team all conference honors in 2009, Wilson led the ACC with 31 touchdown passes and posted 3,287 total yards, the third best mark in school history.
Wilson torched the conference again in 2010, completing 58.4% of his passes for 3,563 yards, 28 touchdowns and 14 interceptions. He also led the team with nine rushing touchdowns.
Despite Wilson's success (including a remarkable 76-19 touchdown to interception ratio) as the Wolfpack's quarterback, head coach Tom O'Brien and his staff wanted more from their quarterback, pressuring him to committ full-time to football.
Wilson played baseball for NC State as a freshman and was drafted in 2009 by the Colorado Rockies.
Unwilling to give up baseball and having already graduated, Wilson took advantage of a now-defunct NCAA rule that allowed him to transfer to another Division I school and play immediately.
He did precisely that in 2011, taking over the helm for the Wisconsin Badgers, leading them to the Rose Bowl by again demonstrating superior decision-making (33 touchdowns against just four interceptions) and versatility with the football.
Athletic, strong-armed and poised under pressure, Wilson proved to be an immediate standout in two power conferences, easing concerns about his ability to handle the jump in size and competition in the NFL despite his less than ideal stature. Every short quarterback is inevitably compared to Drew Brees.
Considering Wilson's production, winning percentage and leadership, he's one of the few who warrant being mentioned in the same breath as the Saints' All-Pro.
Accuracy: Was the nation's most efficient quarterback in 2011, earning a 191.78 QB rating -- over 22 points higher than the next highest rated QB from a pro-style offense (Andrew Luck)... Showcased the ability to consistently throw receivers open versus single coverage as a senior, demonstrating impressive improvement in this area from his time at NC State... Delivers a tight spiral that is easily tracked and caught. Typically hits his receivers in stride whether on zipped crossing routes, touch passes dropped over the top of defenders or line drives leading receivers out of bounds on the deep out.
Arm Strength: Arguably Wilson's most impressive trait, especially considering his lack of ideal size. Can easily make every NFL throw, showing the ability to drive the football to the sideline on a line from the opposite hash. Can send the ball 40-50 yards downfield with a flick of his wrist.
Setup/Release: Efficient set-up and delivery of the ball. Experienced taking snaps from under center and shotgun. Drops back quickly and shows good rhythm and timing despite limited experience playing with Wisconsin's receivers, planting his back foot and driving the quick slant. Has a quick, over the top release and does an excellent job of finding clear passing lanes from which to throw.
Reading Defenses: Cerebral quarterback who is rarely fooled by coverage. Makes strong pre-snap reads and demonstrated improvement as a senior in manipulating the defense with his eyes and legs. Shows good poise in a muddy pocket, stepping up to avoid the rush and challenging linebackers to either commit to stopping him from scrambling or dropping off to cover receivers behind them. Is more than willing to scramble but does a nice job of keeping his eyes downfield until the last possible second.
On The Move: Very good elusiveness and speed for the position but his most impressive trait may be his vision. Anticipates pressure well and does a nice job of forcing the defense to commit and taking advantage of the weakness exposed once they do. Very good mobility for bootlegs and roll outs, showing good accuracy and arm strength to fire passes downfield.
Intangibles: Voted a team captain at NC State and Wisconsin... Attempted 379 passes between interceptions -- the longest streak in NCAA history -- over a two year span of 13 games in 2009-10. Finished his collegiate career 30-20, including 11-3 as a senior... Wilson was drafted in the fourth round of the 2009 MLB draft by the Colorado Rockies. The second baseman hit .229 with five home runs and 26 RBIs in the Northwest and South Atlantic leagues. Wilson notified the Rockies in January 2012 that he will pursue playing in the NFL over baseball... Good bloodlines. His father, the late Harrison Wilson III, played football and baseball at Dartmouth and spent time on the San Diego Chargers' practice squad... "
He isn't an elite athlete running the football, but certainly offers enough short area quickness, power and speed to hurt NFL defenses once he gets into the open field.
Wilson showcases a solid arm for his size. He lacks an elite arm, but spins a clean football, snaps his wrist to generate torque and can get the football down the field. However, his footwork in the pocket is a major work in progress.
He doesn't keep a real natural base, fails to consistently stay balanced and routinely bounces up and down in order to see over the line of scrimmage. He will miss on throws and his accuracy on all levels of the field slip when he doesn't stay balance with his base.
