MockStock: John Parker Wilson


Living in the Tuscaloosa area, I have been asked this question many times. Is John Paker Wilson a NFL caliber quarterback?

Every time I hear the question I shake my head in response and I hear scoffs and small chuckles behind me. Wilson was not even a great quarterback at the University of Alabama until this season when he led the Crimson Tide to a undefeated regular season.

With no disrespect to Wilson, because he did make a few big plays and had an uncanny way of managing a game without ever affecting it in a negative way, the real leader of Alabama’s offense was OT Andre Smith. Smith opened up the running game, and took the pressure off of Wilson completely in all of Alabama’s regular season games.

That’s why Smith is a top 10 pick.

And it’s also why Wilson isn’t a first day pick, and may not even get drafted. The one comparison I also hear is if Brodie Croyle is a NFL worthy QB how is Wilson not one? Great question.

Croyle has been injury prone since his NFL career began so we haven’t really had a good look at him just yet, but Wilson does not have the arm strength Croyle did. Croyle’s pass to Tyrone Protho came right at me in Alabama’s 31-3 thrashing of Florida a few years back and right at that moment I knew he had a heck of an arm.

But more than likely he’s not a NFL QB either.

Anyone can break down the top 10 players in the draft, but not many will break down the players taken in the later rounds. Usually those players are the ones that show up in week eight and make a big impact from nowhere. Why not start with Wilson? I will break him down 1-10 in five categories that I feel are important for NFL QBs.

Leadership: 6
He’s not a bad leader but he didn’t really do anything spectacular at Alabama either. I never once saw Wilson rally his offense or get in a guys face after he messed up. Leaders hold people accountable and take responsibility for their own mistakes and the mistakes of others.

Arm Strength: 5
His arm isn’t weak but it also isn’t going to beat you. Freshman WR Julio Jones made Wilson’s arm look a lot better than it was this past season by making big plays. Alabama usually used the play action to open up the passing game because they knew they couldn’t rely on Wilson to beat anyone passing without a running game.

Accuracy: 6
Wilson is actually pretty accurate for a guy going this late in the draft. The reason I only give him a 6 is because he usually had a lot of wide open throws due to the play action pass. I can’t wait to see how this one area of his game translates to the pro game.

Awareness: 6
Wilson was not like Croyle, who at times appeared to be a zombie that was sacked repeatedly. Ask Auburn fans about that. The key is that Wilson does know what is going on around him the majority of the time, although we haven’t got to see him play in a game where he didn’t have a powerful offensive line to rely on. Against both Florida & Utah he made mistakes in the closing minutes in a situation where the defense knew he had to pass.

NFL Readiness: 4
I just don’t believe he’s as NFL ready as some people think. At Alabama he struggled until his Senior season when the offensive line came together, Glenn Coffee began running the ball effectively, and Nick Saban found enough playmakers to make his offense go in Tuscaloosa.

Score: 27
Wilson has a lot to prove at the next level. He can probably be a reliable second or third string quarterback but he will more than likely never be a starter.

Projected Round: 5-7