Tyler Wilson was in rookie camp in Oakland this weekend, and a local writer has already started the buzz that Wilson could challenge for the starting spot for the Raiders this season. According to Steve Corkran, Wilson placed balls on target and showed off good arm strength throughout the camp.
Last year, Matt Flynn was signed by Seattle to potentially be the starter, only to have the team also draft Russell Wilson in the third round and see him emerge as the starter throughout the early camps and the preseason. For the second straight year, Flynn could end up being replaced before it begins by a mid-round selection named Wilson.
It’s important, though, to look at what the coach is actually saying (now that we have surpassed the draft silly season). Last year, at this same time, the real possibility of Russell Wilson starting right away took shape. Coming out of rookie camp in Seattle, Pete Carroll said of Russell Wilson: “[h]e showed us enough. He’s in the competition.”
Compare that to the only quotes from Dennis Allen in Corkran’s piece. Here’s what Allen said: “[o]bviously, picking up a new system, there’s a little bit of rust there, but throwing the ball, he’s done a nice job. I don’t have any question about his arm strength and his accuracy.”
That has a different tone than what Carroll said immediately after the first camp look. I still think Wilson is a long shot to start immediately, and will have to be fantastic once they actually get to live preseason competition. Last year, we saw that Wilson was already in the competition, and then blew it away. I knew after the dismantling of Kansas City in his third preseason game that Wilson had earned the job, and Seattle made that announcement soon afterward. If (Tyler) Wilson is going to supplant Flynn by opening day, he would be just the eighth rookie outside the top two rounds to start the season opener since the 1970 merger.