The Monsters of the Midway are in the market for a quarterback this offseason, and one passer prospect they have identified at the Senior Bowl is John Parker Wilson of Alabama. None of the signal callers currently competing in Mobile is expected to be selected on Day 1 of the NFL Draft, but Wilson did lead the Crimson Tide to a 12-0 record and a No. 1 ranking before falling to eventual BCS champion Florida in the SEC title game and then to undefeated Utah in the Sugar Bowl. As first reported by Scout.com, Bears officials spent a great deal of time with Wilson during Monday's practice with the South team.
In an effort to learn more about Wilson and what kind of future might be in front of him as a professional, Bear Report obtained a scouting report on him from Scout.com NFL Draft expert Chris Steuber.
Strengths: Wilson is a tremendous leader who shows great pocket awareness. He has good size, an above-average arm and gets the ball to his receivers on time. He displays good mechanics and is best in the intermediate game. He's mobile and has the ability to escape the pocket when he feels pressure. He's an intelligent player who can read a defense.
Weaknesses: He struggles with his accuracy and makes questionable decisions under pressure. He doesn't have the arm strength to challenge defenses down the field, which allows the opposition to crowd the middle. He has good mobility but isn't a threat to beat a defense with his legs.
Steuber Says: Wilson was a terrific collegiate quarterback and helped Alabama achieve a 12 – 2 record this past season. But looking ahead to his potential on Sundays in the NFL, there isn't much there. He plays smaller than his 6-2 stature suggests and has trouble seeing over the line of scrimmage. He had a decent touchdown-to-interception ratio (46 to 29) during his three-year stint as a starter for the Crimson Tide, and with much faster athletes and much tighter defenses at the next level, those INTs may come more often for Wilson.
JC's Take: If the Bears are truly serious in Wilson, then my belief that they will make a pitch for a veteran quarterback through free agency likely holds true. General manager Jerry Angelo wants to create some competition for incumbent Kyle Orton in training camp, and he's not going to get it from returning third-stringer Caleb Hanie and a fifth- or sixth-round draft pick like Wilson. It's entirely reasonable that Chicago once again ignores the QB position in the draft since it's not a particularly great class this year, especially if they sign a free agent in the mold of Jeff Garcia or Byron Leftwich, but taking a late flyer on a proven winner of Wilson's caliber wouldn't be a bad idea.
With Heisman Trophy winners Sam Bradford of Oklahoma and Tim Tebow of Florida both returning to school this fall, second-tier prospects like Wilson could get selected a round or so earlier than they deserve.
Insider Analysis: QB John Parker Wilson
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