In the seventh round, the Bears used the pick acquired when trading down in the fifth round to pick up wide receiver Marquess Wilson from Washington State.
The Bears needed to acquire a speed-threat at receiver with the injury that may have ended Johnny Knox's career as well as Devin Hester's overall inability to play the position. Wilson isn't quite a speed threat - he ran a 4.51 40-yard dash - but he's certainly a talented receiver. According to CougCenter's Jeff Nusser, Wilson's talented, but the big reason why his draft stock fell so sharply is...
The Cougs were coming off their worst performance of the season, a 49-6 whipping by Utah, and as Mike Leach occasionally does, he canceled WSU's Sunday practice, favoring a conditioning session instead. At some point during the workout, Wilson simply walked away. And just like that, he career at WSU was over.
He or someone close to him alleged abuse by the program's head coach (Mike Leach), and an investigation was started, but after semi-recanting...
Nothing came of the investigations, as Wilson even semi-recanted, telling Pac-12 investigators that no physical abuse took place. But the damage had already been done: Wilson didn't just burn the bridge at WSU -- he nuked it with mutually assured destruction.
And since the NFL has more patience for pot heads than players they perceive as lacking mental toughness or loyalty to their team, Wilson saw his draft stock fall precipitously -- to the point where he entered the draft projected as a late-round pick ... or perhaps even an undrafted free agent.
According to NFL.com:
STRENGTHS Tall strider presenting a difficult ask down the sideline for shorter defensive backs. If able to escape the jam or come off the line untouched, he covers a lot of ground in a hurry. His height and vertical jump makes him a nightmare on jump balls anywhere on the field, and he can contort his body to adjust to passes in the air. Makes catches over either shoulder down the sideline and can stay in-bounds. Drops his hips, has quick enough feet and a solid head-fake to separate at the top of the route, as well as to pull off double-moves downfield and to the sideline. Tries to run through tackles by lowering his pads and churning his feet after the catch and has a bit of open-field elusiveness, though he will run backwards and dance too much instead of taking what he can get. Will find a soft spot in the zone if his quarterback is on the run. Flashes an effective use of his length, and a bit of attitude, to take smaller defenders out in the run game.
The bottom line, this is a seventh-round, no-risk pick for a guy with talent that either will get a new approach or one final chance. If it works out, Wilson could pay dividends.
I'll close on one note from Nusser from the article above:
The best way I can describe him is "deceptively amazing." After all, I'm the guy who suggested he probably was a redshirt candidate based on his underwhelming high school videos ... right before he went out and posted the only 1,000-yard season by a true freshman in WSU history.
Don't forget to vote in the Poll below the video to grade this pick!