He has a tough time seeing over the line of scrimmage because of his size, which forces him to bounce too often. When he does have a clean throwing lane, he's very accurate with the football, showcases natural rhythm for the pass game and can spin the football down the field.
However, when he does have pressure has a tendency to miss receivers high. Because of the offense, Wilson is given the opportunity to routinely throw in very favorable down and distance situations.
He has been decisive overall in his first year as the quarterback in a new system, but he struggles to routinely find secondary receivers in their routes.
He has a tendency to stare down his initial read, and if he isn't on it he will just look for the check down or look to buy time and take off. He exhibits a good feel in the pocket, keeps his eye level down the field side steps pressure without much effort and will deliver the throw in the face of a rush.
There are some concerns about him and his baseball career as well. Wilson is currently a member of the Colorado Rockies organization and could opt to play baseball.
Impression: Wilson is a plus athlete who can spin the football and gives you a nice run/pass threat. However he's undersized, is going to struggle to consistently make plays from the pocket and is still learning how to work his way through defenses. He is worth a pick late, but I don't see the guy as a potential starter in the NFL. Reserve only."
Weaknesses: Wilson’s height, or lack thereof, will be a major red flag for NFL teams. At 5’11” he doesn’t possess NFL measurables and will have prove he can overcome his physical stature. Aside from the physical side there isn’t much to not like about Wilson but that could be a major sticking point for NFL teams.
Bottom Line: If Wilson were 6’2” or 6’3” we would be talking about him being drafted 4 or maybe 5 rounds higher than what we are. He has all the intangibles to be a very good QB at the next level but the history of short quarterbacks doesn’t bode well for him.
Draft Projection: Wilson could go anywhere from round 5 on. There may be a team willing to take a chance on him because of his accuracy and athleticism."
Has excellent arm strength and can zip it into tight spots, but will have difficulty finding throwing windows at the NFL level.
Makes plays with his feet more than he does with his arm, and accuracy and decision making need considerable improvement.
Very clearly values baseball and must prove he is committed to football. Might be forced to make the conversion to receiver."
Too short and lacks the arm strength and touch to be considered more than a fringe NFL QB prospect, but is a good athlete who could get some looks as a WR at the next level; as a college QB is tough with a live arm and the mobility to escape trouble; in fact, threw for over 8,500 yards and 76 TDs in his NC State career, but has completed less than 60% of his pass attempts and thrown too many interceptions."
Makes great decisions, worked under center in a pro-style offense that should give him a short learning curve in the NFL... Only threw three interceptions in 284 pass attempts as a senior... Great scrambling ability, can pick up first downs with his feet on a routine basis and can even break big plays with his feet...
Has a strong, athletic build and he can break his share of tackles while on the run... Amazing leadership qualities, came to Wisconsin in July and was elected team captain before the season started... Motivates his teammates and is a winner, always talking to teammates and pumping guys up on the field...
Known as a film junkie who studies the game, Wisconsin coaches raved about his ability to pick up the offense so quickly... Terrific athlete, a former baseball player who was drafted in the fourth round by the Colorado Rockies.
Negatives -- Very undersized, would be one of the shortest quarterbacks in the NFL, stands up at under six feet... Short quarterbacks historically have not fared well transitions from college football to the pros...
Will turn 24 during his rookie season... Gets comparisons to Drew Brees for being a short, accurate passer, but is closer to former Ohio State quarterback Troy Smith, a great college quarterback but limited upside as an NFL passer...
Was a beneficiary of playing behind one of the best offensive lines in college football, had gobs of time in the pocket and was able to exploit mismatches all the time due to Wisconsin's potent run game which drew defenders close to the line of scrimmage, will not have that luxury in the NFL."
Wilson is a gamer who would be best compared to a player like Jeff Garcia. Wilson can move around with ease, make most every throw in the playbook and has been a gamer throughout his career. He overachieved while at North Carolina State and he continued to succeed while with the Badgers.
He's just one of those players who is good at everything, but excellent at none. He puts a little too much air under his deep throws and they lack velocity.
His throwing motion is solid but with his small stature, he very rarely stands in the pocket to deliver his throws. Wilson almost always has to shuffle one way or shuffle the other to find throwing lanes and that's just not going to cut it in the NFL."