When the Chicago Bears made the decision to start rookie wide receiver Kevin White on the training camp PUP list, it immediately presented more opportunities for 2013 7th round draft pick Marquess Wilson. When the decision was made for White to undergo surgery to repair his stress fracture, it solidified Wilson's role as the number three wide receiver in Adam Gase's offense.
White was never going to be a focal point of the 2015 Bears' offense, but Chicago will still miss his potential. He caries the pedigree of the 7th overall pick, with size, speed and play-making ability, but he was still going to battle it out for the 3rd wide out spot.
The Bears will have Alshon Jeffery at the starting X receiver (on the line of scrimmage) and Eddie Royal as the starting Z (off the line of scrimmage). This will allow Wilson to come in and do most of his work outside, with Royal seamlessly moving into the slot. Wilson was mostly focusing on the Z during OTAs, but it's expected he will back up at all three receiver positions.
Five Questions With CougCenter about Marquess Wilson
We're going to pay a visit to the SB Nation college sites of all the Chicago Bears draftees to gain some insight on the newest Bears. Today we'll talk with CougCenter about the Bears 7th round WR, Marquess Wilson.
Wilson already has two years of experience under his belt, but he's younger than Kevin White and three other members of Chicago's 2015 draft class. As a rookie in 2013, Wilson was brought along slowly, mostly because his 20 year body wasn't ready for the pro game. The Bears didn't want to expose him to the practice squad, so he made the team as a 4th wide out, but he only saw 76 snaps on offense spread over 10 games. His most action came in the week 17 contest when he ran for 34 snaps.
In 2014 Wilson was the talk of training camp. He came into camp in great shape, with some added muscle mass, but an injury at practice derailed his momentum. The Bears were high on his potential, so they put him on the designated to return injured reserve list. He only managed to appear in the final 7 games of the season, but he did play 386 snaps while making 6 starts. Valuable experience for sure, but in my opinion his 17 catches for 140 yards was a bit underwhelming.
So far, all the reports from training camp this year have been positive for Wilson. With White out of the picture for the foreseeable future, Wilson will have plenty of chances to shine.
He's definitely ready to have the breakout season many predicted he'd have last year, but actually doing it and being prepared to do it, are two different things.
Where is your confidence level for Wilson heading into the 2015 season?