Some will call it karma, others will just chalk it up to natural consequences, but the University Of Arkansas has chosen to dismiss head coach Bobby Petrino for lying about the circumstances surrounding the motorcycle accident he was in last week.
If you want the sorded details about the accident, go to another website. For our purposes, my first thought was, how does this affect quarterback Tyler Wilson?
Wilson chose not to declare for this year’s NFL draft despite some reports that he could have been a first round pick. It seemed like a good idea at the time. Despite his immense physical skills, he’s only had one full year as a starter, and another year in Petrino’s NFL system would certanly serve him well. But now, he’s faced with the prospect of playing his senior year under a new coach, most likely in a completely different system then the ones he’s used to. This is exactly the situation that prompted Brock Osweiler to leave Arizona State prematurely, despite limited starting experience.
The problem is, it’s too late for Wilson to change his mind, and there’s a question as to whether he would be allowed into the supplemental draft pool. The rules state that for a player to enter the supplemental draft there has to be a significant change in his academic eligibility. That’s not the case here. Whether or not he would have a chance to successfully petition for inclusion is hard to guage. The league is sensitive to any attempt by players to use the supplemental draft as a way to circumvent the regular draft, a practice that was used by the likes of Bernie Kosar and Brian Bosworth years ago. The league wants to avoid giving players the option of skipping the proper draft simply as a way to avoid playing for teams who have early selections. Remember the Terrell Pryor case last year? He HAD a significant change in his eligibility situation and the league still rejected his first application before finally relenting. Ultimately he was claimed by the Oakland Raiders with a third round pick.
The reason I pose the question is this: Wilson is a significant talent. Specifically, he’s a guy I really like. I believe if he were to be ruled eligible, he would become the first player since Dave Brown in 1992 to be taken with a first round pick. As a Seahawk fan, I would absolutely support using a 2013 first rounder on him, and having him sit and develop behind Matt Flynn without any pressure to play early in his career. Teams like Cleveland, Jacksonville, Kansas City, or Miami may also be tempted.
It will be interesting to see how it plays out, and it may all be a moot point. Wilson will likely wait and see who the school hires to succeed Petrino before making his final decision, but I would also assume he will consider all options.
The trickle down effect could impact next year’s draft in a big way. Wilson was one of the 7 QB’s I spotlighted recently as potential first rounders in 2013, and if he were to come out early it may effect the decision of underclassmen like Tyler Bray and Logan Thomas, two players who are sure to be tempted by the prospect of declaring for the draft before they graduate.
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