Raiders take Arkansas QB Tyler Wilson in 4th round
ALAMEDA, Calif. (AP) — The Oakland Raiders have added another unproven quarterback to the mix, selecting Arkansas’ Tyler Wilson after trading down in the fourth round of the NFL draft.
Wilson joins a quarterback room that already has Matt Flynn, acquired earlier this month in a deal from Seattle, and third-year pro Terrelle Pryor. Oakland traded former starter Carson Palmer to Arizona after acquiring Flynn as the rebuilding team has turned to the future.
Oakland also added Colorado tight end Nick Kasa, Central Florida running back Latavius Murray, Tennessee tight end Mychal Rivera and Oklahoma defensive tackle Stacy McGee in the sixth round Saturday, and San Diego State receiver Brice Butler and Missouri Western defensive end David Bass in the seventh round.
“We felt like we had a few needs, so I didn’t think it was that hard to address certain areas, because we had needs at a lot of spots,” general manager Reggie McKenzie said. “We need to upgrade depth in a lot of stops. We knew if we stayed true to the board we would get good players, and that was the whole factor.”
Wilson was considered one of the top prospects after throwing 24 touchdown passes and only six interceptions while leading Arkansas to an 11-2 record in 2011. Wilson decided to stay in school for his senior season, but his draft status fell as the team struggled following the firing of former coach Bobby Petrino, who was embroiled in a scandal for hiring his mistress to work in the athletic department.
Wilson completed 62.1 percent of his passes while throwing for 3,387 yards with 21 touchdowns and 13 interceptions last season. The Razorbacks went 4-8 under interim coach John L. Smith.
“After things pan out you kind of look back and say, ‘Well, that wasn’t certainly business-wise maybe the smarter thing,’” Wilson said. “I know everybody else looks at and probably questions my judgment, but my thought is I wanted to be the most ready, prepared football player that I could be and I thought the only way I could do that would be to go back to school for my senior season. Regardless of what happened, and where you go in the draft, I think I’m a more prepared football player by staying in school.”
Flynn will begin the offseason as the starter but the Raiders have stressed that there will be competition at all positions. Flynn had expected to be the starter after signing as a free agent with Seattle last season only to be beaten out for the job by third-round rookie Russell Wilson. That led to his eventual trade to Oakland and Flynn hopes he doesn’t lose out to another rookie Wilson this year.
“I want him to learn the playbook first,” McKenzie said. “Get out here and make sure he gets behind the center and not behind the guard. You know, you want these guys to come in and just show the coaches and their teammates, No. 1, that they belong. Then all the other stuff will come.”
Flynn has made only two starts in his career, while Pryor has made just one. Pryor was late owner Al Davis’ final draft pick when he was taken in the third round of the supplemental draft in 2011. Now instead of being groomed as the quarterback of the future, Pryor is in a three-way competition for the job.
McKenzie said he expected to bring in a fourth quarterback soon to provide more depth for the offseason.
“I’m excited that I get to come in and compete, and potentially have a chance of playing on Sunday and leading the football team,” Wilson said. “That’s what I’m excited to do is get there as fast as I possibly can and start getting in the playbook.”
Wilson is just the fourth quarterback drafted by the Raiders since 1993, following No. 1 overall pick in 2007 JaMarcus Russell, 2005 third-rounder Andrew Walter and 2001 second-rounder Marques Tuiasosopo in 2000.
The Raiders have had a poor history when drafting quarterbacks, with the only real success since the start of the common draft in 1967 being 1968 second-rounder Ken Stabler, who led the franchise to its first Super Bowl title following the 1976 season.
Oakland took two tight ends in the sixth round after losing starter Brandon Myers in free agency. The Raiders took Kasa, a converted defensive end, at No. 172 overall and Rivera at 184th. Oakland got that pick after dealing the 176th pick acquired from Arizona in the deal for Palmer for a sixth and seventh-rounder from Houston.
Kasa and Rivera join a group that includes returning backups David Ausberry and Richard Gordon, who were both drafted in 2011.
The Raiders took Murray with their second pick in the sixth round at 181st overall with the pick acquired earlier in the day from Tampa Bay when they moved down in the fourth round. Murray rushed for 1,106 yards on 198 carries with 15 touchdowns last season and will likely compete with recently signed Rashad Jennings as Darren McFadden’s backup.
McGee comes to Oakland with a spotty off-field record, having been suspended three times at Oklahoma for marijuana possession, drunken driving and an undisclosed team violation.
“I have no problems bringing him into that locker room,” McKenzie said. “He’s a solid guy that made some mistakes in college. That happens sometimes. But after the thorough research that we had, we felt good about him.”